July 6, 2020Car Buying 101: What You Need To Know

Where to start?

Who said that buying your first car would be easy? Chances are that you’ve received lots of unhelpful and conflicting advice on your way to the dealership. So, before you take that test drive, here are six car buying basics that you should know: 

  1. Loan preapproval is your most powerful negotiation tool. Get this first! If you know your approval limit and interest rate, you’ll be able to effectively strategizePEFCU usually offers better rates and terms than banks. Just reach out for more info. 
  2. The total price is more important than the monthly payment. This is very basicMany people think if they can handle the monthly payment, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to pay off the car loanBut it does matter. Always look down the road before you agree to a longer-term to lower the monthly payment. In a worst-case scenario, you could end up owing more than the vehicle is worth. 
  3. You pay interest every month on the unpaid balance. Stretching out those payments adds dollars to the total price. It’s basic math. When choosing your ride, compare mileage, warrantiessafety, colors, and other features; but most importantly, compare the total price, too. That’s the most valid way to choose your vehicle. 
  4. How you intend to use your car helps you make the right choice. Daily commutes of 20 miles a day are very different from being on the road for days at a time. Do you plan to haul samples, sports equipment, or strollers, and bicycles? If so, be sure the trunk or cargo space meets your needs. Also, try out the back seat for comfort and ease.
  5. Insurance is vital. Insurance is one thing you cannot afford to be without; take the time to understand what you’re really paying for! If you already have insurance, make sure you contact your insurance company to see how much your premiums will change before you buy the new vehicle. Competitive rates are now available through the Larry Greenwald Insurance AgencyContact LGI today to obtain your free, no-obligation quote and to receive your discounted auto rate as a PEFCU memberCost can vary based on make and model, but your premium is also based on your agedriving record, and zip code. 
  6. There are upfront costs associated with buying a vehicle. Tax, title, and license are typically rolled into the loan, but they don’t have to be. Are you prepared to shell out the cash? There are also ongoing costs when you own a car – yearly inspections and license tags, parking, and maintenance.  

 Whether you’re looking at a new or used vehicle, the basics are the same. Look for value, reliability, affordability… and the right color too! 

We’re Here to Help!

When you’re ready to look for your next vehicle, apply onlinestop by any branch, or give us a call at 1-800-226-6673. We’re ready to help you get pre-approved and lock in a great, low rate.  


Each individual’s financial situation is unique, and readers are encouraged to contact PEFCU when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; It does not constitute legal advice. If such advice or a legal opinion is required, please consult with competent local counsel. 


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