Top 10 Car-Buying Tips

Top 10 Car Buying Tips

Looking at buying a new or used vehicle? Follow these top 10 car-buying tips to ensure a bump-free experience:

  1. Determine how much you can spend. Never spend more than you can afford. You will regret it later by trying to trade out of the car and putting yourself in a deeper hole.
  2. Narrow your search based on your needs. Evaluate your current and future situation. Will you need a minivan or a sports car? If you plan on having children in the next two years, purchasing a two-seat sports car may not be the best idea.
  3. Research all the vehicles in this class. Use the  Entrust Car Buying Service to see what others paid for the vehicle you want, and to make sure you won't overpay. Also look at consumer reports when doing your research. Make sure you do the research and look at the pros and cons of each vehicle. This will help you determine how they fulfill your needs.
  4. Test drive no more than three cars and do not purchase the vehicle. Don't test drive too many vehicles. Instead, select your top 3 vehicles based on your research and drive the ones that most closely resemble what you might purchase. In other words, do not drive a V-6 if you can only afford the 4 cylinder.
  5. Know how much others paid for the new or used car.  Entrust's Car Buying Service can tell you what others paid for the car you want. Once you select your vehicle, you can even lock in your savings by getting a Certificate that ensures your savings. 
  6. Contact the dealer for their price online. Don't limit your search to just those dealers within a 10-mile radius of your house. Contact as many dealers as you can within a reasonable distance from your house and shop each of them online. This will save you time and money.
  7. Negotiate with the dealers online. After you've received the price online for each dealer, negotiate with them through email or online to get the best price. Don't be afraid to tell them that the first dealer you spoke with gave you a lower price and ask, "What can you do for me?"
  8. Control your emotions and don't get emotionally attached to any vehicle. The dealer can tell if you are excited and this will work against you in the negotiation process. If the dealer no longer has it in stock, they will get in stock again soon.
  9. Know how much your trade-in is worth. Don't mention your trade-in until the day you show up to the dealership to arrange the delivery of your new car. This will eliminate the fudging of numbers that goes on with your trade-in.
  10. Contact Entrust Financial Credit Union for low auto loan financing. You can reach Entrust Financial CU's loan department at 804-353-8012, 800-944-3622, or