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Top Car-Buying Don'ts

Here are some common mistakes that you want to avoid during the car buying process. Keep these car-buying don'ts in mind to help you get the best deal possible on your new car.

  • Falling in love with one car model. Many people get hung up on a single car model, which prevents them from looking at comparable vehicles that might be a better deal. When you apply for your auto car loan and do your car shopping, make sure your model choices are practical. For example, you might want the look of a large SUV, but your long commute to work would make your fuel costs sky-high.
  • Purchasing too much car. This is one car-buying "don't" that pre-approval for an auto car loan can help you avoid. Some car buyers end up getting conned into "low monthly payments" on a car that they cannot afford at the dealership. To avoid this, decide on the exact amount of car you can afford, get a pre-approved auto car loan for that amount, and stick to it.
  • Not doing your homework. Research is so important prior to going into the car buying or auto car loan shopping process. Before you even set foot on a car lot, you should have done extensive research on market auto car loan interest rates, vehicle models, dealer invoice prices of the cars you will be looking at, and any dealer or manufacturer incentives available currently. Also look into vehicle insurance costs and safety records.
  • Financing at the dealership. The convenience of this option is not worth the expense. Don't get lured into a 0% auto car loan offer, for which you might not even qualify. Even if you do, you will be limited to a shorter loan term, which means drastically higher payments. You will also likely pay a higher price for the vehicle and will forgo any rebates.
  • Not test-driving the car. Though most people wouldn't buy a suit without first trying it on, some people buy a car after only a quick jaunt around the block or no test drive at all. Take the car out for a real drive to see how it performs on surface streets and in highway conditions.