Buying a vehicle on your terms

– Let’s talk
evaluating and buying vehicles. Before you buy, be sure to test drive. Make sure all parts of the vehicle work. Check the body for any structural damage and ask for a vehicle history report. So the vehicle fits your lifestyle
and you are ready to buy. You’re not quite done yet. In many dealerships,
it’s time to negotiate. You should already know
what the vehicle is worth and how much other dealers in the area are selling similar vehicles for. You’ll want to negotiate
the price of the vehicle before talking about financing or disclosing a down payment amount. Make sure to negotiate the
overall price of the vehicle not just the monthly payment. This is because a lower monthly payment but longer term length
can lead to paying more over the life of your loan. If the dealer isn’t
willing to negotiate price, gives you pushback, or requests to gets
you financed elsewhere, especially at lesser terms,
you can always walk away. Already have preapproval, great! Make sure not to sign
a credit application. You’ve already secured
financing for your purchase, you don’t need the dealer’s assistance in securing financing from a lender. If you sign a credit application, you give them the right
to obtain your credit file and share your information
with other lenders. This can lead to excessive
inquiries on your credit report, which may bring down your credit score. The dealer will likely try
to sell you add-on products which may be unnecessary. Extended vehicle service
contracts, GAP insurance, and theft deterrents are
all completely optional, regardless of how the
dealership presents them. Guaranteed Asset Protection, commonly referred to as GAP Insurance, helps to pay remaining balances
that your insurance won’t, in the case that your
car is totaled or stolen. GAP Insurance may be helpful
because insurance companies will often pay the actual value of the car at the time it is totaled or stolen, rather than what you paid for it. Extended vehicle service contracts, also known as extended warranty, provide warranty beyond
the manufacture’s warranty and theft deterrent, also called LoJack. This GPS device helps
find stolen vehicles, and even if it comes pre-installed, you can opt not to
activate it and be charged. While it’s a good idea to
consider purchasing add-ons, make sure that you research add-on prices to ensure that you’re paying
a fair price for them. Just remember, that if
you feel uncomfortable, you can choose to walk away. And lastly, remember, California
has no cooling off period. Most dealerships will not allow the return of a purchased vehicle, so take your time and buy on
your terms, not anyone else’s.