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Negotiate The Best Auto Purchase

May 16, 2008
The first thing to keep in mind if you plan on financing your new automobile is that the dealer's offer is not necessarily the best loan available. If you establish direct contact with lenders, especially via the Internet that is where you will find the lowest rates.

Buying a car is one of the most expensive purchases you will make, second to a home. To get the best deal possible, it requires research and a willingness to negotiate with the dealer. Being prepared will help you choose the right auto loan and save a lot of money.

Know Your Options

It is never a good idea to walk in and expect to buy a car without having any reasonable quotes that can compete with the dealer's financing option. Take into account the annual percentage rate and the length of the loan; don't focus only on the monthly payment.

After you have negotiated the price of your auto purchase, that plus the APR and the length of the loan will be your total amount paid.

Some dealers might present very low financing rates for certain makes or models of cars, but ultimately won't negotiate on their price. Any changes made with these variables can yield savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

You might be required to make a large down payment to qualify for any special rates. Occasionally it is more affordable to pay a higher finance charge on a car that might be lower in price, but will ultimately require a smaller down payment.

Trading in Your Old Car

When it comes time to talk about trading in your old car, keep the negotiations separate from your new purchase. Hold off any discussion about your trade-in until the end, after you feel you have reached the best possible price for your new car.

Do the research beforehand and know the value of the car you are using as your trade. Research can be attained from many reputable sources (books, magazines, newspapers and the Internet) and can provide you with the worth of your vehicle.

Come prepared with your information and use that in your transaction with the dealer. Ultimately, any prior research done will help get you the best possible price for your trade in. Although to get the most money for your old car, you would probably have to sell the car yourself.

Credit Insurance

You might come across certain lenders and dealers that will ask you to purchase credit insurance. This would serve as payment towards your loan in the event of death or disablement. Take into consideration the cost of credit insurance and whether or not it is beneficial to you.

Review your current policy to prevent the duplication of any benefits. This type of insurance is not a requirement by federal law. If the dealer requires you to purchase this, it must show in the APR and not be included as an extra charge to you.

If you have any questions regarding credit insurance check with the State Consumer Protection Agency or your state's Insurance Commissioner.

Service Contracts

In the event of any problems with your new car, service contracts can be purchased to provide repairs as necessary. Manufacturers, dealers or independent companies make these contacts available, but may not offer any additional coverage past the manufacturer's warranty.

A warranty is included in the total purchasing cost of a new car, while the service contract is not. This contract works in the dealer's favor, so be cautious when you are presented with one.

Before agreeing to this additional contract, consider if it is right for you. Find out the difference between the coverage that is included your warranty and what is covered in the service contract. Is routine maintenance covered and are the repairs? Who covers the cost of labor and parts?

In the event of an accident, where are the repairs made and is the consumer able to pick the location? Finally, how long does the service contract last and are there any refund policies or options to cancel at any time?

Consider the terms of the new car loan and figure out if it is affordable before signing any contracts and driving away in a new vehicle. Remember that experienced sellers will usually mark up their asking price a few hundred dollars more than they are willing to get for the vehicle.

Make sure to keep your finances in mind and negotiate the best possible financing for your new automobile loan.
About the Author
Christina Costa, a freelance automotive writer, recommends Equotegrabber where you can get an automotive quote online in seconds! Visit Equotegrabber.com
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