From KBB: 5 tips for visiting a car dealership
Kelley Blue Book shares practical tips for your next visit to a car dealership. (Editor’s note: Kelley Blue Book receives compensation for LightStream loans that are referred from its site, www.kbb.com.)
Before you set foot in a car dealership, do these five things:
- Determine your spending cap. Budget is the most important factor when purchasing a new car. When calculating a spending plan, it is essential to consider the down payment, monthly payments and interest rates. Purchasing within a set amount will prevent future financial stress.
- Recognize the right price. Once you know the make, model and year of the vehicle you wish to purchase, research the invoice, MSRP and Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price. Also, check to see if your desired vehicle is eligible for incentives. By establishing what your desired vehicle is worth in advance, you’ll prevent overpaying at the dealership or in a private sale.
- Let your current car go. Whether you trade-in at the dealership or sell to a private party, letting go of your current car can significantly increase your down payment and decrease your monthly bill. Research its current value to get the biggest return on investment.
- Consider cost beyond the price tag. The cost of your car is just the beginning. Before you buy, think about out-of-pocket expenses like fuel and insurance, plus depreciation. Those factors can mean a huge difference when it comes to overall expenditures. Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own information for vehicles takes into consideration depreciation, expected fuel costs, finance and insurance fees, maintenance and repair costs, and state fees.
- Control the financing. When determining the best financing option for you, consider the costs and available methods. Dealers may have special financing incentives, but be sure to measure the cost of financing against the price of the car. Sometimes even a zero-percent loan offer may not be as cost-effective as a cash-back incentive coupled with low-interest financing. And while some lenders and credit unions may offer low rates, they may add extra costs in fees and paperwork time. Research companies like LightStream, the online lending division of SunTrust Bank, where people with good credit can find a personal loan at fixed, competitive rates and no fees.