Service Plus Credit Union

Financial Smarties: The Smart Way To Buy A Car

Posted on April 22, 2021 at 8:24 PM by Service Plus

Knowledge is power if you are in the market for a new or “new to you” vehicle.  Here are four key areas you will want to be knowledgeable about.

Know what you can comfortably afford.

Many car buyers don’t realize that securing financing BEFORE shopping offers you more knowledge and leverage when negotiating.  Service Plus can take your application and help you determine YOUR car buying budget that will make sense for YOUR overall financial picture - not the dealer’s.   

Research vehicles based on your needs.

Knowing your needs versus being sold on your wants can lead to an overall better purchase. 

  • What size car do you need?  Do you have a need to haul children, a work load, clients, or just yourself?

  • How do you feel about fuel efficiency?  Learn more about fuel efficient vehicles at 

  • What about safety?  Find out more about the vehicle you’re considering at

  • What additional features are available?  Do you want hands free blue tooth phone calls?  GPS?  Heated seats and mirrors?  Satellite radio?  USB ports?

Understand all the costs.

The full cost of a car is never just the negotiated price.  Be sure to understand the other costs, as well.

  • What are the costs of tax, title and license?  Find this information through your state’s department (or bureau) of motor vehicles.

  • Are there other cost factors to figure in after purchase? True Cost To Own shows the average costs of maintenance, repairs, insurance and more. 

  • What will the car cost?  Visit or  This will also help determine a good private sale or trade in price for any car you currently own that may be part of this transaction.

Have a negotiation strategy.

Having a strategy and understanding the negotiation process can help tremendously. There are many videos online that will give their opinions on how to negotiate.  Be sure you are reviewing tips from a reliable source or you can also ask our loan experts at Service Plus for tips before you go out shopping.

Categories: Financial Smarties

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