Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Car shopping advice

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - After a house, buying a car may be the most expensive purchase you will make in your lifetime. Here are some details you should keep in mind before deciding to ride out of the dealership in your new car.

When looking at cars, make sure they cost less than 5 percent of your monthly income, and include another 5 percent for operating costs, gasoline, insurance, repairs and maintenance.

“If they have a car, they need to know exactly what their car is worth before trading it in, that’s the best way and also they need to know what their credit score is.” says Car sales associate AJ Taleloveidi.

Secure financing from a bank or credit union in advance so you have something to compare to those the dealership offers.

Also determine if buying or leasing is better for you. There are good deals for leasing a car, but don’t go in blind. All the elements of the lease agreement are negotiable. Keep in mind that if you drive a lot of miles every year, buying a car might be the better option.

So how long should the whole process take?

Taleloveidi stated, “The average time, I would say, it takes about a week to two."

So don’t rush into anything on day one. For younger buyers, keep in mind a 72-month payment plan sounds like a good deal, but it really means you’re paying your car off for the next 6 years.

Finally, be smart about the time you go shopping. The middle of the week and holiday weekends are best. Or the last two to three days of the month when car dealers are trying to hit those end-of-month goals.

These days most car owners keep their cars for five years or more so it is important to make sure you love what you’re buying. And don’t hesitate to ask for more time during your test drive in order to determine everything is working smoothly and you’re comfortable with the model.

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Allentown, PA 18102


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