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4 Rules to Follow When Car Shopping

Picture this… You roll over in bed, fumble for your phone and realize you’re late for class. Normally you’d just pull the blanket over your eyes and call it a day but today’s your political science final and if you miss it you’ll be stuck taking the course again next semester. And that’s not going to happen! You quickly hop out of bed, grab the closest pair of jeans and throw a shirt on and scoop up your keys, gum and deodorant. As you race through the kitchen you grab a granola bar and burst out the front door. “I’m going to make it” you mutter under your breath as you jump into your car and put the key in the ignition….then it happens. The engine sputters, the exhaust pipe lets out a loud pop and smoke begins billowing from beneath the hood. You sit there in silence watching smoke emanate from the front of your car while the bright red check engine light mocks you. Defeated, you slink out the car, slam the door, fall to your knees and let out a guttural yell. Does this sound familiar? If so, then perhaps it’s time you consider getting a new vehicle.

Now before you waltz into the closest car dealership and find the shiniest new car in there, here are a few tips to help you along:

  • Know your budget – It’s recommended you pay no more than 20% of your monthly income towards a car. This includes gasoline, maintenance and miscellaneous expenses – such as pine tree shaped air fresheners and stain remover. Knowing what you can spend monthly will help in choosing a vehicle you can afford.giphy34
  • Do your homework – Finding the right car is like finding a good mate, it goes much smoother if you know what you are looking for. Make a list of all the things you want in a new vehicle and then hop online and search out a handful of cars that meet your requirements. Once that’s done be sure to see the vehicles in person and test drive them. Remember, you could potentially be driving this vehicle for five years so make sure you like it.giphy35
  • Don’t do it alone – Most people only purchase a vehicle
    every 3 to 6 years so it is not a process they are very familiar with. That means as soon as you walk into a car dealership the salesman has the upper hand. To negate this, you should speak to your financial institution prior to purchase. They can help you through the process by giving you helpful information such as rates, your credit score and financing.
  • Read before you sign – A visit to a car dealership can be exhausting. By the time you get around to actually signing the documents all you want to do is go home. Despite how tired you are it is important you read what you sign. Often people sign up for warranties or other back end products simply because they are just eager to leave. You can save yourself money by taking just a few minutes to read the fine print and ask a few more questions.2001

Purchasing an automobile can be a daunting task but if you have any questions, Fort Worth Community Credit Union is available to help.  We have over 70 years of car buying experience and we’ll take the time to assist you in your purchase. Happy shopping!

This post was written by Domingo Garcia, FTWCCU Lending Administrative Assistant.