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So You Need a New Car…

Buying a new car can be exciting, nerve-wracking, fun, and frustrating all at once. With the average price of a new car being $30,000, it makes sense. It’s a big investment that you’ll probably live with for a long time. In fact, the average age of a U.S. car is 11.4 years with owners hanging on to their vehicles for six years.

To help avoid any of these frustrations throughout this exciting time, this guide will walk you through the process of buying a new car!

Choosing Your New Car

You have a lot to think about when it comes to selecting a new car. First, think about
what you need your vehicle for and what it has to handle:

harsh climate

Harsh Climates

If you’re spending a lot of time on icy roads, you’ll want to look at a truck or car with four-wheel drive capabilities.

city

Difficult Commute

Driving in the city can be much easier to manage with a luxury vehicle and/or energy-efficient hybrid.

Large loads

Large Loads

If you’re making trips with heavy loads, you’ll want a vehicle that can handle that. Trucks, vans and spacious sedans should be on your list.

Passengers

Passengers

Precious cargo? If you’re toting kids around, you’ll want something comfortable for everyone and energy-efficient for getting everywhere you need to go.

Car Shopping

Aspire’s Member Showroom by TrueCar is a great place to get started your car shopping! When you find a car you like, do your research. Go to: CarFax, Kelly Blue Book, and review sites. You should also look at reliability reports and safety ratings.

Avoid letting your emotions take the wheel when going for a test drive. Car salesmen will first try to make you feel like you already own the car by telling you to adjust seats, mirrors, radio stations, etc. to appeal to your excitement. Being aware of this tactic allows you to not let your excitement build too much.

Once you’ve picked a vehicle and are ready for a test drive, take this checklist with you to ensure everything
looks good.

Financing

Before you talk seriously with a salesperson, you need to figure out what you can afford. Edmunds offers a calculator to help you determine how much car you can afford.

You’ll also need to decide if you’re going to do anything with your old car.

PROs for Selling Your Old Car Yourself:

  • Selling it yourself is going to get you the most money. (There’s a big enough difference between the two numbers that you’ll even have to choose the option of a trade-in value vs. private sale on Kelly Blue Book’s car value estimator.)
  • More cash from a private sale means you can put more on your down payment. This will allow you to save even more on interest in the long run.
  • You’ll have more negotiating power if you have the cash to put down and only one vehicle to discuss.

CONs for Selling Your Old Car Yourself:

You’ll need to spend time getting your car ready, posting ads and fielding phone calls.

  • You don’t know how many test drives and back-and-forth conversations you’ll have before making the sale.
  • After the sale, you may face an angry buyer if something goes wrong with the car shortly after the sale. Even if you do all the paperwork right, your contact information is known and they could harass you. Trading in at the dealership makes it their liability.

After you decide what to do with your car, you should:

  • Find out what your credit score is so you know what kind of rates to expect
  • Research interest rates at various institutions
  • Apply for pre-approval so you have more power going into negotiations
  • Figure out your total down payment

When you have all that together, you’re ready to talk to a salesperson

Go into negotiations after a light meal or snack, as this may take awhile. You want to have a systematic approach to this meeting: focus on the price of the new car first, then the trade-in (if you’re doing that), then the terms of the loan. If you’re uncomfortable at any time during this process, walk out.

The dealer may ask you to share the monthly payment you can afford, but don’t fall for it. This enables them to get more money from you in the long run. Your goal is to get them to go first so you have a starting price.

The dealership may throw a lot of specials and promotions your way. You may have the option to have an extremely low interest rate or a cash rebate. The cash rebate is almost always the best choice. Lower interest generally means they jacked up the price of the car and you’ll be paying it off longer. A cash rebate can go right back towards the car. This calculator can help you determine what your best choice is. You will probably be offered an extended warranty as well. Surveys have shown these warranties are almost never worth it, so it’s probably best to politely decline.

As a member of Aspire, you will receive low rates, affordable options, and added conveniences! We even offer complete insurance coverage at a great rate. We offer:

  • Up to 100% financing on new and used vehicles
  • Variable terms on new and used auto loans
  • Vehicle history reports
  • Discounted Auto Insurance through Liberty Mutual
  • Discounted Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) and Mechanical Breakdown Protection (MBP)
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