We don’t want to see any Bostonian failing in their car purchases. So, if this is your first time to buy a car and practically everything is new to you, we’ve got a simple list of important reminders for you below. You can print this out and post it somewhere or bring it with you as you shop for cars and auto loans.
Before Walking Into a Dealership
- Get a copy of your credit report. You can get it free through AnnualCreditReport.com. This is necessary so you would have an idea of what your credit most likely looks like to lenders. Be sure to dispute any error.
- Spend some time evaluating your monthly cash flow, income, and expenses. From here, find out how much you can afford to pay for a car every month.
- Factor in ownership costs like insurance, warranty, maintenance, repair, and gas allowance when setting your budget. Remember that it’s not just the monthly auto loan payments you have to be prepared for but also the long-term costs while you drive the car.
- Choose a car based on your needs rather than your wants.
- Read a lot of reviews about the car you’re looking to buy and other models you’re considering.
- Check out various dealerships and private sellers to see how much they are selling the car you’re eyeing to own. Compare their prices.
- Read a lot about and understand the car-buying process and various financing options.
- Find reputable lenders in Portland. Compare the auto loan rates they offer. Remember that your credit profile directly and heavily affects the interest rate you could get.
- Use an auto loan calculator when comparing auto loan quotes.
At the Dealership
- You might see nicer cars when you visit dealerships but be sure to stick with your budget. Never go beyond your means to avoid getting yourself in a huge financial mishap later on.
- Don’t say ‘yes’ to the sales rep right away. It is your right to negotiate for a lower car price, lower interest rate, and lower down payment. They can’t also force you to purchase extra services and products along with the vehicle. You can say ‘no’ to these.
- Don’t be too quick to sign the contract. Read it first carefully and make sure every term is clearly and accurately stated. Ask the sales rep or the F&I manager for any unclear clause.
- You can walk away if you’re not comfortable pursuing a transaction with a particular dealership. It’s okay.
- Visit at least 3 dealerships.
- Never buy a car without test driving it.
- If you’re buying used, run an inspection on it first before driving it home.
- Pay the monthly payments on time.
- The assignee can repossess the vehicle if you miss payments a lot. That’s not illegal as you don’t own the car completely unless you’ve paid it off.
- If your credit is less than perfect, you can obtain a better one by making timely payments.
- If you experience financial difficulty in the middle of the repayment period, it’s best to talk about it with your lender. By doing so, they can arrange an easier repayment plan for you. Hiding your financial dilemma from them or trying to run away from your obligations would surely not help.