How to Get a Great Price on Your Next Car

Are you thinking of buying a car, but want to make sure you get the best price? Here are a few tips to help you along your way.

Buy “off-season.” If you want to find a bargain, shop for a car in December and January when the prices are lowered. That’s when dealerships are eager to move the inventory off their lots to make room for newer models.

Know the real price of the car. Go online to find the actual value of a particular make and model. If you’re looking at new cars, find the invoice price (what the dealer paid for the car) and the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. If you’re looking at used cars, find the wholesale price and the dealer’s asking price. Also look for current rebates. Knowing this information will help you during your negotiations with dealers.

Compare prices. Use online resources to compare the prices at dealerships in your area. This will save you time and gas money.

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) states have the best prices for hybrids. If you live in a state with strict emissions regulations, like California, you can probably get a good deal on hybrids and battery-electric cars. Manufacturers must sell a certain number of zero-emission cars per year to continue selling in those states, so invoice prices may be lower there.

Look for discounts. Check the automakers’ websites under their “current offers” webpages. Many offer discounts to students, military service members, and members of credit unions. Deduct these discounts after you negotiate the price with the dealer.

Don’t settle for dealer financing. Since dealers get a commission or flat fee for every loan they coordinate, he or she will probably try to get you to finance through the dealership. There are better options. You’ll get a much better loan rate at your credit.

Cash rebate vs. zero percent financing. Some dealerships lure customers by offering a cash rebate or zero percent financing. Typically, only 10 percent of car buyers qualify for these incentives, and you may find you don’t qualify. Even if you do qualify for their incentives, you’ll likely save more money per month by taking the cash rebate and getting your loan through your credit union.

Before you head to the lots, do a little research, then talk to one of your First Florida’s loan officers to ensure you get a great auto loan.

Copyright 2017 Credit Union National Association Inc.

 

 

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