USC Credit Union Blog

USC Credit Union Blog

Stop Making These 5 Car Buying Mistakes


Shopping for a new car has never been easier. 

There’s never been greater access to information on everything from make, model, fuel efficiency, past accidents and more to help you make the right decision.

Yet, consumers continue to make the same buying mistakes. 

Are you guilty of these? 

Only shopping at one dealership 

Experts say three dealerships is the minimum to compare deals. Be fully transparent in letting each dealership know who else you’ve spoken with and what they’ve offered.  


Not checking out the dealership’s internet department 

Yes, dealerships have online departments. It’s a great way to skip the time spent waiting at the dealership negotiating a price. Send an email detailing exactly what you are looking for, including the price you want to pay, then sit back and wait for the follow-up emails and calls.  


Not making the most of the test drive 

Is anyone comfortable during those few minutes driving the car with the salesperson in the back? Are you really testing it for your lifestyle? Have a checklist in mind as you drive and see if it’s hitting all your needs; for example, is it easy to get in and out of for every family member? Is the tech intuitive and user friendly? Make another appointment to test drive the car again after the initial test drive, so you can recheck all those little things you noticed the first time around, and maybe find some things you didn’t notice. That way, you can decide if these undesirable qualities are something you can live with, or something that will drive you nuts long term. 


Not calling your insurance agent 

There are other factors to consider when figuring out how much your new car will cost. Will your insurance premium increase? Will you need GAP insurance? A simple call will go a long way in determining if the car is a good fit for your budget. Don’t forget to check how the new car’s gas mileage compares to your current vehicle, and if tires and other maintenance requirements will cost more.


Choosing one-stop shopping convenience

Don’t just accept the dealership financing. If you don’t shop around, you may end up spending more. Look into financing with your local credit union.


Ready to hit the road? No matter the destination, USC Credit Union will get you there, with low rates, flexible payment, and personalized service to get you the ride you're dreaming of.

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