4 Smart Tips for Car Buying

by Janean Flowe
smiling lady after the purchase of her new car

A new car is a big investment. Keep in mind these savvy approaches to auto buying, from price negotiation to extra costs, as you make your purchase.

Negotiating: To increase the likelihood of negotiations working in your favor, break the negotiations into four stages: car price, extras (like service plans), financing and trade-in.

If you have a vehicle to trade-in, only discuss it after you’ve agreed on every other point. Many dealers assume you’ll have a trade-in and may try to offset any price breaks on your new car by offering less for your old one. Sell your current vehicle elsewhere if you’re not getting a good offer.

Financing: If you need an auto loan, you’ll usually do better to get one from a financial institution rather than from the dealership, but not always. Sometimes, “zero percent financing” offers work in a buyer’s favor. After weighing dealer incentives and rebates against the final price tag, you might pay less over the long haul. It’s worth doing the math to be sure.

Affordability: Consider costs beyond the purchase price of the vehicle, including insurance rates (ask your agent) and your estimated annual fuel and maintenance costs (check consumer websites and publications).

Gap Coverage: The value of a vehicle depreciates quickly after it’s driven off the dealer’s lot, so it might make financial sense to look into Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) coverage if you’ll owe considerably more than it’s worth. GAP coverage accounts for the difference between your outstanding loan balance and the vehicle’s actual value. This coverage could save you thousands of dollars if the vehicle is totaled in a crash or stolen and not recovered.

How AAA can help: If you are in the market for a new vehicle our team at AAA Auto Buying is here for you. We make car buying easy by handling everything, including handling your trade-in, auto loans, extended warranties and more!

         — Brian Rush, Director of Car Buying Operations

Call 800-590-0145 or visit AAA.com/GoAutoBuying today to find your next vehicle.

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