Shopping for financing before you purchase your next car might
seem counterintuitive. Your impulse may be to buy first and worry
about making payments later. But there are several reasons to
crunch numbers before crunching gravel during the test drive.
First, prequalifying for a car loan just as you would for
a home mortgage lets you know what you can afford. Second,
comparing loan rates, leasing and financing options lets you determine
how to best pay for the vehicle.
Although interest rates on car loans have been relatively stable,
the size of the average auto loan is increasing, according to
the Federal Reserve Board. Basically, the rates are moving up
with auto prices, so this makes finding the lowest rate even more
As the price of new cars has climbed,
used vehicles have become more popular than ever. Theyre
also more expensive than ever, inflation aside. But thanks to
engineering strides, vehicles have never been more durable and
maintenance free, and previously owned vehicles are
no less a value.
Because new vehicles lose such a high percentage of their value
as soon as theyre driven off a dealers lot, used vehicles
have always appealed to practical buyers. But there has forever
been a concern about buying someone elses problems.
With the introduction of Certified
Used-Car Programs, the advantages of buying a new car seem
to be dwindling. If its important to you to drive a brand
new car and get ready to inhale that inimitable new-car
However, if value is your goal, explore this used-car resource,
learn how not to get burned and then turn the key on our Used
Cars for Sale listings.
As a first step, you might consider test-driving some sellers.
Are we serious? You bet. Car shopping taxes your energy and time.
If you hire a mechanic to inspect a prospective purchase
as we strongly recommends it can also tax
your savings. With the number of used cars on the market, youd
best narrow your search and concentrate only on the ones with
the most promise. Two great methods are Test-Driving
the Seller and Test-Driving
the Cars: ruling out sellers that arent worth a visit
as well as cars that arent worth a professional inspection.