Are New Wheels Calling You?

Sep 15, 2014 ​

Create a Budget

A monthly auto payment should be no more than 20% of your gross monthly income. And know your credit score up front. Use our online payment calculators to help you see which vehicles fit your budget.

Research Online

Try not to let emotions drive your purchase decision; assess the facts, instead. Review pricing, different option packages, safety, and even long-term cost of ownership. Use the AutoSMART site to view detailed vehicle information and links you?ll need when researching new, used, and pre-owned vehicles.

What Did the Dealer Pay?

Knowing a new vehicle invoice price can help you negotiate a better deal. Research new vehicles using the AutoSMART website. Know the wholesale and retail values on used cars; the trade-in values section can help you.

Whittle Down Costs

Be a smart consumer; add up vehicle option costs and subtract applicable rebates or incentives. Used or certified pre-owned vehicles are a smart option for the value-conscious. If you have a trade-in, find out how much it is worth, and research trade-in values.

Contact the Dealer for Online Pricing

Contact dealers for vehicle pricing and availability first. The online program provides you with someone from start to finish of your vehicle purchase process to ensure that you get a better deal.


Negotiate up from invoice, not down from ?sticker? price on a new vehicle. On used vehicles, negotiate up from wholesale value, not down from retail value.

Credit Union Financing Is Usually Your Best Bet

Don't be taken in by 0% or low-interest rate financing, learn more here. Or, if you are ready, apply for financing.

Test Drive

Always take a test drive in a car you are thinking of buying, even if it?s new. With a used vehicle, you should request a conditioning report and have your own mechanic inspect the vehicle.

Close the Deal

Have the dealer show you the price for your trade separate from the deal; dealers often package the amount offered on your trade with the final figure of your monthly payment.


You will hear about ways to protect your vehicle or loan. Of all the choices, we recommend that you consider the following two:

Access the best tools available to inform yourself; you can get the car you want easily!

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