Buy a Car Without Breaking a Sweat

Want to drive away with a great deal on your next car? Put yourself in the driver's seat with four smart tips.

By Navy Federal September 25, 2015

What is the secret to no-hassle car buying? Do your research before ever stepping foot in a dealership so you can drive away with a great deal. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines (and begin your vehicle search)!

  1. Research cars before you test drive.

    Check out local car shows and automotive events in your area—these shows give you a chance to browse with no pressure to buy. The National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) can help you determine fair prices in your area. You'll be in a stronger position to negotiate if you know the car's value and how the same or similar vehicle is priced at multiple dealerships.

  2. Get pre-approved for an auto loan.

    With an auto loan pre-approval, you can shop with confidence and focus on getting the right vehicle for you. You're in control when you have financing pre-approved from a lender—that means you don't have to rely on dealer financing to close the deal. If you choose Navy Federal to finance your vehicle, you'll get a competitive rate with no surprises and great service for the life of the loan. Plus, you can trust that Navy Federal will help you throughout the process.

  3. Pace yourself.

    Slow down and put your emotions in “park” so you can focus on your needs and budget. If you fall in love with a vehicle and race to the bargaining table, you may lose your power to negotiate, or you may make a rushed decision that you'll regret. Allow yourself time to make an informed decision—go for a walk, get a second opinion or come back later to finalize the deal.

  4. Drive away with a low price.

    Not interested in negotiating at the dealership? Let Navy Federal's Auto Buying Program do the heavy lifting for you! Simply enter information about the vehicle you want and your location, and we'll find the right vehicle at a great price from dealerships in your area.

Need help navigating? Navy Federal can help! Ask us about financing a new or used car, or refinancing your current auto loan. View our auto rates and auto loan calculator to determine the type of payment that works best for you.

Plus, learn more about our Auto Buying Program, a hassle-free buying experience featuring many popular brands with low, guaranteed pricing. If you're stationed or deployed overseas, check out our Overseas Auto Buying Program, where you'll receive the same exclusive benefits and can have your new vehicle delivered to most overseas duty stations or stateside once you return.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.