Serving members worldwide since 1935.

Buying a car

  • Do your homework
  • Get pre-approved
  • Use our car-buying services

Get up to 100% financing on your new or used auto with terms up to 72 months (restrictions apply).

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Should I lease or purchase a car?
How much will my auto payments be?
Should I take a rebate or low-cost financing?
Should I accelerate my auto payments?
How much car can I afford?

Whether you're set on that new-car smell or just a new-to-you ride, it pays to do your research before you go shopping for a vehicle.

Check out great deals, read reviews, and compare prices at TrueCar® Car-Buying Service. Research and locate the perfect vehicle that best fits your needs.

Guaranteed savings when buying a car in 3 simple steps.

1. See what others paid; Tell us what you're looking for and we'll show you how much others paid for their car, so you know you're always getting a fair price.

2. Maximize your savings through accessing thousands of public dealer and factory incentives, including exclusive incentives only available through TrueCar, to save you more money.

3. Choose your vehicle and your assigned sales advisors will scour local inventory and present you with vehicles that match what you're looking for.

While pricing information is essential, we also understand that price isn't the only thing that matters when buying a car. You also want a great experience. So, we partnered with TrueCar who works with a national network of more than 11,000+ dealers (representing just under 20% of all franchised dealers) who share the belief that truth, transparency and fairness are the foundation of a great car-buying experience. Additionally, TrueCar partners with some of the nation’s largest and most respected membership and service organizations including AAA and Consumer Reports to help educate our members about the automotive market and any additional savings and incentives that may be available.

There are no fees for this service.

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Before car shopping, determine what you can afford. Experts suggest all of your monthly loan payments should be less than 40% of your gross or pre-tax income. Find out how much you can afford.

Once you know what you can afford, look for models that match your needs. Factors to consider include reliability, safety and fuel efficiency. Check a car model’s reliability on Consumer Reports or Edmunds.com. To check a car’s safety rating, visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's web site. Compare the fuel efficiency of models that interest you at fueleconomy.gov, the U.S. Department of Energy.

When buying from a private party or a used car lot, be sure to get a clear title history and insist on a mechanic inspection. Find out who owned it previously and ask for maintenance and repair records.

After closing the deal, you have more than a new car: you also have a credit history. It’s important to take good care of it by making all your payments on time. Sign up for payroll deduction so your loan payment will automatically be deducted from your account each month.

Once you've researched reliability, frequency of repairs and safety data on your favorite models, you can balance style against practicality and determine which ones make the cut for a test drive.

Approach the test drive with a clear head, and remind yourself this is only one of several you may like. Settling yourself on a specific make or model in advance makes it difficult to accurately evaluate a vehicle, much less negotiate a deal on one.

When you get behind the wheel, see if the car has what you need in terms of power, interior space , safety features, and ease of entry and exit. Then be on the lookout for excessive wind or engine noise, heavy or imprecise steering, poor gas mileage, sloppy fit (trim, molding, etc.), unreadable instruments and clumsy controls or levers.

You’ll also want to consider whether the car fits your lifestyle. Will your luggage fit in the trunk? Are there enough seats or cargo space? Lastly, local parts and service, and a solid warranty, are important factors to consider.

We've all heard about zero percent financing from the dealer. The automobile manufacturers’ rates seem great. What could be wrong with them? Plenty, if you take a look at the fine print.

  • These low rates are often available only to those with the best credit records. One small credit blemish and the rate goes up.
  • Many of the companies are offering these low rates for loans with shorter terms (36 months or less). That increases the amount of your monthly car payments.
  • The rates are sometimes offered only on "selected” models, which are usually not the most popular models.
  • Consider the total cost of the loan too. Will you be charged an application fee? Is there a prepayment penalty? Would you be required to pay front-loaded interest, that is, pay more of the interest earlier in the loan? You may carry a larger principal balance longer, meaning at some point the value of the car could be less than the balance of the loan.

How to Find the Best Deal

Your best deal could come from skipping the low dealer rate, taking the rebate the dealer is offering, and financing your vehicle through your credit union. Why?

  • You start off with a lower loan amount if you take the rebate, saving you money in finance costs.
  • You could get lower monthly payments with your credit union, because low auto loan rates are available for loans with longer terms as well as short ones.
  • You may save money on the total cost of the loan, because credit unions don’t charge application fees or prepayment penalties, and they charge simple interest, meaning you pay down your principal balance at a faster rate.
  • See your credit union before you sign any financing agreement a dealership offers you.

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