Whether you’re buying a new or used car, the advice of Jerry Hirsch (@LaTimesJerry) in his article, The Keys to Car Buying Success, provides a step by step guide to getting the best deal. From a pre-bankruptcy planning step or even after bankruptcy, a little planning can save you thousands. I recently bought a newer car (#protip I never buy NEW cars) and I intuitively followed Jerry’s guide because I’m always on the lookout for the best deal.
Research and time are the foundational keys to getting the best deal. I’ll add that I found a website that told be whether I was getting a bargain, CarGurus. Use this site to search out the car you’re looking for and you’ll see the best deals. Another tip is to expand your search because you never know whether your best deal is in your town or not too far away that you can’t just take a drive. I found my car in Escondido and saved thousands taking a short drive. Your research knowledge must include the cost of maintenance, repairs, insurance and registration costs for the car because you have to include these into your budget so that you know exactly what you can afford. Check with your insurance company for a few insurance quotes before you buy that car so you’re not shocked about this mandatory expense.
If you need financing, get approved before you start shopping. You can also shop for the best interest rates too. Usually, a credit union will give you the best interest rate whether you have great credit or not. Don’t worry if you just completed a bankruptcy case, there will be offers in the mail to finance a car, but don’t accept them. Instead, research and then selectively apply where lowest interest rates are found.