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3 Things to Know Before Shopping for a New Car

3 Things to Know Before Shopping for a New Car-Car Driving on Snowy Road

So, you want a new set of wheels? Don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the last time? Below we share 3 things to know before shopping for a new car.

There are many things to consider before purchasing ANY car, but a NEW car purchase provides a few different questions. There are pros and cons to buying new cars, just as there are pros and cons to buying used cars.

General Considerations

First off, when purchasing any vehicle, ask yourself “Why am I buying this car?” Is it for daily use, will you need a lot of storage space, seating space? Make sure the makes and models you narrow your search down to are practical reflections of how you will use the car.

You may love the look of a larger vehicle, but if you don’t have five children, you might not need that much space and that particular car may not be right for your daily commute and errands.

Here in Central Oregon, we have some special factors to look at. How does that car handle in the snow or ice? How will I transport my mountain bike, or ski’s. Does it have a towing package? Is the clearance high enough to get through my driveway in the snow?

After you’ve considered the personal aspects of which car to buy, move on to the less subjective parts of the process:

1. Depreciation

Most cars depreciate at about 15% per year. With new cars, there is a 20% depreciation rate as soon as you drive off the lot. You want to consider this before you decide to buy a new car, especially if you can’t put much money down as a down payment. Chances are you’ll be upside down on your car loan almost immediately if you’re financing the entire cost.

2. Cost-to-own

Also, consider the true cost to own the car you’re eyeing. These costs include insurance, fuel, maintenance, and more. Maintenance costs vary by manufacturer and model. Do your research—some manufacturers have better reputations than others. Some new cars even come with “free” maintenance plans for the first couple of years or for a certain number of miles.

3. How much can you afford?

Don’t guide yourself solely by what the dealership is willing to lend you. And, don’t be blindsided by an attractive low monthly payment—oftentimes tied to a super-long loan term. Consider all aspects of financing—the total amount you are going to end up paying for that vehicle when it’s all said and done. That’s what matters.

For more information on finding the right new car for you, researching options and available local inventory, take a look at our AutoSmart page today!

When you are ready, you can apply online with us before you even step on the lot. Or, contact Mid Oregon Credit Union with questions.  As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, we can approve you for an auto loan that fits your circumstances—and your budget. We won’t put you into a loan you can’t afford, and we’re happy to explain everything to you away from the high-pressure of the dealership. If you have a trade-in, we can help you determine a value for that, too.  Or, call us at (541) 382-1795 or email to

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