Making a trip to the dealership to purchase a vehicle can be simple and complicated at the same time. Simple, because nine times out of ten, you already have a good idea of what type of car you want to purchase. Complicated, because there’s much more to the car-buying process than walking into a dealership, selecting your dream car with cash in hand, and immediately driving it off the lot into the sunset. As good as that sounds, that’s generally not how it works.
So before you walk through those dealership doors, here are five important things that may help you purchase your new or used vehicle:
Your credit score.
Regardless of what kind of credit history you have, it’s good to know your credit score before you begin shopping around. This will give you a better idea of what your vehicle financing options are. You can obtain one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies by visiting annualcreditreport.com or calling 877-322-8228. You can also get your credit score from the national credit reporting companies, but they will charge you a fee for your score.
Before visiting the dealership, it’s important to determine what you can afford that will comfortably cover the cost of purchasing the vehicle along with the rest of your monthly expenses.
Your financing options.
As we mentioned earlier, knowing your credit score will help give you an idea of your options for vehicle financing. If you’re a credit-challenged car buyer (someone with bad credit or no credit history), you may be eligible for subprime auto financing. To help you get started, fill out this short form on our website.
Your car options/pricing.
Shopping around, comparing prices and doing your research on potential vehicles can help you determine which option is most suitable for your needs.
Your current car’s trade-in value.
If you’re trading your car in for a newer vehicle, you should know its worth. On Kelley Blue Book, you can get a sense of the value ahead of time so you know whether or not you’re receiving a good offer.
If you are currently shopping around for a vehicle but need credit approval, there are nearby dealers enrolled on the Credit Acceptance program who can help you get started today!