Car Buying Guide

Car prices are great right now, as are car loan rates. If your income is predictable and stable, you may be considering purchasing a new car. If you are, read on for a quick guide to getting the best deal.

Purchasing New Cars

  • Finance first. Get prequalified for a car loan at CVCU so you will know how much car you can afford and what type of monthly payment you will have to budget.
  • Do your research. Have at least two different vehicles in mind. Use Consumer Report's April auto issue, Edmunds.com, KBB.com, and NADA.com to check prices, reliability and insurance costs.
  • Shop for quotes. Use online resources, such as CarsDirect.com, TrueCar.com, Overstock.com, and Zag.com to look for instant price quotes. If purchasing at a dealership, plan to look at cars after hours to alleviate pressure from salesmen.

Purchasing Used Cars

  • Finance first. Get prequalified for a car loan at CVCU so you will know how much car you can afford and what type of monthly payment you will have to budget. If possible, pay in cash.
  • Make sure the vehicle is worth what you're paying. Check Edmunds.com, KBB.com, or NADA.com for the true market value.
  • Run the vehicle through CarFax.com. You want to be sure the vehicle isn't a flood vehicle or hasn't been in any bad accidents.
  • Have the vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic. Choose a mechanic you trust to look over the vehicle before purchasing. CarFax alone is not enough.

Credit Union v. Dealer Financing
A dealer rebate (usually not available when you choose low interest dealer financing) combined with low interest credit union financing, can produce a lower initial loan balance, and in many cases, a lower monthly payment. Always check with your credit union before financing to make sure you're getting the best possible deal.

Return to Blog Posts