Buying a new auto in Florida is a big purchase!
Here are a few helpful tips from American US Insurance to help you in the process of buying your next car:
- Do your research ahead of time. Check out vehicles features and compare prices online. Being knowledgeable will help you negotiate and get the best deal. Most of the manufacturers like Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan & Lexus will show you their best options on their websites and sometimes the dealers will try to keep you away from this information, so pay attention to the details.
- Compare prices with your local Florida dealers. You are not bound to one dealership for simply scouting out the market. Your first option may not be the best one and when shopping the competition let them know about your previous offer, they will try to gain your business by giving you a better price and financing options.
- When leasing a car in Florida, try not to give any money down. My saying is " sign & drive, or no deal". If your credit is strong enough, this is for sure the best choice. When you lease a car, you are only paying a fraction of the vehicle price, for the time of the lease. If you have a total loss accident or the vehicle is stolen and never recovered, you basically lost your down payment because the car is not yours, it belongs to the bank, so they are the ones receiving any insurance money.
- Consider obtaining financing from your bank, rather than the dealerships. Banks and credit unions usually offer better rates than dealerships when financing.
- Always negotiate: The price of the car, terms of your loan, value of your trade in, etc. Bargaining can save you a ton of money. Even on a leased vehicle. Don't focus on monthly payment. Negotiate the vehicle's sale price first and then the interest rate or money factor, in case of a lease.
- Selling your vehicle is better than trading it in. You will always receive more value for your car going the traditional route and selling the vehicle privately.
- If purchasing a used car, always check the vehicle's Carfax. Know the vehicle's prior history like, accidents, airbags deployments or frame damage and flood before you buy, it's very important.
- Consider having the car appraised by a professional. If you decide to trade in your car, then plan ahead and know your vehicle's maximun value. Visit websites like Edmunds for example, where you can get a lot information about this. Even consider taking the car to CarMax for an appraisal. They usually give you a better appraisal value for your car vs. other car dealers.
- Don't buy excessive warranties you don't need. Having an appropriate amount of insurance is always good, but do you really need to purchase an extended warranty plan for a new car, on a 36 month lease program? In my opinion, the answer is simply, NO. Florida car dealers love to sell extra warranties, prepaid maintenance programs, etc. And all new vehicles come with a 36 to 60 months bumper to bumper warranty, depending on the brand and many of them will give you free maintenance. So, it's simply a waste of money if you are leasing and even on a regular purchase, the prepaid maintenance will be an addition to your vehicle's unpaid finance balance. So be selective when choosing extra warranties.
- Test drive the car. Schedule an appointment in advance so the vehicle is ready to go, when you are. Make sure the car is a good fit for you before committing to the big purchase.
- Shop mid-week and early in the morning, not weekends. If you shop during a less busy time, you are potentially the only serious buyer. The car salesman wants to make a sale and might give more wiggle room with negotiations.
- Negotiate the add-on fees. You can save money by negotiating add-on fees like, documentation, delivery cost, tag transfer, advertising and even the so-called dealer fee.
- Finalize details. Make sure to do a final review and walk around of the vehicle to make sure the car is clean and in perfect conditions. Ask any additional questions you may have about features of the vehicle before you drive off from the lot.
Congratulations on your new car purchase from American US Insurance