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8 Common Car Buying Mistakes to Avoid

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Buying a new vehicle is a big decision. The last thing you want is to have buyer’s remorse a week or month down the road. Mountain America Credit Union has made it easier to make sure you choose the right vehicle and the right deal for you—take a look at our list:
 

Not researching online
These days, there’s no excuse not to do your research. Websites such as NADA, Kelley Blue BookCars.comEdmunds and AutoSmart provide free reviews and owner ratings on just about every vehicle. Once you’ve found something you like, get the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and plug it into a car history search site such as AutoCheck.
 

Not reviewing your credit before shopping
Know the state of your credit before you go shopping to make a better-informed decision. Get a free copy of your credit report annually and, if you find inaccurate information, correct it before you go to the lot.
 

Negotiating from the monthly payment instead of the full purchase price.
Be aware of what you can afford each month, but providing that information to a salesperson too early eliminates your ability to negotiate.
 

Agreeing to dealer financing too quickly.
Accepting financing at the dealership is easy, and sometimes it’s your best option. But do you know for sure? Shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal.
 

Not taking the shortest loan term.
Cars depreciate astonishingly fast. If you can afford it, opt for a shorter-term loan to minimize interest over a longer period of time.
 

Not doing the math.
When you’re comparing dealer offers, do the math for each scenario before making a decision. If you don’t have confidence in your math skills, you can use an auto calculator.
 

Financing the cost of add-ons.
Add-ons may look shiny and pretty, but are essentially anchors that weigh down your loan and end up costing more than they’re worth. Adding these accessories after you purchase the vehicle is usually a much better financial decision.
 

Not being able to walk away from a deal.
Just because an offer has been made doesn’t mean you have to take it. You always have the option to negotiate. Know what you want to spend before you go and stick to it. If the seller doesn’t want to meet your price, be prepared to walk away.
 

Mountain America Credit Union has more tips to give you the best deal on the best vehicle. Download our eBook, Car Buying Basics. Learn more about:
 

  • Choosing the best vehicle.
  • When to purchase your vehicle.
  • The pros and cons of buying new or used and leasing.
  • Test-driving tips.
  • Purchasing through dealers, private party and third-party sellers.
  • Paying for your new vehicle.
  • How to avoid common car-buying mistakes.
  • Getting the right insurance.



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