President’s Day: Buying a new car

We are sure you have seen the commercials already- a shiny red car coasting down an open road, followed by a graphic that breaks down affordable monthly payments, and finally, an eager and attractive salesperson who promises to take care of your car-buying needs all weekend-long. President’s Day Weekend is here and if you’re in the market to buying a car, you should keep a few things in mind.

Leverage your options

Shop around to find the best options and use the internet to your advantage. If you have a car model in mind, search for prices online and compare them to the dealership’s prices. MSN Auto also offers this-- don’t talk about financing and trade-ins until you settle on a price. You won’t be able to leverage all opportunities to get the best overall price if you show all of your cards.

Shop around when it comes to financing also. Ask your friends about their last car purchase and financing options. If you are a member of a credit union, your credit union may offer low interest rates on a car loan. Finally, if you go through the dealership to finance, read through your agreement thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about charges and fees you aren’t familiar or comfortable with—negotiate.

Looking to rack up those Credit Card Points? You’re limited.

If you don’t have money for a down payment and you’re thinking of using your credit card, you should reconsider your timing and do a little more saving. Essentially, you would end up paying more than what you negotiated with the car salesperson, after interest charges. For others, using a credit card towards the purchase of a new car is a way to rack up on rewards points. If this is your aim, be prepared to pay the balance on the card before your next billing cycle so you don’t incur hefty interest charges. Also, most dealers are charged a merchant fee of 1.5% to 3%, so you may feel resistance from some dealers when you slap the plastic down on the table.

Congratulations on your new car purchase! Use your Trusted Choice independent insurance agent as a resource for your car-buying and insurance needs.

Trusted Choice can also help you choose the best insurance agent for your needs.