LCU helps you pick your perfect vehicle in just five simple steps

Finding the “perfect” vehicle sounds cut-and-dry, but the process is actually much more involved than just pinpointing the best-looking car you can find. In fact, there is no such thing as a “perfect” vehicle, but there very well could be one that is perfect for you. Follow the tips below for finding a new or used car, truck, SUV or van that will best suit you for years to come.

1. Assess your needs. Think “practical,” not “pretty” (although ideally your “perfect” car would be both). Consider your current and future answers to questions such as:

  • How many passengers do you need to carry?
  • What type of driving do you do—highway, city, off-road, all-weather?
  • Do you have a long commute necessitating better fuel economy?
  • What safety/cargo features are important to you?
  • How much garage or parking space do you have?

2. Set a budget. Before you even lay eyes on a vehicle you will need to discern your overall financial plan. Figuring out how much you pay per month for other things (i.e. rent, utilities, groceries, etc.) compared to your income will give you an idea of what you can afford toward a car payment.

You also shouldn’t just take the price written on the windshield at face value. Just like with any big purchase, there are long-term costs you need to think about. Before signing on the dotted line for anything, estimate ownership costs for the long haul, including depreciation, insurance, maintenance and fuel costs overall.

3. Look at other cars in the class. Be flexible. If you see a car on the street that strikes your fancy, check out auto retailers’ websites for tools to help you identify, research and compare similar vehicles. There may be one that is a better fit for you.

4. Set up a test drive. This is one of the most important parts of your vehicle search. After you scour the internet for local availability, call or e-mail the dealership to schedule a test drive. While you’re there, drive the car how you would during your everyday life, be that in mountainous terrain or stop-and-go traffic. Try out each seat for comfort that meets your standards. Feel carefully for the smoothness of the ride, and keep the radio off while driving so as to listen for the engine hum.

5. Make your choice. If your decision isn’t clear after test driving several cars (never try out just one; you need to compare), sleep on it. If you still can’t decide, go back to the drawing board and re-think your priorities.

With any luck, after following steps 1–5, you will have found your “perfect” car! Not only will you be able to drive easier knowing that you did your homework, but if you finance your auto through direct lenders like us here at LCU, you can remain confident that you got a great value by saving with our great low rates!

In contrast, dealers and manufacturers often promote eye-catching rate offers, like 0% financing, but be cautious—there may be hidden fees built into the invoice in order not to lose money on the promotion. Often times, these low rate offers are available in lieu of customer cash rebates. Autotrader.com cautions that these low dealer rates may also cause them to be more tightfisted while negotiating; and Kelley Blue Book states that further stipulations may apply, as well, such as requiring a shorter-term loan (meaning higher monthly payments) or an unblemished credit report to qualify. Meanwhile, at LCU we know that nobody is perfect, so we work with all of our loan applicants to find the best possible deal and a better auto financing package overall for everyone.

For more advice from LCU’s friendly and helpful auto loan professionals, or to start the process of taking advantage of what we offer, don’t hesitate to call 1-800-649-4646. You can also find more information, and even apply for a loan, on our website: leominstercu.com/loans/auto-loan.