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Know What You Need And What You Want In A Car

There are almost 264 million registered passenger vehicles in the United States today—and just 129 million households. According to recent statistics, over 90% of all households have access to one or more vehicles.
For most Americans, vehicles are crucial tools that make it easier to get to work, school, and everywhere in between. Before asking for help with buying a car, it’s important to prioritize your requirements and consider what type of vehicle will fulfill them. Here are a few tips to follow before signing a lease or purchase contract.

Though our website is a great place to start the search for a new car, it’s not the only thing you’ll need. By knowing what you want and need before getting help for buying a car, you may save yourself from a costly mistake. Consider the answers to the following questions:

  •  What type of driving do you typically do? (work commute, running errands, driving for pleasure)
  •  Are you searching for size, comfort, mileage, or flexibility?
  • ​ How long will you keep the car? ​This is an important question to ask if you’re planning to sign a lease.
  • ​ How frequently will you drive the vehicle?
  • ​ Will you use the car just for pleasure, or do you need room for your kids and all their gear?
  • ​ Will buying a car help my credit score? In most cases, it will, as long as payments are made on time.
If you’re honest about your needs and do some research on models, safety stats, and options, it will be easier to find the right balance between style, comfort, fuel economy, and practicality.

Set A Budget And Stick To It

While vehicles are essential tools, they’re also costly ones. Even if you have a significant amount of cash on hand, you’ll still need financial help for buying a car. After your rent or mortgage, a car payment is probably the most sizable chunk of your household’s budget. In some cases, you may have to reduce other expenses to leave room for an auto loan. We are proud to provide help with buying a car for low-income drivers.

Industry experts suggest spending no more than 15% of your total budget on automotive expenses, including licenses, fees, insurance, taxes, fuel, and maintenance. By making a realistic estimate and getting financial help with buying a car, you won’t end up with a vehicle that’s unaffordable.

Almost 17 million new cars were sold in the United States in 2019, along with countless used vehicles. Which choice is right for you? The answer depends on your needs and budget.
Used cars seem like a great idea because they’re less expensive. Additionally, today’s cars are built better than they were in years gone by, so a used vehicle will retain its durability and value for longer. Many used vehicles are returned to dealers after leases, which means they could be in better condition. Some are even certified, which means the manufacturer will renew the warranty.

Before negotiating for a used car, check its repair and accident history via Free Instant Vehicle History Report. If you’re thinking of buying a used or new car, we can help you find a finance or lease option that meets your needs and suits your budget.

Decide Whether To Lease Or Buy

The pros:

  • You’ll likely pay less each month.
  • Down payment requirements are more relaxed
  • You’ll get a new car every two or three years.
  • ​Sales tax, fees, and registration costs are reduced.

The cons:

  • You’ll make payments on a car and never pay it off.
  • There’s a penalty for turning a car in before the lease ends.
  • Most leases have strict mileage limits and exceeding them can be costly.
  • ​There’s no way to build equity in a vehicle.
  • ​You’ll be forced to make a major decision each time a lease expires.

Ask The Right Questions

Before agreeing to a lease or purchase deal, it’s important to ask the salesperson a few questions. It may seem tedious and time-consuming, but it will prevent problems from surfacing right before you sign the contract. Here are a few questions to ask.
Are there any other fees? A simpler way to ask this question is “What’s the out-the-door price?” Most people negotiate the car’s price without considering the added taxes and hidden fees. The sooner you learn about these costs, the easier it is to avoid them.
How much is the documentation fee? All auto dealers charge documentation fees when customers buy cars. These fees can vary widely, as some states regulate them, and some don’t. If you feel the cost is too high, focus on negotiating the car’s price rather than asking that the fee be waived.
Does the vehicle come with any dealer-added options? Most vehicles come with add-ons that are installed at the factory, but some dealers add items themselves. Popular options include window tinting, nitrogen-filled tires, all-weather floor mats, wheel locks, and paint protection. The markup is quite steep on these options, so it’s important to know about them when getting a quote.
How many miles are on the vehicle? This question is important for anyone who’s buying a car sight unseen. Most of us assume that new cars have only a few miles on the odometer, but that’s not always the case. Some are used for test drives and others are dealer trades, which means they have been driven further than other new cars. If there are more than a few hundred miles on the odometer, consider negotiating a reduced price.
Can I have the car delivered? This is another good question for online and in-person shoppers. If the deal looks good but you need a little nudge in the right direction, ask for this perk. The dealer’s representative will bring a printed contract, and you won’t have to listen to sales pitches for extended warranties and other services.
By asking these questions and carefully considering the answers, you can go into the lease or purchase process with the information needed to make a good decision.

Secure Financing Before Going Shopping

If you’re like most people, you’ll need a loan to buy a car. Start by visiting your local credit union or bank to learn about their used- and new-car loan rates and to be pre-approved for financing. This not only gives you an estimate of the interest rate you’ll pay, but it also makes negotiations more effective. Once you’ve secured financing, you’ll have more time to shop around for the best car deal.

Value Your Trade-In And Consider The Credit Implications

Your current vehicle’s value will help determine what you can pay for a new car. Whether you’re selling it to a private buyer or trading it in at the dealership, it’s important to know what your old vehicle is worth. If you’ve ever asked, “Does buying a car help your credit?” you’ll be happy to know that on-time payments will boost your score within just one to three months.

In Closing

New and pre-owned car buyers have more options than ever before. If you’ve never bought a vehicle from honest car dealers on the central coast, the process may seem a little confusing, but we’re here to help and connect you with the right dealers. Our website will provide you with the tools and advice needed for a successful automotive purchase.

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