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Tips to Buying Your First Vehicle

Portrait of a beautiful young woman standing with keys near the red cabriolet at the car parking outdoors. Concept of a happy car buying or renting

Before you start shopping, know how much you can afford. Use our free calculator at inroadscu.org/calculators. That will give you an idea of how much you can realistically fit into your monthly budget and life.

Do You Want New or used?
If you go with a new car, be sure to do your homework and look for special incentives and offers. Choosing a used car is the most financially smart way to drive into college and to your first job. The most affordable vehicles will be upwards of 10 years old.

Before you buy anything, make sure the vehicle is dealer certified. If you’re buying from a private party, take your potential car to a mechanic and have it checked out. For less than $100, most mechanics will tell you everything that is wrong and right with a used car and whether you should buy it. They may even tell you what it’s worth.

Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle
Car prices are not fixed. There is always room to negotiate. If you think the car is worth less than what they are asking, make a counteroffer.

Take a Test Drive
Don’t forget to check the air conditioner and heater, radio (including aux and Bluetooth input), spare tire, and back seat. These are often overlooked in the excitement of first-car ownership.

Finance or Pay Cash
Depending on your income, we may be able to help you finance your first car or truck. Apply today at inroadscu.org/auto-boat-rv.