So you're just window shopping around online at cars and you find a few vehicles that are very similar or the same as yours, but it’s at a much lower price than what you recently bought yours for. This is an awful feeling, but what can you do to prevent it? Buying a vehicle is difficult, how do you know you’re getting a good price and rate? How do you know it won't break down when you drive away, leaving you with a lemon and an empty wallet? Well, there are a few things you can do to try and combat this.
First of all, what we do to ensure you get the best rate and price, we search all dealerships, directories, auctions for the specific vehicle you’d want at the best price. Then we shop around to different lenders and banks for you, to make sure that the rate and term you’re going into is the best fit. Sometimes options are limited because of limited or poor credit so there's not as much leeway with the term and rate, but ideally, you want to get them both as low as possible. You also have to know what budget you have to work with so that you have a realistic idea of what you can spend month to month. If the vehicle you’re purchasing doesn’t come with a factory warranty, you can get an aftermarket extended warranty, or save some money on the side for maintenance. Another thing that can really help save you money on your deal is putting money down. Putting at least %20 down will potentially get you a better rate and term because there’s less risk associated with your auto loan.
When deciding on a vehicle, establishing needs vs. wants is very important. For instance: Lucy might want a truck, but she won’t need the extra space the majority of the time, so she could save money by purchase something that’s got a low payment and has good fuel efficiency, then renting a bigger vehicle when she absolutely needs it. Also, Lucy might be looking to save as much as possible, so she’s looking at base model vehicles with limited features when it would only cost her an extra $10-$15/month for the vehicle she really wants. In this case, it's much better to just get the upgraded model. You’ll be much happier and more willing to stay on the loan for its entirety. Once you have a vehicle picked out, take it for a test drive! Take the vehicle to a quiet road, do a brake test, a full-throttle acceleration from a dead stop, take some sharp turns at speed, check the belts/chains and hoses in the engine bay for obvious signs of wear, make sure all of the interior features are working properly, and check underneath of the vehicle to make sure there are no loose parts or excessive rust. Also if you can, take it to a mechanic, have them scan the computer for codes, and inspect the vehicle for issues.