To help make your dollars go farther, we'd like to share a few tips to help you find the car that best suits your needs before you even step onto the lot.
You may have noticed that deals on new cars are happening quite frequently these days - and because auto loan rates at SF Fire Credit Union are as low as 2.99%* for up to 60 months, buying a new OR used car is within reach.
Is it Really More Affordable to Buy New Right Now?
The current buzz in the world of car-buying is that right now is the time to buy a new car - with the seemingly endless array dealership financing deals and rebate offers. Although this may be an attractive option, you still must take depreciation into consideration. The greatest depreciation occurs in a car's first two years. By buying a used car, you're allowing the original owner to incur the largest depreciation hit - that extra money you're forking over for a new car could possibly be better spent on a used vehicle.
If you're curious to see which would be a better deal, try using our calculator: Which is Better: A Rebate or Special Financing?
In for the Long Haul - Keeping Cars Longer
The current economy has been tough on many, and people are now planning to keep their cars for longer periods of time. It might be wise to protect your investment by purchasing an extended warranty on a new vehicle - or if buying a used car, choose a 'Certified Pre-Owned' vehicle which carries an extended manufacturer warranty.
Certified Pre-Owned - Same Rate as Used or New
Typically, when going through the dealership for financing, your rate will be higher for a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle, but when you finance your Auto Loan through SF Fire, you will not experience a difference in rate.
Last But Not Least - Don't Be Shy
This is your hard earned money we're talking about here. There is no reason to be shy about negotiating or being up-front with your vehicle preferences and needs. When bargaining, remember to start from the invoice price of the vehicle, which is usually $1500-$3000 lower than the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) (If you are working with a CUDL dealer, they will show you the invoice price). Also, if it helps you to keep organized, write down the information you've gathered to take with you - but always remember that planning and research will help you to find the car that really suits your needs.
* Auto Loan Annual Percentage Rate. Rate subject to change. Rate is based on credit worthiness. Rate reflects a 0.25% discount on loans that have authorized an automated electronic payment method. Rate based on 60-month term. Rate applicable to purchases or refinancing of non-SF Fire Credit Union auto loans only.