Car Buying Tips
There are many choices today when buying a car. New? Old? Big? Small? Regardless of your choice, getting tips on buying a car is the best way to be informed and make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for.
Shopping for a car? Check car safety ratings first
Ask the salesperson about crash test ratings on different makes and models of cars. To check out car safety features and ratings before you shop, visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Tips on leasing and buying a car
Generally, you have three choices when deciding how to pay for a new car:
You can pay for it in full (buying)
You can finance it (pay for it over time) with a loan
You can make monthly payments for the car’s use without owning it (leasing)
Whether you choose to lease or buy, consider how the payments fit into your budget and how much you can actually afford to pay.
All the cars look fine to me. Should I get a new or used one?
The two things to consider when buying a car are safety features and expense. As soon as you drive a new car off the lot, its value decreases by approximately $2,000. New cars are required by law to have seat belts, airbags and other safety features that may make the cost worth it to you. You may not find these features in a used car.
Generally, you can get a safe used car from a reputable used car dealer. Check to see if the car is equipped with airbags and other car safety features.
More car buying tips: Getting a car loan
The Federal Trade Commission reports that most people need financing to buy a vehicle. In some cases, buyers use “direct lending” to get a loan directly from a finance company, bank or credit union. In direct lending, a buyer agrees to pay the amount financed, plus an agreed-upon finance charge, over a period of time. Once a buyer and a vehicle dealership enter into a contract and the buyer agrees to a vehicle price, the buyer uses the loan to pay the dealership for the vehicle.
The most common type of vehicle financing, however, is “dealership financing.” In this arrangement, a buyer and a dealership enter into a contract. The buyer agrees to pay the amount financed, plus an agreed-upon finance charge, over a period of time. The dealership may keep the contract, but usually sells it to an assignee (such as a bank, finance company or credit union), which services the account and collects the payments.
For more on car shopping, visit the Federal Trade Commission website.
How do I know if I’m paying too much?
There are many car buying resources available to find out a car’s true value before you buy. Go to the library (or check the Internet) for Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds. Both of these list fair prices and value for cars.
What’s the lemon law?
If you buy a car and find out there’s something wrong with it, you’ve bought what is called a “lemon.”
If you think you’ve purchased a lemon car, truck, van, SUV or motorcycle, check your state’s lemon laws – they might help you get rid of it! Lemon laws are different in each state, so check with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in the state where you bought your car.
Jason Bentley, Daniel J Bentley Agency
The Bentley Agency