There’s a lot riding on buying the right car. To make the process easier (and help you find a great deal!), we’ve put together some pointers to steer you in the right direction.

Plan ahead: Walk into the dealership already knowing the kind of car you want and the price you’re willing to pay. Research the various makes and models beforehand so you can confidently focus on the ones that fit your needs or budget.

Make a fair trade: If you’re trading in a vehicle, consult with a reliable reference like Kelley Blue BookEdmunds, or NADA. Just plug some basic information into their website and see how much your car is worth.

Get pre-approved: Having an auto loan from a trusted lender like Sun Federal can protect you from overpaying in more ways than one. First, financing from the dealership may include a marked up interest rate. Second, a pre-approved amount can help keep a skilled salesperson from talking you into more car than you really need.

Consider a used car: Opting for a model that’s a few years older can mean lower insurance and fees, not to mention a better overall price. While there’s no way to tell exactly how much you’ll save, it’s safe to say going this route can leave you with more money in your pocket.

Shop around: Don’t feel pressured to say “yes” to every add-on the dealership offers. Some may not be necessary, while others may be available elsewhere at a better price. For example, our Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance is available to our members at a potentially lower cost.

Look for incentives: Some of the best money saving opportunities can fly under the radar, so take a little time before purchasing to search for incentives. These could be available from the manufacturer, dealer, or even your lender.

Remember, while there are plenty of options out there waiting for a test drive, it’s really about knowing what you want and sticking to that. As long as you end up with a vehicle that fits your taste, lifestyle, and budget, you’ll have made a good financial decision.

Ready to get started? Apply online now for pre-approval!