Car Buying Guide
Listen to the hype—whether it's on TV, online, or in print—and you'd think saving money on a vehicle is as easy and fast as flipping the TV remote. Wrong!
Did you know a dealer or online auto service can sell or lease you a new set of wheels for exactly what the dealer paid the manufacturer and still make $500 to $1,500 on just the car itself?
Did you know that "Zero Percent" financing may cost you more than financing at a bank or credit union—even if the bank or credit union's rate is 7 percent?
Do you hate dealing with dealers and look forward to buying or leasing a vehicle online—or from a buying service—just so you won't have to deal with the dealer yourself? Guess what: you have to deal with a dealer, even if you use a buying service! All new vehicle sales—repeat, all—have to involve a dealer.
Do you think the Internet has made it safer for you to research and/or acquire a new vehicle? Think again! In just the past three years, the entire auto business has been ripped apart, reinvented, and re-launched. "In an instant, your privacy, your money, and your good credit can be stripped away—and that's if you're dealing with the 'good' car guys!" That quote, from the latest edition of my book Don't Get Taken Every Time, sums it up. (Read the Introduction and Chapter 1 of the book.)
That’s why I’ve written this special buying guide for you. For over 20 years, I’ve tracked the inner workings of the auto industry. As President and co-founder of the non-profit Consumer Task Force For Automotive Issues, and as co-founder of the Privacy Rights Now Coalition, I’ve pretty much seen it all when it comes to wacky sales gimmicks, deception and consumer abuse. And, it’s my sworn duty to keep those things from happening to you!
And will this guide work! If you follow this guide, you can probably keep thousands of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket rather than in the dealer's.
A major promise up-front: Know Money? is about educating you, not trying to hype you. This program provides you an oasis from the pressure, confusion and deception that is rampant in the auto industry and on the Web. And it gives you straight answers.
For instance, where is it cheapest to finance? If SECU determines that it would be cheaper and better for you to finance at some other institution, they’ll send you there. Think about that! Do you really think any other financial institution would do that?
SECU makes that promise because their goals are different than the other players in the auto industry. A dealer or their finance sources have two objectives: to sell you their product or service (whether or not it’s the right product for you) and to sell it to you at the maximum price you will pay. SECU's job, on the other hand, is to make sure you buy what’s best for you and to make sure you pay the least for it.
They’re not just being noble, either. Since you own part of the credit union, SECU's financial well-being is linked closely to your financial well-being: when you prosper financially, they prosper.
And since SECU is not-for-profit and owned by you, their prosperity translates into money and benefits for you. Nice!
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