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Funding your Future: Five Common Car Buying Mistakes

Posted at 2:57 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 16:57:15-04

Buying a vehicle can be a stressful experience. However, that doesn't mean you should take shortcuts to help shorten the process. David Sant with Cyprus Credit Union made a list of some of the most common mistakes that even the most seasoned of pros can make when it comes to purchasing a vehicle.

Not Doing Research
Even if you know what kind of car you want to buy, you still need to do your homework. Before going to the dealership, you should know the price range, ratings and reviews for any vehicles you are interested in. Start by narrowing down the list of brands and then look at price, helping to keep your search organized. This is also the time when you should decide if you want a new or a used vehicle.

The cost of insurance is often overlooked. Call your insurance company and ask for a quote on a specific vehicle to see if it fits in your budget.

Being in a Hurry
Car buying isn`t usually an enjoyable experience, but getting it over with isn`t a great strategy. Take your time to think about any vehicles or purchase decision. Don`t let a dealer pressure you into a deal you`ll regret later. There will always be other cars, so there`s no need to make a snap decision.

Skipping the Test Drive
This is an important step to make sure you are both comfortable behind the wheel and the vehicle fits your needs. It`s been recommended that a first-time buyer tests out at least seven different vehicles, while a current owner should try at least four.

No Vehicle Report
Before purchasing a used car, you need to run a background check to make sure it hasn't been involved in any accidents or other major damage. There`s also the risk of the odometer being manipulated so you end up purchasing a vehicle with many more miles than you thought. Run a CarFax vehicle history report before signing any paperwork.

Monthly Payment
While it`s great idea to walk into a dealership with a budget, focusing on the monthly payment alone may actually cause you to spend more. For example, a salesperson may suggest lengthening the term of your loan so your monthly payment is lower. Sounds great, right? Actually, not so much. The interest rate on a longer loan may cost you hundreds of extra dollars in the end.

One of the best things you can do is to sit down with a loan advisor and get pre-approved for your loan. By doing this, you know exactly how much the lender is willing to give you.

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