Before you buy

You might be dreading the car buying process, but finding a newer and more reliable model can save you money. Instead of asking your "know it all" friends and family for car buying advice, why not get it from the experts. When it comes down to it, all you really need is research, planning and more research. The more you know, the better off the outcome. Here are five simple steps to take before driving off the lot:

Do your research.

Buying a car is not a decision to take lightly; for many Americans, it is the second most expensive purchase after buying a house. Avoid making a bad decision by doing your homework. Doing both online and in-person research will help you know the true value of the car you are considering. To stay organized, make a list of different makes and models and do research on price, gas mileage and features. Use auto review sites such to compare cars and narrow down your list.

Get pre-approved for an auto loan.

Whether it's through a credit union, your bank, or your car dealer, get pre-approved for a loan before making any financial decisions. This will give you a better idea of what you can afford and help you avoid buyer's remorse later. Citrus Kia has a top-notch finance center that can help you get pre-approved in no time. Click HERE to get pre-approved online!

Determine your budget.

When deciding on your budget, the number on the price tag shouldn't be your only concern. Consider all your financial responsibilities such as rent, student loans, insurance coverage, etc. Taking a good look at your finances will help you find the perfect car that won't break the household budget. A general rule of thumb is to allocate no more than 20% of your monthly household income towards the car.

Decide between new or used.

Nowadays there is a wider array of inexpensive cars. The decision to buy new or used should be based on your lifestyle and budget. Consider trading in your current vehicle and start setting aside money for a down payment; doing this will lower your monthly payments whether you decide to buy a new or used car.

Take a test-drive.

Got your eye on the all-new 2018 Stinger? Why not experience it first hand by taking it for a drive! Test-driving a car is the best way to know if it's the perfect car for you. Looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to cars, so be sure to test drive different trim levels of the same car. You might find one fits you better than the other. Also, take a few minutes to check out the features and play around with the controls.

Buying a car shouldn't have to feel like rocket science. With these simple tips, you can get your money's worth and drive the car of your dreams!

Please speak with our trade advisor for more information.