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Buying A Car? Do These Things First

Aug 17, 2007
In order to ensure you get the best price for your car, follow these steps:

1.Shop around for auto financing before going to the dealer. Get pre-approved for a loan. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make in their haste to buy a new car. Take the time to get pre-approved; you will get a better rate and a better deal.

2.Compare APRs from local banks, thrifts, and credit unions, websites, and newspapers. Again, there is a lot of competition amongst lenders for your business.

3.Order a copy of your credit report and correct any errors a few months before shopping for a car. This one takes a little more planning, but should be done anyway.

4.Make the largest down payment that you can. Beware of a low down payment or long repayment plans. The more you borrow and the longer you take to pay the loan, the more interest you pay and the more your car will cost you in the end. Additionally, if you have to sell your car in the first few years, you could owe the lender more than the car is worth. This is a HUGE trap that car dealers have gotten into. They wonder why their sales are hurting. They have been putting people into these long term loans and financing negative equity so long that now people will have to be buried in their cars!!

5.Consider paying for the tags, title search, and taxes separately, rather than financing them. This can reduce the amount of interest that you will pay. Financing those items is just plain dumb, enough said.

6.If you are going to apply for a loan at the dealership, make sure you first negotiate the best price on the car. Beware of dealers who insist on asking you how much you can afford every month. These dealers might be interested in making you stretch out the term of the loan to make the loan sound more affordable. However, by extending the length of the loan, your total cost will increase. This is a BIG trick at dealerships, never negotiate based on payments.

7.Be aware of penalties. Some lenders might charge you for paying off your loan early. Many states have laws against this now, be sure to check the laws in your state.

8.If you need to give the dealer a deposit, make sure you know whether you will get the money back if you change your mind. It is best to get this in writing. Be careful of this and only do it if you really want the vehicle, don't fall for the "deposit before negotiation" trick.

9.Service contracts, credit insurance, extended warranties, and other options are not required and can be costly over the term of the loan. All of these things are almost pure profit to the dealer, don't buy them.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is a consultant for online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida. Get your car parts at http://www.autopartsplusmore.com
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