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Considering a new car, but unsure where to start? Here's our step-by-step guide to the car-buying process.

  1. Step 1

    Decide What You Can Afford

    Analyze your budget to determine how much you can afford to spend each month on an auto loan. Our calculator may be able to help.

  2. Step 2

    Get Preapproved

    Before you visit the dealership, apply online or give us a call to get preapproved for an auto loan. Preapproval can help you negotiate a better sales price with the dealer.

    Not sure if you’ll qualify? Learn more about the factors that go into auto loan approvals.

  3. Step 3

    Do the Research

    In addition to deciding if you want a newcar or used car, research the car models that fit within your budget and don’t forget to include projected maintenance costs. Doing your homework and knowing the true value of the car can help you get a much better deal during the negotiation process.

    Begin your research now using our Car Buying Service, powered by TrueCar.

  4. Step 4

    Start Shopping

    You can save money by shopping for your car at the right time. Sometimes car dealers will reduce prices at the end of the model year (usually late summer) and at the end of the month when they need to reduce stock. As you shop, be sure to test drive the car in varying road conditions.

  5. Step 5

    Get Insurance Quotes

    Since you’ll need to be insured when you hit the road, now is the time to begin looking for car insurance. Rates can vary considerably between providers, so you’ll want to shop around for the best quote. See how much you could save with a special discount on auto insurance from Liberty Mutual®.1

  6. Step 6

    Negotiate the Deal

    Since you’ve done your research and know the value of the car, and you have your preapproval in hand, you can negotiate the best possible pricing for the vehicle. If negotiating seems like too much of a hassle, consider our Car Buying Service, powered by TrueCar, where you can search for the new or used car you want, see what others paid for similar models and save thousands off the MSRP, the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.2

  7. Step 7

    Secure Financing

    If you haven’t already been pre-approved, now is the time to work with Navy Federal to finalize the terms of your auto loan.3 Learn more about what to expect when you apply.



TruStage® Auto & Home Insurance Program is made available by TruStage Insurance Agency, LLC. Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company or its subsidiaries or affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116 USA. © 2021 Liberty Mutual Insurance. Discounts are not available in all states and discounts vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.  To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. A consumer report from a consumer reporting agency and/or motor vehicle report will be obtained on all drivers listed on your policy where state laws and regulations allow. Please consult your policy for specific coverages and limitations. The insurance offered is not a deposit, and is not federally insured, sold or guaranteed by your credit union. Your credit union enables this insurance program to be offered and is entitled to compensation from TruStage Insurance Agency, LLC.

© TruStage Insurance Agency 2021.

Navy Federal Credit Union is in no way responsible for any products or services provided by or through TruStage, Liberty Mutual or their affiliates, subsidiaries, and insurance company partners.



Between 1/1/20 and 12/31/20, the average savings off MSRP experienced by consumers who connected with a TrueCar Certified Dealer through a TrueCar-powered auto buying program and who were identified as buying a new vehicle from that Certified Dealer was $3,552. Your actual savings may vary based on multiple factors, including the vehicle you select, region, dealer, and applicable vehicle-specific manufacturer incentives, which are subject to change. MSRP is determined by the manufacturer and may not reflect the price at which vehicles are generally sold in the dealer's trade area, as many vehicles are sold below MSRP. Each dealer sets its own pricing.


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