Budgets and Money

Get in the Driver's Seat When You Buy Your Next Car

Here are a few helpful car buying tips to know before walking into the showroom, from loan pre-approval to understanding trade-in value and transaction fees.

5 Tips for Buying a New Car

Does the thought of buying a new car usher in a feeling of excitement? Or does it feel more like a dreaded process of endless haggling?

You’ve weighed the pros and cons of buying vs leasing a car. The following five tips will show you how to locate, price, and negotiate buying the new car you want. Not only can these tips help make the process quicker and more enjoyable, they’ll put you in charge of the deal making process.

1. Get pre-approved for your auto loan.

Before you go shopping, visit your bank, credit union, or online lender and find out what you qualify for, as well as the interest rate you’ll be paying on your loan while building a budget for the new car. Getting approved in advance allows you to negotiate at the dealership as a confident cash buyer and keeps you within your budget.

2. Know what your trade-in is worth.

Whether you’re trading in your old car or selling it on your own, it’s important to know how much it’s worth by getting its Blue Book Value. If you’re planning on selling your old car, you want to price it right. If you’re trading it in, you want to make sure you’re getting a fair deal.

3. Get several price quotes.

In order to be a good negotiator when it comes to the price of your new car, get Internet price quotes from local dealers. Print off a hardcopy of the quotes and take the lowest one with you. If the dealership wants your business, chances are they’ll meet a locally advertised price of a competitor.

4. Review car fees.

In addition to the cost of the new car, you’ll have sales taxes (depending on what state you purchase the vehicle in), registry fees, and a documentation fee. Before you sign the contract, ask the dealership to provide you with a breakdown or worksheet of the fees. It’s to your advantage to carefully review these figures to be sure you’re not incurring any type of hidden fees.

5. Check out the dealership financing.

Even though you did your homework and have been preapproved by your lender, it’s not a bad idea to see what the dealership can offer you as far as interest rates go. Ask the dealership to run a credit report and see if they can’t beat your currently approved rate. It’s a few extra steps, but could make a difference in your monthly payments.

For more new car buying tips and other useful information, visit one of these online resources: CarInfo.com and Kelley Blue Book.

Additional resources used in this article: Consumer Reports.Org.

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Buying a New Car

In this article by Protective Life, you can find tips for buying a new car and information on car loans. Have you considered the options of buying versus leasing a car? Five tips throughout this article may allow you to make a more informed decision when looking to purchase a new car. It is important to explore your financial options. Once you find a car you like, compare the price of different dealers around you. Some dealers are willing to match prices of other dealers. Be prepared to pay sales taxes, registry and other fees. Before you sign the contract, make sure you understand what you are paying for and there are no hidden fees. Although you may have already visited your bank or credit union to discuss interest rates, it may not be a bad idea to have this discussion with the dealership as well. For more information, visit our learning center.


All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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