In the market for a ‘new ride?’ Follow these four tips when car shopping

By Sydney Horton
Times-News correspondent

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[Metro Creative Graphics

Editor’s note: This week, Sydney Horton’s Adulting 101 series tackles buying a car.
Ready to buy a car? Or ready to trade your current vehicle? In this weeks edition of Adulting 101 you’ll learn all about first time car buying.
1. Buy gap insurance: If you’re ever in an accident buying supplemental insurance, like gap insurance, will cover the cost of your vehicle if it’s totaled. The insurance adjuster will give you an estimate of the value of your car, gap insurance will cover the additional costs.
 2. Finance through the dealership: When buying a car, you will be presented with multiple payment options for your new vehicle. Ask to be financed through the dealers’ brand, they can offer better rates. Make bimonthly payments instead of monthly payments to keep your balance low. Make payments early or on time. Never lapse in car payments, you don’t want to end up owing more than it’s worth. You can potentially avoid this by to making a large down payment.
 3. Trade-ins: If you’re ready to trade in your car, get an estimate first to understand your buying power. Take that value, and calculate the amount you can afford to add to it, and add that toward a new car.
4. Negotiating: If you find a car online from the dealership you want to buy from, you should show them the listing from their website to potentially secure that deal. If the price is too high, bargain for a better deal. Do it in $500 increments. Don’t be afraid to negotiate interest payments as well, agreeing to the wrong loan (with interest) can end up costing you more in the long run. Never go longer than 36 months and put at least 20 percent down.
It has been said that buying a car is like dating, you can’t rush love and going in blind only leads to heartbreak.

Sydney Horton is a student at Michigan State University and a Teens & 20s writer.

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