Five Ways to Turbo-Charge Your Car Shopping Process

According to a consumer survey conducted by the Ohio Credit Union League, more than 23% of Ohio consumers are considering purchasing a vehicle this year. And rather than pay cash, 83% are more likely to finance that vehicle.

When asked what factors respondents considered when vehicle shopping:

  • 67 percent said monthly payment is the biggest influence on their decision
  • 61 percent of participants, gas mileage is the most important issue
  • 47 percent said consumer reviews are important in their decision-making process.

Other aspects considered when shopping for a vehicle including a safety rating, vehicle’s history report, and general aesthetics.

It’s no surprise gas mileage is at the top of consumers’ minds. According to Time Magazine’s Everyday Money, after a slight gas-tax increase (to 31.3 cents per gallon) took effect January 1, the average cost of a gallon of gas in the Buckeye State is $2.03. Up from $1.49 a year ago.

Tips to Stretch Your dollar When Car Shopping

When it comes time to purchase that new vehicle, here are a few ways to turbo-charge your car shopping process and make budgeting a bit easier:

  • Consider using part of your tax refund. The more money you’re able to put down on a car, the smaller the loan and ultimately, the less you pay in interest over the life of the loan.
  • Get pre-approved. Before car shopping, get pre-approved. This will give you more power to negotiate on the purchase price of the vehicle and tells you how much you can afford before you shop. Saving you time and money.
  • Budget ahead. As a rule-of-thumb, do not allow a monthly payment for a vehicle to exceed 12 to 16 percent of your gross monthly income. Check out our handy calculator to estimate your payments.
  • Consider the total cost of ownership. When car shopping, consider the cost of insurance and maintenance. Also, keep in mind that a high-end vehicle typically costs more to insure and maintain.
  • Shield yourself from the unexpected. We offer Loan Shield to protect your loan (and you) which includes items like an extended warranty and Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) and more.

Want more tips and money-saving ideas?

Schedule a FREE ACCOUNT review today and see how much more FFCCU can save you!