By Robin Marsh, NEWS 9
Looking for a new car? It's no longer time to talk sticker shock. Many people now are considering how much gas is going to cost too. Bankrate.com has these tips when car shopping:
CONSIDER BUYING A USED CAR
You might want to think about used cars. Experts say a new car can lose up to 30 percent of its value the moment you drive it off the lot. The best deal may be a car that has low mileage and is only two or three years old.
CONSIDER FUEL COSTS
No one can tell us where gas prices are heading. Cars with higher fuel ratings may stretch your gas dollar further. Also, be aware that for 2008, the government economy ratings have been revised downward to better reflect the actual mileage the car gets. One way to avoid getting burned on your next car purchase is to shop best loans online.
SHOP FOR LOANS ONLINE
Have your financing in place before you set foot on a dealer's lot. A good resource should be your credit union, which typically has the lowest rates. Another place to shop is the Internet, where lenders offer essentially preapproved loan checks that you can take directly to the dealer.
CLEAN UP YOUR TRADE-IN
Look at your vehicle as if you were a shopper. Is it clean? Does the paint shine? Are there dings that could be cheaply fixed? The difference between a car that looks well cared for and one that looks a little shabby can be thousands of dollars. Also, if you still owe money on your trade-in, make sure you can get enough to pay off the loan. Don't roll the balance into the loan on your new car.
If filling up your SUV is draining your pocketbook, there's not much great news. If you are thinking about a trade-in for your SUV think again. A study by CNW Marketing Research says dealers will welcome you with open arms when you come to buy that new car, but they'll treat your SUV trade-in as if it has the plague; because it's going to sit on that used-car lot for an eternity - if not longer. If you bring a full-size SUV in to trade, you'll find that it's worth about $3,000 less now that gas is $4 a gallon than it was a year ago.
WIDEN YOUR SHOPPING LIST
It's quite understandable that many car shoppers go directly to Toyota or Honda, given the impressive record of reliability that both of those brands have. But the truth of the marketplace is that the domestic manufacturers have closed the quality gap and have vehicles that favorably compare. Given the push by Detroit manufacturers to regain market share, some of the best deals of 2008 can be found there and that is the Power for your Pocketbook.