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5 Ways to Save on Your Next New Car

If you’re thinking about purchasing a new car, you have perfect timing! August through October is a great time to buy a new vehicle because dealerships are closing out the current model year to get ready for the next. That alone is going to save you money, but there are several more things you can do to ensure buying a new car doesn’t leave you strapped for cash every month. Take a look at these money-saving car buying tips.

Set a Budget — You had to know we’d start here, right? Every major purchase decision should start by determining how much you can afford to spend, and buying a new vehicle is no different. Take into consideration not just the price of the car and the monthly payment, but also how much you’ll be paying in insurance, fuel and maintenance costs.                  Husband and wife talking to an enthusiastic car salesman

Do Your Research — Spend some time researching the vehicles you’re interested in to find out what other people’s experiences are like. Look into reliability, gas mileage, and maintenance costs, and find out what incentives are available so you can go to the dealership armed with information. Remember, knowledge is power; the more you know going in, the less chance there is to fall for the hard sell.

Get Pre-Approved for Your Loan — This will save you so much time and stress on the day you purchase the car. By getting pre-approved from a bank or credit union, you walk in with the purchasing power to know exactly how much you can afford. Being pre-approved also gives you the power to ask if the dealer is willing to offer even better terms. If you apply to several lenders, keep the applications within a 14-day period; once you choose a lender, the pre-approval should remain active for about 60 days.

Be Prepared to Negotiate — It’s not just the price of the vehicle itself that’s negotiable; virtually everything is. Dealerships will try to trick you into thinking certain costs are fixed, but that’s simply not the case. Don’t be intimidated by the pre-printed numbers on the sticker; they’re merely suggestions and can be negotiated along with everything else.

Start a Bidding War — You can save yourself a lot of time and money by doing some of the legwork online. Once you choose the vehicle you want, contact multiple dealers to get a        quote. Be specific about what you’re looking for in terms of options and add-ons so you can get accurate apples-to-apples comparisons. Once you see which quote is the lowest, use that as your starting point to negotiate further until you see which dealer really wants your business by reaching your preferred price.

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