Use these strategies to help you save when buying your next vehicle!When you decide to buy a vehicle, it can be tempting to jump right in and start hunting, but there are some important factors to consider from the start. Before you begin the search, decide how much car you can afford and the type of vehicle you want. Do you want a new car every few years? Do you need more space? Can you afford the insurance and maintenance? Answering these questions helps you find the vehicle that best fits your needs.  

Auto Buyers Guide: How to Get the Best Deal

September 26, 2017

Use these strategies to help you save when buying your next vehicle!

When you decide to buy a vehicle, it can be tempting to jump right in and start hunting, but there are some important factors to consider from the start. Before you begin the internet search, decide how much car you can afford and the type of vehicle you want. Do you want a new car every few years? Do you need more space? Can you afford the insurance and maintenance? Answering these questions helps you find the vehicle that best fits your needs.

We have great resources if you’re not sure how much you can afford or curious about how much a monthly payment will be for a certain car. These tools can help you understand where your finances stand and help guide you to the right vehicle.

Here are some things to keep in mind once you walk into the dealership:

Keep your bottom line top of mind. Once you’ve decided how much you can afford and what you want to spend, stick to it! Don’t let a dealer talk you into a vehicle that isn’t right for you. Knowing what you want and need will help you pick the right vehicle at a price point you can afford.

Don’t negotiate around a monthly payment. Redstone Federal Credit Union® can pre-approve your loan before going to a dealership. This means you’ll already know what the monthly payment will be on any car that qualifies for the loan amount. A dealer may try to convince you to buy a more expensive car with a longer lease, meaning your monthly payments are less, but in the end you’re paying more for a longer period.  Getting pre-approved gives you a boost of confidence during negotiations, since you know exactly what the payments would be.

Don’t buy unnecessary extras, such as corrosion protection, paint sealant and fabric protection. You may end up spending hundreds of dollars on these add-ons and never use them. You may get caught up in the moment while in the buying process, so take some time to think about what you want done before making an impulsive decision at signing.

Investigate other warranty options. Consider Redstone for your extended warranty and Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) coverage — which pays the difference between what you owe and what your insurance will pay in case your car is totaled or stolen. Mechanical Breakdown Protection (MBP), is a warranty that can help you pay for unexpected repairs. You may find that buying these outside of a dealer can save you money.

Redstone works with more than 80 dealers, located throughout North Alabama and Middle Tennessee. Didn’t have a chance to get your loan pre-approved before going into one of these dealerships? No worries. Apply for a Redstone auto loan onsite, sign the loan agreement, and walk out with your new or used car.

Don’t have an account with Redstone? These dealers are also authorized to take your membership and loan application — many in one visit. Look here for a list of authorized dealers in your area.

This article was adapted from our Aspire! member newsletter. See all the articles here

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Equal Housing LenderThis credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Redstone is an Equal Credit Opportunity Lender.

This content is provided for informational and educational purposes only and considered accurate as of the date posted. Views and opinions expressed in comments do not constitute an official endorsement by Redstone Federal Credit Union® or its affiliates. Redstone encourages you to seek professional advice for your personal situation before making any financial decision and is happy to assist you at any of our branch locations.

Must be RFCU® member to obtain or use any product or service. Must open a share savings account to join RFCU. A $5 minimum balance is required to open a share savings account and must be maintained in the share savings account at all times. Age and other restrictions may apply.

For a complete list of benefits and rules, see the GAP Waiver Election form. The purchase of GAP is voluntary and cannot be required as a condition of loan approval. GAP is a loan/lease deficiency waiver and is not offered as insurance coverage. Applies only to collateral financed by RFCU®. A fee applies. Please contact RFCU at 800-234-1234 for information.

Extended Warranty is provided by Route 66 and is not an insurance product. For a complete list of terms and provisions, see the Route 66 Service Agreement available at any branch. The purchase of an Extended Warranty is voluntary and is not required as a condition of loan approval. Enrollment fees apply. The Extended Warranty services are (1) not federally insured; (2) not obligations of the credit union; and (3) not guaranteed by the credit union or any affiliated entity. Please contact RFCU for more details.

Must be RFCU member to obtain insurance products. Insurance products are offered through third-party insurance companies, are not Redstone Federal Credit Union® products, and are not NCUA or federally insured. These products are not obligations of Redstone Federal Credit Union and are not endorsed, recommended, or guaranteed by RFCU or any government agency. RFCU does not warrant, guarantee, or insure any service or product offered by any third-party insurance company or Redstone Insurance Services®. RFCU and Redstone Insurance Services are affiliated, but RFCU, Redstone Insurance Services, and third-party insurance companies are separate entities. RFCU is an Equal Credit Opportunity Lender.