Know the costs before buying a new car - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

ConsumerWatch

Know the costs before buying a new car

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, spring time is hot for car purchases.  In fact, during the months of April and August alone, more than 7 million car and truck purchases will be made. 

If you're in that number, how do you get the most for your money?  Experts say there are some important tips to follow before signing on the dotted line.

MEA Federal Credit Union CEO Polly Bell says she often talks to members who don't really understand the true cost of buying a car.  Bell says this includes additional fees consumers may not initially consider.

"Add-ons including dealer prep fees, documentation fees, delivery fees and charges," explains Bell.

Not to mention fees tacked on at financing like extended warranties and gap insurance.

"Let's say a $20,000 sticker price could end up at $25,000 with taxes and tag, warranties and gap."

Speaking of financing, experts say shop around for the best deal, just like you would for the actual price of the car.

However, be advised, there can be a downside. 

"If you give your social security number out to the dealer, they can shop as many as 10 financing alternatives."

Which, Bell says, can pull down your credit score.

Another tip, don't forget to ask for a Carfax report if buying a used car.

"You know whether it has been assumed under a lemon law and retitled," adds Bell.

For a complete list of the most or least expensive car to own, click here.

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