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4 Tips for Buying a Car from the Dealer

Are you in the market for a new vehicle? Should you buy from a private seller or a dealership? Our very own Mike Noyes has some tips for buying from a dealership. Mike is one of our loan officers in Bozeman. Before working with our members, Mike sold cars for a dealership in Bozeman, so he is the perfect person to help you navigate the ins and outs of car dealerships. Here are Mike's best tips to help you find the best deal to get you on the road.

Use your local resources

Mike is your man! Utilize Mike and other personal loan officers at RMCU as resources throughout the car-buying process. Mike can book out the vehicle for you—this is a detailed invoice process that compares the car's details—like current condition, odometer reading, and location—to make sure the price you’re paying matches the vehicle's value. When you know the actual value, you can better decide what you are willing to pay. This way, you know if the dealership is giving you a fair price on the vehicle. 


Apply to prequalify

Have you had the experience of spending hours at the dealership while they process financing, upsell you with products and warranties, and take those special "trips to see the manager" so they can get you the best deal? You can cut out a lot of that back-and-forth with prequalified financing. Mike recommends getting prequalified before stepping foot in the dealership. 


If you work with Mike at the credit union, he will pull your credit score and let you know what rate you qualify for, so when the dealer does the same thing, you already know what to expect. This way, you can get the best rate on your loan and hit the easy button on buying the car at the dealer. 


Car loan application


Get the Details on the Vehicle

Get a Carfax report and call Mike to talk about it. Where did it come from? How many owners? Any accidents? When was it purchased? Did it come from an auction? All these factors will help you decide whether or not the vehicle is right for you. The Carfax report will also tell you how long the dealer has had the car. This gives you more bargaining power. They will be much more eager to bargain when it’s been sitting on the lot for months or longer. 


Mind the GAP

Dealerships offer many products to protect your purchase, but so does your financial institution—usually for less money. For example, GAP insurance is about half the price with your financial institution instead of getting it through the dealer. Financial institutions also offer auto warranties, and they usually cost less too. 


Buying a car can seem overwhelming. There is so much information to know, and it seems impossible to learn everything. The best thing to do is to come into your neighborhood RMCU branch or call in and talk to a loan officer. They will answer all your questions and help you get on the right track to purchasing your new vehicle. Reach out to RMCU before buying your next car from the dealership, and get your keys with way less hassle. 


Woman with keys to a new car


Non RMCU links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Rocky Mountain Credit Union of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. RMCU bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external sites.

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