Hold Down Costs When Purchasing a Vehicle

Whether you’re buying a new or used car, careful research and planning will help you get the right vehicle without the one option nobody wants: onerous monthly payments.

Here are some ways to save money:

* Check on reliability–Nothing can torpedo a budget like unexpected repair costs. The annual Consumer Reports car reliability survey cites both overall ratings and specific problems. If you’re a paid subscriber to the magazine or online service, go to http://www.consumerreports.org.

* Look at continuing costs–Although insurance and gasoline costs are continuous, new-car depreciation–the value it loses each year–is a major factor. Edmunds.com summarizes these variables in a feature called True Cost to Own, accessible on their home page. A vehicle that costs less to buy now than a competitor may in fact cost more to own over a five-year period.

* Negotiate hard–Reduce your purchase price by looking for the dealer cost or “invoice price” on sites like Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com). Then aim for a selling price before any rebate of no more than 2% over the invoice price. Better yet, talk to us at Hopewell Federal Credit Union about pre-approving your auto loan before you even start to shop for a car.

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