Even though some people seem to swap out vehicles every few years, buying a car is actually a really big investment. You are taking on the responsibility of a new auto loan and often committing to long-term payments. However, shopping for a vehicle can leave you somewhere between excited about getting a new ride and anxious or overwhelmed by the whole process. If you are planning to shop for a new car, there are a few simple rules you should follow to cut out some of the frustration.
1. Talk to your lender in advance. - Instead of going to look for a vehicle and then visiting your lender, it is always better to go see your lender first. It can be frustrating to find something you really like only to go to the lender and be turned down for a loan. When you go find out how much you have to work with first, it will make shopping for something a much less time-consuming feat that has no guesswork involved.
2. Make a list of what you want in a new car. - When you initially arrive at a new car dealership, one of the first questions a salesman will ask is what it is that you want in a new car. Explaining to every sales person your list of mandatory attributes over and over can just prolong the process of finding what you want. Sit down with a pen and paper and think about what you want from a new vehicle and jot these items down. When you're shopping, just hand over your wants in written form and the salesman can point you in the right direction. For example, you could already have answers to questions like:
- How many passengers should the new vehicle be equipped to carry?
- Do you have a color preference?
- Is there a certain body style you really want?
- What is your price range?
3. Talk to your insurance company before you accept an auto loan.
Once you have tracked down a car you want to make your own, call up your insurance carrier before you go back and accept the loan for your new car. It is a common mistake for people buying a new car to take out a loan and then find out their insurance rates will be drastically jumping with the new car coverage. Your insurance company can give you a quick estimate of how much your premium will change with the addition of the new vehicle.
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