Preparation

CAR SHOPPING SURVIVAL: PREPARATION

“The man who is prepared has his battle half-fought.” –Miguel de Cervantes

Okay, so maybe comparing car shopping to a battle is slightly melodramatic, but it is important to recognize that a prepared shopper is a smart shopper.  Before stepping foot into a dealership, prepare yourself by doing the following:

Know what car you’re looking for

Not only know what car you want, but know everything about it.  The key to knowing what you’re looking for is researching the vehicle’s value, appropriate pricing for add-ons, and what other dealers are pricing the vehicle at.

                Research, Research, Research…

Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) and NADA Guides (www.nandaguides.com) are great resources for vehicle values.  If shopping used cars, Kelley Blue Book will likely be your best resource.

When comparing vehicle pricing at different dealerships in your state, Edmunds (www.edmunds.com) or Auto Trader (www.autotrader.com) provide several vehicle options at different dealerships.  This is a great way to compare prices and get a feel for the value of the car you are looking to buy.

At Royal, we price our cars based on the market. With the power of the internet, we research the competition daily, so you can be sure that our vehicle prices are very competitive.  This means you do not have to be a good negotiator just to get a fair deal.  Royal has created a Fast, Fair, & Simple process that keeps the customer in charge at all times.  (Click to learn more)

Research local dealerships

Perform some background research on your dealership options:

Know what they stand for and how they do their business

Will you get the answers you need without getting a headache?

Look at customer reviews online

Do they have a good reputation?

Are past customers satisfied with their experience and the price they paid for their vehicle?

A great places to look at customer reviews is DealerRater (www.dealerrater.com)

Do some further research on their service department

How well was the vehicle reconditioned before you bought it?

Did they replace any worn out parts?

If so, did they use the top of the line, or cheap aftermarket parts?

   (*note: Royal is meticulous about using only the best quality parts)

Selecting your Dealer

A vehicle is one of the largest purchases you will make in your life.  For that reason, it is important to select the right dealer for you.  Here at Royal, we focus on being a trustworthy dealer by using our Fast, Fair & Simple process.

Our Fast, Fair, & Simple process means…

 

 

Here is a list of questions that you should ask each dealer before choosing where you will go.  For each question we have provided Royal’s answer to the right.

 

Unestablished Credit

UNESTABLISHED CREDIT

Question: I am 22 years old and have recently landed my first job out of college, I want to purchase a new car and know I will need financing. During my first few trips to various dealerships I have been told that I have a very low credit score. I have no idea why my credit score is low because I have never taken out a loan before and always pay my bills on time. How can I improve my credit score?

ANSWER: Many people face this same situation in which they are told they have low credit upon investing in their first large purchase such as a vehicle or house. One of the reasons you are having a hard time is not because you don’t pay your bills on time, it is actually because you just don’t have enough credit history established; we call this unestablished credit. The most important thing to understand is that good credit does not just magically happen, it must be built. Unestablished credit is very common amongst recent grads and there are in fact specific programs that are available to students within 6 months of graduating and help students receive good deals and good rates even without a cosigner. Many new car manufacturers have these programs and they are often called “new grad incentives”. Having unestablished credit is much better than redeeming oneself from bad credit, so you are in good shape. The fastest way to build credit is to open a credit card and use it! The more frequently purchases are charged AND paid off on time, the better. A second good way to build credit is to raise the limit on existing credit cards, this alone makes us appear more credible to lenders. The idea of “holding credit” is basically being credible or trustworthy with money. If the credit card company trusts you with a larger sum of their money, so will the auto lender. So talk to the bank and see if any of your credit cards can be raised to a higher spending limit, just doing that should improve your credit score automatically. When you do take out a loan be smart about it. If this is your first loan, it is important to make sure you are able to make the payments now and in the future. One mistake many people make is not considering their changing lifestyles and unexpected expenses when deciding exactly what they can afford. Remember if you can pay this first loan off successfully you will be well on your way to establishing excellent credit.