For many families, a motor vehicle purchase is a major investment. Yet many of us shop for a vehicle with little knowledge of what we need or need to know.
Be an informed consumer when purchasing a new vehicle:
1. Know the value of the vehicle you are purchasing. Check the value with vehicle pricing guides, such as Kelly Blue Book, NADA Appraiser Guide, Edmunds or your local newspaper, which will give you a good idea of what the purchase price for vehicles are currently in your neighborhood.
2. Do your homework before negotiating the price with the dealer. Know the invoice price of the vehicle prior to purchase.
3. Shop around for financing. Protect yourself from being charged an unreasonable and unnecessarily high interest rate when purchasing a new car. You have the right to finance a car with a lender that is not associated with the dealership. Compare rates with your local banks, credit unions and the Internet, and choose the lowest annual percentage rate.
4. Read and understand your retail installment contract. NEVER sign a blank contract or document.
5. Read and understand your vehicle’s warranty. AS IS means just that, the vehicle is purchased as is and if you drive off the lot and it breaks down it s not the dealer’s responsibility to fix the vehicle it is yours.
6. Know what incentives or rebates that you might qualify for, such as military, college, or customer loyalty rebates. Some rebates are tied to financing and may only be available to consumers with good credit.
7. Evaluate your financial situation. Determine how much you can afford to finance and spend on a monthly payments, operation, insurance, and maintenance.
Some of the most common questions we receive regarding new car purchases are listed below:
1. Is there a “cooling off” period on vehicle purchases in the State of Arkansas?
2. The dealer states I must put down more money to get approved financing is this true?
3. I bought a vehicle AS IS and I drove it off the lot and it broke down, doesn’t the dealer have to fix it or give me a different working vehicle?