Purchasing a car can be one of the more exciting purchases you make, but it’s also a purchase that is a significant financial commitment. That’s why it’s important to take your time, shop around, and make sure you are getting the best deal for your hard-earned money. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help credit union members buy their next car with confidence.
Set Your Budget
Before you begin your car search, sit down and figure out what price range works best for you. Consider all your expenses—including monthly payments, insurance costs, gas, and routine maintenance—to determine how much you can afford each month. Keep in mind that it is generally recommended that no more than 20% of your net income should go towards transportation costs, including car payments and insurance premiums. Once you have determined a budget that works for you, use it as a starting point to help guide you through the shopping process.
Research Cars & Compare Prices
Now that you have an idea of what kind of car fits into your budget, it’s time to start researching different models and makes to find the perfect one for your needs. You can do this online or by visiting dealerships in person to test drive different cars if possible. We recommend using the following online sources when you’re researching for your next car:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association: The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) is part of the US Department of Transportation. On its website, you’ll find ratings, recalls, and topics on road safety.
US News & World Report: The US News & World Report offers a platform dedicated to automobiles where you can browse by style or brand, or you can search for a specific make and model.
Financing & Insurance
Now that you have your ideal car or cars in mind, it’s time to explore your auto loan options. We strongly advise you to do a bit of research on auto loan rates from multiple lenders so you can make sure to secure the most competitive rate for financing your purchase. If possible, try to get preapproved for an auto loan prior to visiting the dealership so that they know exactly how much financing they can offer.
If you’re a member at RMLEFCU, we strongly recommend you consider our 90-Day No Pay Auto Loan. With this loan, you’ll be able to buy a new or used car (or refinance your loan from another institution) and get a rate as low as 6.24% APR*. You’ll also be able to take advantage of pre-approval so you can have extra bargaining power at the dealership. And the best part of it all? You won’t have to make any payments for the first 90 days.
In addition, we also think this is a good time to research different options for auto insurance coverage. Having comprehensive coverage on your vehicle can protect you against potential damages or losses due to theft, vandalism, natural disasters, etc.
Trust RMLECU With Your Next Auto Loan
Purchasing a new car is an exciting process but it requires careful consideration beforehand to ensure that all aspects—from budgeting and financing options to researching cars —are addressed properly. With this step-by-step guide at your fingertips, it’ll be easier to feel more confident that you’re making the most informed decision when purchasing your next vehicle.
If you’re interested in applying for our 90 Day No Pay Auto Loan, or you’d like to discuss other loan options that we offer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (303) 458-6660 or stop by one of our branches.
*Annual percentage rate. Some restrictions may apply. 90-Day No Payment offer valid through June 20th, 2023.