We are sure you have seen the commercials already- a shiny car coasting down an open road, followed by a graphic that breaks down affordable monthly payments, and finally, an eager and attractive salesperson who promises to take care of your car-buying needs all weekend-long. President’s Day Weekend is here and if you’re in the market to buying a car, you should keep a few things in mind.
Whether you’re financing or buying a car outright, be sure to budget the cost of purchasing and maintaining a new car. Depending on the model of your car, regular maintenance can get costly. Don’t forget to also factor in monthly insurance payments when thinking about the amount you will pay every month. Talk to your Nulty insurance agent prior to making your purchase—your agent can offer advice and maybe even refer you to a dealership with great options. It is also wise to talk to your Nulty agent about obtaining insurance before zipping off the lot. Most auto policies provide a grace period of three days.
Leverage your options
Shop around to find the best options and use the internet to your advantage. If you have a car model in mind, search for prices online and compare them to the dealership’s prices. MSN Auto also offers this– don’t talk about financing and trade-ins until you settle on a price. You won’t be able to leverage all opportunities to get the best overall price if you show all of your cards.
Shop around when it comes to financing also. Ask your friends about their last car purchase and financing options. If you are a member of a credit union, your credit union may offer low interest rates on a car loan. Finally, if you go through the dealership to finance, read through your agreement thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about charges and fees you aren’t familiar or comfortable with—negotiate.
Looking to rack up those Credit Card Points? You’re limited.
If you don’t have money for a down payment and you’re thinking of using your credit card, you should reconsider your timing and do a little more saving. Essentially, you would end up paying more than what you negotiated with the car salesperson, after interest charges. For others, using a credit card towards the purchase of a new car is a way to rack up on rewards points. If this is your aim, be prepared to pay the balance on the card before your next billing cycle so you don’t incur hefty interest charges. Also, most dealers are charged a merchant fee of 1.5% to 3%, so you may feel resistance from some dealers when you slap the plastic down on the table.