Car shopping is not something you do everyday. So to do it right you need to study. We all get a little faint and our heart begins to pound when the new cars are introduced annually. But in reality black people need to make sure they are getting the right car for the right price. So again, you need to study both the car and how you will finance it.
Financing a car is not difficult. There is a lender for every credit score. But are you getting the right deal for your credit score? Are you working with the right lender? As African-Americans we need to be on our toes because we are often unfairly treated when it comes to lending institutions.
According the Center for Responsible Lending African Americans and Latinos will attempt to negotiate the price of a loan with car dealers more often than white consumers. Latinos and African-Americans reported negotiating, 39 percent and 32 percent respectively, their interest rate. But in comparison only 22 percent of white respondents attempted this negotiation. But white car buyers still secured lower interest rates. This held true even when credit scores were comparable.
Black and Latinos car buyers also reported more instances of receiving misleading information and they were nearly twice as likely as white consumers to be sold multiple add-on products, services and warranties. To see all the dirty laundry you need to download the full report here.
The next step in buying a car is to make sure you get the right car. Again you need to study, shop and compare. A car salesman once told me to never go into a dealership without having at least three cars on your shopping list that will suit your needs and your budget. Your dream car may not be the right car for you but if the salesman sees that gleam in your eye he knows he’s got you! Study, shop and compare cars before you make a final decision. Here are the two best auto comparison sites and I encourage black people to use these tools to focus your shopping and get better informed about the vehicle you want, competing models.
Kelly Blue Book – For some car sales people this is the Holy Grail of car sales. The first thing many of them do when they talk about a car is the Kelly Blue Book value, re-sale value and quality ratings. Almost everyone has heard of this website and publication. The KBB comparison tool itself is fairly simple and allows you to select your make, model, year, and trim for all the cars on your list. Once you have your selected cars on the comparison list you’ll be able to see and compare everything you want to know about each one. KBB’s comparison tool will show you how much you’ll likely pay for a vehicle, mileage and warranty information. Compared to other websites the comparison function is fairly basic but it is still useful and a good place to begin your car buying odyssey. And of course everyone trusts Kelly Blue Book.
Edmunds.com – Edmunds’ car comparison tool is as easy as KBB and it too permits side-by-side comparisons of vehicles rather than researching one vehicle at a time. Edmunds.com allows the car shopper to compare up to four cars at once. As I said its fairly basic but it is enough to deliver a good amount of data for your informed shopping. There has been some questions about the site’s impartiality and suspect pricing results so be aware of that going in.
Being a smart car buyer means that you start shopping before you leave home. Make a list of the size, features, technology and gas mileage you are looking for. Don’t be stuck on a single brand. Look for the sales and discounts. Don’t hesitate to mention you have your eye on another car at another dealership and ask the salesman if he will match his competitor’s price. Focus on getting the best deal as much as getting the car you want. Another good idea is to get pre-approved financing. That will help you to stay firm on the price. And don’t be pressured.
Buying a car based on looks alone is like marrying a beauty queen only to discover too late she is a nut case with expensive tastes. Both will suck you dry.
(The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Global Social Media News.)