If you’re thinking of purchasing a vehicle, the following tips may help you save money and avoid bumps along the way.
- Consider your needs. Do you need an automatic or manual transmission? How many people will typically ride with you? How ample is your parking area? What kind of driving conditions do you routinely face? Focus on how the vehicle will be used, rather than which vehicles are the most stylish or popular.
- Let your budget drive you. Online calculators [such as this one] can help you estimate expenses and payments. Along with monthly loan payments, remember to factor in insurance, maintenance and fuel costs.
- Investigate prices. To improve your negotiating position, learn the invoice price, MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) and average selling price of any car you are considering.
- Research your top picks. If you’re shopping for a used car, run a vehicle history report, based on the vehicle identification number (VIN). This can help determine whether the vehicle has ever been severely damaged by accident or flooding, for example. If you’re shopping for a new car, check out industry reviews and consumer ratings.
- Visit us first. A dealer’s “special” financing may be tempting, but keep in mind that you may not qualify, and other options might be a better deal (UKFCU’s loan rates are some of the best around, so check us out before you begin car shopping).
- Focus on the drive during the test drive. Try to replicate the driving conditions you and your future passengers will routinely face, and don’t be distracted by the salesperson or the radio.
It’s smart to get preapproved for an auto loan at UKFCU, so contact our Call Center at (859) 264-4200 or stop by the nearest branch or visit us on the Web.