October 22nd, 2010

Know Your ‘Options’

Unlike buying a TV or a new couch, buying a new car represents a significant investment. Other than purchasing a home, a new car is one of the biggest purchases the average person makes in his or her lifetime. Many dealerships bank on the fact that you as the consumer have no idea what you’re really getting and in some cases even charge for features and options that are not even on the car.

Become an educated buyer

Knowing the specifics of the vehicle you’re about to purchase can save you some serious cash when it comes time to seal the deal. Before you go to the dealership and potentially end up purchasing a vehicle with features you don’t want, or worse, features that don’t exist, do some research about not only the value of the vehicle, but of the options that come with each model and package. What does model A have that model B doesn’t? What options come standard, and what are the available options? How much extra do the various options cost? Asking questions like these will greatly help you leave the lot without overpaying.

If you’re not sure where to begin gathering your information, give us a call. SMCU has a team of dedicated auto loan specialists here to answer your questions. We can walk you through the entire auto-buying process, provide honest vehicle feature and pricing info, address any financial concerns you may have, and even get you pre-approved for purchase – all over the phone.

If you’d prefer to do the research on your own before getting approved for the loan, there are several reputable resources available online. Websites, including nada.com (National Automobile Dealers Association), kbb.com (Kelly Blue Book), and edmunds.com (Edmunds Inc.), are dedicated to educating automotive consumers and can help you establish price points for the car and feature list you’ve been looking for. Also, don’t be afraid to print out what you find online and take it to the dealership with you for comparison.

No matter how you gather the information, doing pre-purchase research could go a long way in saving you money and headaches at the dealer. If you’re ready to get started with purchasing your next vehicle or have a few questions about the one you already have your eye on, call us at 206.398.5500.

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