5 Must Read Car Buying Tips

5 Must Read Car Buying Tips

Car shopping: Exciting, exhilarating…and frustrating. While limping along with an older car is not fun, searching for your dream car can go from fantastic to foul quickly if you’re not prepared. Here’s 5 tips to streamline the car-buying process:

Finance First.

Much like shopping a new home, it’s important know just how much you’re willing to pay for your new set of wheels.  Entering a car dealership with secured financing provides much needed leverage while negotiating. The Credit Union makes it easy to finance your vehicle by providing a ton of helpful tools, including an online loan application and an assortment of loan calculators to help estimate monthly payments.

Read Reviews & Compare Costs

NADA and Edmunds are essential websites to bookmark while shopping for a new car. You want your new or used car to last, and you want it at a great price, so what better way than to research consumer reviews and compare prices?

Know the Trade-in Value.

NADA is also a go-to source for trade-in values. Visit our Helpful Resources page for a quick link. Knowing the maximum value amount can get for your current vehicle is an excellent way to help lower your monthly auto loan payment.


A car payment can place stress on your monthly budget. Nail down that budget before you search for your next car, truck or van. Know how much you are willing to spend and don’t let a dealer talk you into something that you’re not comfortable with.

Test Drive

Sure, the heated seats might be super comfy, that rear-view camera is spectacular, but getting a feel for how a vehicle handles is key in walking away happy.


Negotiation with a car salesman can be intimidating, but if you come prepared, hammering out the best deal possible will be much less stressful. TrueCar is a service provided for Credit Union members that helps inform buyers of the average cost for a vehicle. Most importantly: If you have your financing secured before entering that showroom, you are far less likely to fall to tactics like bait and switch or add-ons.

Have you ever made a mistake while shopping for a new car, or are you a pro haggler? If so, tell us in the comments!

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