7 Tips to Keep in Mind When Buying a Car

Buying a car, especially if it’s your first one, is an exciting experience!

By handing you those keys, the salesman will be opening up a whole new world of opportunity.

But don’t hit the gas too quickly. Before you sign any papers, or even before applying for an auto loan, take a look at these seven car-buying tips.

  1. Set a car-buying budget, which should include how much you can afford on a down payment and for monthly loan installments. Factor in insurance as well.
  2. If you want to finance your vehicle but haven’t established great credit, consider getting a relative to co-sign your application. This can improve the chances of your loan request getting approved.
  3. Consider prearranging that loan before stepping into the dealership. That way, you’ll know exactly what your interest rates are and can select a vehicle that’s appropriately priced.
  4. With your budget in mind, make a list of cars you can afford. Remember: Practicality should trump flair. For additional guidance, take a look at auto buying assistance services like those offered by lenders such as USAgencies Credit Union.
  5. Comparison websites can give you accurate quotes based on a car’s year and model, so you can get a feel for market prices.
  6. If you’re in the market for a used vehicle, take the time to inspect any car that has caught your attention, keeping an especially close eye out for any easy-to-overlook imperfections like scratches and worn tires.
  7. Simply say “no” to unnecessary add-ons your dealer offers you, like rustproofing. Rust problems are pretty much nonexistent among newer cars nowadays, according to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Surveys.

These suggestions should put you on the right path toward purchasing a car that’s best for you. With the right game plan, you’ll be on the open road in no time.

By Tony Armstrong, NerdWallet


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