John Nielsen: Hi! I am John Nielsen with AAA. I am the director of AAA's Approved Auto Repairing Network and AAA's Auto Buying Program. We are here today in Central Florida at Courtesy Acura to talk about buying a car.
In this segment we are going to talk specifically about buying a new car. The first step is to determine what you can afford, and the rule of thumb is that your car payment should run somewhere between 8% and 10% of your monthly income. Online is a great place to research a car. AAA recommends that you visit aaa.
com to find out information on vehicle costs, on their safety ratings, and the actual review of the vehicle. And find which one within that price range works for you.
The next step is to secure a financier. And it's a good idea to have your financing set before you visit the dealer. You can check online, you can check with your local bank or credit union. But that allows you to go in and make sure that you are getting a good rate. If the dealer has a better rate, it's great to use that one. But being informed is what's going to help you through this process, it will help the salesman sell you the car you need and really remove the stress.
The next step is to take a test drive. You have got all your information lined up now go visit the dealership and actually get in the car and take it for a ride. And this shouldn't be just a five minute ride, this should be take it out and drive it like you normally would through traffic, accelerate on the freeway. 15-20 minutes would be great, get a feel for this and make sure that it's the right car for you.
Now, once you have taken your test drive and you have narrowed it down on the vehicle you want, it's time to get an insurance quote. And this is really important because some cars are more expensive to ensure than others and it could put you out of the ring to the car you can afford. So check the insurance, when you have achieved that, now it's time to negotiate. What you want to do is put all that research that you have done up till now to use, to make sure that you get a fair price on the vehicle, that you are getting the add-ons that you want, and that you are going to really enjoy this vehicle long term. And finally, the next step is the best step and that's just to enjoy your purchase. Take it home, you have done a great job.
Now, we have talked about buying a new car. We are going to move on to buying a used car in the next segment.