Shopping for a new vehicle? If so, you have certainly noticed you’re not the only one. Car sales have set records throughout the spring and that’s created a challenge for those searching for a new (or used) vehicle.
Combine that with a national shortage of computer chips that have automakers scrambling to get new vehicles out of the factory and onto dealer lots and you have a potentially frustrating shopping experience ahead of you.
That said, there are some tips and tricks you can employ to make your car shopping experience a good one.
Be ready to buy
Walking into a potential purchase knowing your financing is in place and ready to roll can not only save you time, it can also save you substantial money.
As supply of vehicles has decreased and demand has increased, dealers are increasing the price of available used vehicles and are less likely to offer substantial financing discounts. As a Farm Bureau member, you can avoid the drama with an auto loan from the Farm Bureau Family Credit Union.
FBFCU is currently offering rates as low as 1.99% on new and used vehicles. Gold Members can save even more. The application process is painless and you can get pre-approved before starting your vehicle search.
Do your research first
A vehicle isn’t exactly an “impulse” buy. Know what features you need, what mileage you’ll accept and have a budget firmly in mind before shopping. Online research can make things easy but it’s not a suitable replacement for an in-person inspection of the vehicle and, of course, a test drive to make sure everything is what you expected.
Move fast, and slow
A little more on the “impulse” buy … a vehicle is a major investment. Don’t rush into a decision just because inventories are limited and taking a day or so to consider the purchase may mean you’ll lose out on the vehicle. This is a classic sales tactic and, while it is true that vehicles are selling fast and in short supply, taking 24 hours or so to make a final decision is good practice. That said, when you do locate a vehicle you’re interested in, don’t waste time in making contact with the dealer or seller. Ask if they’ll accept a refundable deposit to hold the vehicle while you make a final determination as to whether it’s the one for you.
Keep yours and save ...
Remember those low rates from FBFCU? Well, those are good for refinancing as well. With low inventories and elevated prices being the norm right now, it might be time to refinance your current auto loan at a lower rate, saving you money while you wait for the market to cool a bit.
Visit farmbureaufamilycu.org or call 517-679-5274 for more information or to apply for an auto loan today.