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    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 and are great resources for pricing information, consumer reviews, and finding vehicles in your area.
    • Ignore the sales pressure. Bring a friend or a parent who can offer support and level-headed advice while you are there.
    • 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.

    Check out Tech CU's Auto Loan calculator to find out how much you can borrow.

    New Versus Used: Which One is the Best Choice?

    Unfortunately, there's no right answer — 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's 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.