Auto Buying Advice

1
Use the Credit Union’s FREE Auto Advising Service
We have taken the worry out of making an auto purchase. We have contracted with a select number of local dealers to provide our members with very low pre-negotiated prices on new vehicles. You'll avoid the hassle of negotiating, obtain an extremely competitive price, avoid dealer fees, and the headache of spending hours at the dealership. Call one of our Member Service Representatives to get started today!!

If you follow Step 1, you need not read any further. Enjoy your new vehicle!!

If you do not wish to save money by using our highly acclaimed Auto Advising Service... Read on...

2
Do your homework!
Are safety and reliability important to you? How about mechanical reliability? Sellers can't tell you if the cars they sell are unsafe or mechanically unreliable. Contact the credit union before you purchase and let one of our experts help you through the purchasing process. Additionally, if you are purchasing a used vehicle, you can obtain a free CARFAX report.

3
Never buy a car – on the Internet or directly from a dealership – on your first "visit".
If you choose to not obtain a new car using the pre-negotiated prices the credit union has obtained for you, please understand that all dealerships – including those that work with internet sites – want to sell you the first time you contact them. They do not offer initial prices comparable to what the credit union has pre-negotiated because they generally make more money if you don't take time to compare prices. A smart buyer never buys on the first visit! We believe you should shop everyone's prices. However, if you choose to shop at one of our dealer partners on your own, without contacting us first, you will no longer be eligible for credit union pricing at that dealership.

4
Never leave a deposit until the seller has agreed to your price.
Sellers, including dealerships, generally want your deposit so you can't easily shop their price elsewhere. If you use the credit union’s auto advisor, a deposit is not requested except in rare circumstances involving a specially ordered vehicle.

5
Don't fall for "spot" delivery.
You've probably heard, “take it home on the spot,” the first time you've seen the car. Don't fall for it! Many dealerships spot deliver a vehicle only to call the customer a week later to demand more money. Since the dealership has already sold your trade-in, you're forced to pay more. Dealers call these yo-yo sales. Don't ever let that term apply to your sale! Don't fall for spot delivery! The exception to this rule is when using the credit union’s Auto Advisor. Since we've done all the work for you, when you arrive at the dealership, you'll be able to test any vehicle you desire. When you are ready to purchase, your new vehicle will be freshly detailed and ready for delivery to you!!

6
Stop the transaction if you feel pressured or confused.
Don't buy, if you're not comfortable. Even if you use our Auto Advisor, and we are confident that you got a great deal, we're not happy until YOU are confident that you have a great deal. There is never any pressure to purchase.

7
Be smart when it comes to financing.
Did you know a credit union's 4% loan is virtually always cheaper than a dealership's 1% loan? Thousands cheaper! Why? Dealer financing promotions usually offer "1.9% financing OR $1500 cash back." If you take the cash back and use it as a down payment at SFEFCU, our loan will virtually always beat their 1% because you're financing less money! There's an easy way to recognize the cheapest financing, too. Just put the contracts side-by-side! Insist that any dealership or web site give you a completely filled-out copy of the contract they want you to sign. Let us compare and the credit union will tell you if they can beat their financing or not. What if a financing source won't give you a copy of their finance contract in advance? That probably means they're not the cheapest!

8
Remember that the price of the new car isn't where the sellers make a lot of their money.
Thousands of dealers and internet services will sell you a car at a reasonable price. But many of those sellers will still make thousands on you. Many give you less for your trade than it's worth, or charge you more for financing than you need to pay, or charge you outrageous prices for warranties and other products. The price of the car is only a small part of the profit to the dealership or internet service. The credit union offers Guaranteed Asset Protection and extended Warranties at a much lower price than the dealer charges, and often includes better coverage as well. Please call one of our Member Service Representatives and let us provide you a quote before you pay too much!!

9
Remember that SFEFCU is different from any internet site, bank, or dealership.
We don't care which car you buy. We just want you to buy the best and safest one. We do care how much money you get for your trade-in and we'll help you get the most. And we do care about your financial well-being. That's because you own us. If you're not financially responsible, we won't be here! That's why our answers are always based on answers that are best for you.

10
Remember to contact your SFEFCU’s loan representative, our in-house experts.
By contacting our loan representatives, members receive sound financial advice thereby saving themselves potentially thousands of dollars. We can help you evaluate whether you have received a fair deal, and discuss all of your financing options.
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