A person holding the steering wheel of their car.
A person holding the steering wheel of their car.

Are you making these 5 car buying mistakes?

January 3, 2024

If so, buckle up!

1 - Only shopping at one dealership

Experts say three dealerships are the minimum to compare deals. Be transparent in letting each dealership know who else you’ve spoken with and what they’ve offered.

2 - Not checking out the dealership’s online department

Yes, dealerships have online departments. It’s a great way to skip the time spent waiting at the dealership negotiating a price. Send an email detailing exactly what you are looking for, including the price you want to pay, then sit back and wait for follow-up emails and calls.

3 - Not making the most of the test drive

Is anyone comfortable during those few minutes driving the car with the salesperson in the back? Are you testing it for your lifestyle? Have a checklist in mind as you drive and see if it’s hitting all your needs; for example, is it easy to get in and out of for every family member? Is the tech intuitive and user-friendly? Make another appointment to test drive the car again after the initial test drive so you can recheck all those little things you noticed the first time and maybe find some things you didn’t notice. That way, you can decide if these undesirable qualities are something you can live with or will drive you nuts in the long term.

4 - Not calling your insurance agent

There are other factors to consider when figuring out how much your new car will cost. Will your insurance premium increase? Will you need GAP insurance? A simple call will go a long way in determining if the car is a good fit for your budget. Don’t forget to check how the new car’s gas mileage compares to your current vehicle and if tires and other maintenance requirements will cost more.

5 - Choosing one-stop shopping convenience

Don’t just accept the dealership financing. If you don’t shop around, you may end up spending more.

Look into financing with Direct Federal Credit Union!

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