Buying a car is a major financial decision. In fact, it may be one of the biggest purchases you make. By navigating that process properly, you can protect your financial status and choose a car that fits your needs.

1. Know Your Budget

Before you start looking at new cars, sit down and put together a budget. Depending on how you plan to handle your financing, you may want to determine how much you can afford up front, or you may want to put together an estimate of what you can manage in monthly payments. Evaluate how those payments have the potential to impact your budget and make sure you take any changes to your auto insurance into account.

2. Do Your Research

As you start your car-buying journey, do some research on the type of car that will best fit your needs and what you can expect to pay. Look into key elements of the vehicle: how long it generally lasts, any potential problems it may have, and its overall safety rating.

3. Know Your Financing Options

You may have several options for financing when you buy a car. Sometimes, the dealership will offer financing. In other cases, you may need to go through your own financial institution. Carefully look into your financing options and choose the one that best fits your needs.

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4. Check Your Credit Score

Before you head to the dealership to check out available vehicles, take the time to check your credit score. Knowing your credit score ahead of time can help you avoid unpleasant surprises. A high credit score not only makes it easier to secure a loan, including a high-value loan, but it may also make it easier for you to secure a longer loan term (and, therefore, lower monthly payments) to secure a loan with less money down, or to pay lower interest rates.

If there is a problem with your credit score, consider addressing it. Ask to have any inaccurate information removed from your record. If necessary, secure a cosigner so you can get the auto loan you need.

5. Choose the Right Time

Sometimes, you have relatively little choice about the time to buy a car. Your last one may have broken down, or you may need a car ASAP. If you have time to wait, however, wait for the dealership to have the right inventory. Between October and January, when inventory is high as new models roll out, you can often secure the best deals on a new car.

6. Don’t Forget Your Trade-In

If you’re planning to trade in your former vehicle toward the cost of a new car, make sure you know what it’s worth! Trade-in value may be higher than what the dealership would offer if they were purchasing the car outright.

Are you ready to buy a new car? Check out our available vehicles or get in touch to learn more about our cars, our financing options, and how we can help get you in the car of your dreams.

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