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Tips for Buying Your Teen’s First Car


Start with AutoSMART

Time for your teen to get their first car? Whether you are buying a new or used vehicle, having the right information beforehand can take the stress out of making the wrong decision. AutoSMART, the free online resource for Credit Union members, offers tools to guide you through the entire process, saving you time and helping you find a safe and practical car for your teenager. Click here to get started.


Knowing how much you can spend will help you focus on cars you can afford. AutoSMART’s Finance section lets you calculate what you can afford and see your potential monthly payments. Simply enter your desired purchase price, loan term, interest rate, and down payment, then click to calculate your monthly payments. Be sure to factor in additional costs such as upfront fees for registration, inspection, and the license plate, as well as ongoing expenses like insurance, maintenance, and gas. 


Now that you have an idea of what you (or your teen) can afford, start exploring your options. AutoSMART lets you view features, ratings, rebates, and reviews for all vehicle make and models, both new and used. You’ll also have access to tools such as NADA Guides and CARFAX vehicle history reports (CARFAX fees apply). Build your own vehicle to calculate the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) – just select the desired trim, style, color, and other options.


Once you’ve found the vehicle that’s right for your teen, visit AutoSMART’s Finance section to apply online for an SLFCU auto loan, or call us at 505.293.0500 or 800.947.5328. 

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