• Buying a car

    A car is probably one of the first big purchases you will make, and it can be overwhelming. Should you buy new or used? Pay with cash or take out a loan? The options are endless, and your choice depends largely on how much money you have and what you are looking for.

    Don't Get Ripped Off

    Everyone's scared of getting a bad deal. And, if you don't know much about cars, then the whole process can be even more daunting. Below, we’ve listed a couple ways can make sure you're not getting the short end of the stick:

    • Research, research, research! Websites like edmunds.com and kbb.com are great resources for pricing information, consumer reviews and finding vehicles in your area.
    • Ignore the sales pressure. Bring along a friend or a parent who can offer support and level-headed advice.
    • Break down your total cost into car purchase price, financing and trade-in value. Negotiate each one separately.
    • Understand your financing options. Meet with Tech CU to learn which loan programs make the most sense for you.
    • If you currently own a car and are looking for a new one, use the Kelley Blue Book to compare what trade-in value the dealer is offering on your vehicle.

    New Versus Used

    Unfortunately, there's no right answer to this issue — it all boils down to your budget and what you need.

    The Benefits of Buying New

    • You'll pay less in repairs for a brand new car. An older vehicle may require more maintenance.
    • New cars come with warranties, which cover a wide variety of repairs in the first few years.
    • You can order a car to meet your exact wants and needs. Used cars are sold pretty much as is.

    The Benefits of Buying Used

    • You'll pay much less up front. Because new cars depreciate in value almost as soon as you drive off the lot, a used car that is only two or three years old will cost a small portion of its original value.
    • A “new used” car might have some time left on its warranty.
    • If you buy your car through a dealership, you might be able to get a “dealer certified” car that has been restored, as well as a repair plan or new extended warranty.

    Check out Tech CU's Auto Loan calculator to find out how much you can borrow. And, if you need help figuring out what car you want and where to buy it, check out Tech Car Shopper, our free car buying service. Call 800-553-0880 (9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. PST) or fill out the form and an expert consultant will contact you within one business day.

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