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Car Shopping Tips


When buying a new car, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. The Credit Union National Association recommends these six tips:

1. Get pre-approved for a credit union loan. Set a budget and know how much you can spend before looking for a new car.

2. Determine what kind of car best fits your needs. Think about how much and what kind of driving you do.

3. Research the average price of the make, model, and year of the car you want. The Black Book new car cost guide gives buyers an idea of how much a particular car is worth. Members can find a copy of the guide in most SLFCU branches at the info desk. Pricing is also available online with AutoSMART.

4. Shop around. Don’t buy the first car you see, even if the price seems right. Dealers offer rebates and incentives according to zip code and these can change every 10-15 days. It’s possible to save money just by visiting a different dealership.

5. Always negotiate the price of the car, not monthly payments. Don’t forget about your budget if a dealer offers a more expensive car for low monthly payments. You may end up paying more than you intend if you commit to a longer loan, even if the payments are low.

6. When negotiating with dealers, remain calm and show little emotion. By doing so, you control the sale. Make sure you get exactly what you want. If it’s not right, don’t be afraid to walk out.

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