Tips to Getting A Good Car Deal:
1. Do your homework. Read "Consumer Report" magazine's auto buying issue (usually in April). Research auto buying and evaluation sites/books and articles. Check out: Buying Advice.com The time invested can save money and help avoid repair headaches in the future.
2. Don't buy on impulse. Impulse decisions usually cost extra cash. Sleep on it -- buying a car is a big investment. Make sure you are buying the right car, for the right price, at the right term*. ICCU loan officers can help you with this process.
2. Visit your credit union BEFORE you shop. You can count on your credit union to give you solid financial support and direction. Conversations are always free!
3. Get pre-approved to shop with confidence. Spending 15 minutes BEFORE you shop with an ICCU loan officer to get pre-approved will help you negotiate your best deal.
4. If visiting a dealership -- insist on ICCU financing. Many dealers submit your financing request to numerous financial institutions, which may alter your credit score, and most certainly increases inquiries on your credit report. Stick with ICCU, and tell the dealer you are working with that you "insist on ICCU financing," for your best deal, and only one inquiry on your credit report.
5. Protect Your Credit: If visiting a local auto dealer, direct them to "not pull a credit report on you." Its not unheard of that your credit report is being pulled as you test drive a vehicle, even if you did not ask for financing. Doing so may also negatively impact your credit score.
Protect your credit, protect your financial information and get pre-approved at ICCU before you shop. We will keep your financial information safe.
5. Avoid Being Upside Down: ICCU is conscious not to put one into vehicle loan that will put them "upside down" or "under water." For example, low payments sound super affordable for 84 months. The problem is, if you wish to trade it in after 3-4 years, you may owe more on the loan that the vehicle is worth. ICCU's loan officers will help you obtain low-cost financing at reasonable terms, so you don't end up in a challenging financial situation just because you want to drive and own a quality vehicle.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Car
By Sam Smith of MSN Autos
Not everyone is familiar with the subtleties of selling a car, truck or SUV. If you're not careful, it can be little more than an opportunity to lose an awful lot of money. Even seasoned pros make costly mistakes. Here are 10 things not to do if you want to get the most money from what you're selling, no matter the car or the circumstances.
Don’t show a dirty car.
It may sound obvious, but a clean car is easier to sell than a dirty one. The logic is simple: People like buying new things, and few people want someone else's lived-in, worn-out garbage. We're not just talking a simple wash and wax here, either. Go for the works: paint cleaning and polishing, interior shampooing, the works. If you do it yourself, it's free — that is, pure profit — and if you pay someone, it's rarely more than $100. Either way, presenting a clean car makes it easier to convince people that your vehicle is worth what you claim it is.
Don’t waste money on repairs prior to sale.
This one is a personal choice. Some people sell their cars with a laundry list of needs, while others fix everything under the sun before moving on. The key, however, is moderation. No one wants to buy a car and immediately send it to the mechanic, but you shouldn't go overboard. Err on the side of safety and driver enjoyment, but don't spend money on things few people will notice, like early filter replacements or unnecessary fluid flushes.
Advertise and Photograph Well
In real estate its location, location, location…in car sales, its advertising, advertising, advertising. Take time composing your advertisement. Take time when taking photographs of your vehicle. Think about the buyer and what they would need to know and want to see. The key is remembering that somewhere out there, someone desperately wants your car. You may just have to work to find that buyer.
Don’t sell at the wrong time.
For most people, a car purchase isn't taken lightly. You'd think the month you sell your car wouldn't be that important, but it is. Don't sell a car in winter, when people aren't inclined to stand outside to look at it. Don't sell at the beginning or end of the month, when bills are due and most people don't have ready cash, and avoid tax season for the same reason.
Don’t trade it in at the dealer.
No matter how friendly the salesperson or how much money you spend, one thing is for sure: The dealer will never give you what your used car is worth. Commercial resale margins for used cars are notoriously thin, and it's always in the dealer's best interest to low ball you, even if it decreases the chances of a sale. You'll almost always get more on the open market. The only exception is if you're fabulously wealthy and don't mind giving up thousands of dollars for the sake of convenience.
Don’t offer untrustworthy proof of condition.
Knowledge is power, and when it comes to used cars, the more you know, the more powerful you feel. Few things lure a buyer like a pre-purchase inspection from a reputable source. Pre-purchase inspections are relatively cheap — usually $70-$120 at your local auto dealer — and give both you and the buyer a third-party verification of your car's condition. You also increase the chance that the car will be bought on the spot, which decreases the amount of time someone will spend thinking about whether your asking price is worth it.
Don’t be unprepared to show it.
Let's paint a picture: Joe Car Buyer shows up at your house, license in hand, ready to test drive your car. The car is in the garage, buried under bicycles and assorted lawn equipment. The kids are running around the driveway screaming. The records are somewhere inside, but you can't find them, so you have Joe sit at your kitchen table while you scramble around for half an hour. Preparedness and forethought go a long way.
Don’t put too much or too little stock in “blue book” values.
Comforting though they may be, published estimates of used-car values, such as the Kelley Blue Book, are just that: estimates. Because they're based on high-volume, often sight-unseen auction sales, such numbers aren't always accurate. If the car is in any way special — a low-production model, for example — its estimated value could be low by as much as several thousand dollars. By the same token, if your car is a worn-out rat, even the lowest published number isn't going to be correct. Your car is worth what someone pays on the day of sale — no more, no less.
Don’t hold back the sale because you don't like the potential buyer.
Don't laugh; it's a common mistake. Many people assume that they have to like the person they're selling their car to, especially if they have an emotional attachment to the vehicle in question. It's not true. You're peddling a machine, not auditioning for a soul mate. A difficult person may make negotiations unpleasant, but at the end of the day, cash is all that matters. If someone has interest and money, move that metal. If not, move on. It's as simple as that.