Buying a car these days in an ever-changing economy has become a little trickier than it used to be. According to Rob Leonard, Vice President, Consumer Lending Sales Manager at Farmers National Bank, global shortages have made a big impact in the local auto industry.
“It hits home very quickly when you drive past the local dealerships and see almost empty lots. Within Mahoning County in particular, vehicle sales were down 13.6% in August,” Leonard explains. “One-third of the vehicles that the dealerships are getting in are selling within a week of hitting the lot. There are some that are being sold within a day of delivery.”
Tips for Buying a Vehicle
Since the auto market is in such high demand right now, it can be difficult to find the right vehicle. Leonard shares a few useful tips that will help consumers find the vehicle that is right for their lifestyle and budget.
Consider both new and used options
Leonard suggests keeping an open mind when it comes to purchasing either a new or used vehicle. “The price of a new car is up about 6% compared to last year and used cars have increased by about 25%. I suggest that consumers look at both new and used vehicles even if they have usually purchased only used vehicles in the past. It might be an option to purchase a newer vehicle at a lower rate where they can get a longer term to keep the payments within reason,” he says.
Research specific makes and models before purchasing or trading in
When purchasing a vehicle and trading in an older vehicle, knowing the current market value is very important. “Do as much research and gather as much information as possible on that particular vehicle. Websites like NADA Guides, Edmunds, and Kelley Blue Book are helpful,” says Leonard. “It is also a good idea to research the value of your trade in as well since those prices have really increased.”
Expand your search area
There can be some good deals and more availability for people who are willing to drive a little further away from home. “A lot of people are shopping around via the internet. If someone is looking for a particular vehicle, they can try shopping outside of their local market if they can’t find it closer to home,” Leonard says.
Explore financing options and current rates beforehand
Potential buyers should understand auto loans just like they understand the vehicle’s sticker price. A little research beforehand can make a big difference. Leonard explains, “People should understand their financing options and current rates in the market prior to going to the dealership. Knowing the rates gives the customer better negotiating power and allows them to budget accordingly.”
Make sure to take the test drive
While many people are purchasing vehicles through dealership websites, Leonard says it is still important to take a thorough look at a vehicle in person before taking possession. “People should make sure to take that test drive. It not only allows them to look at the mechanical side of the vehicle, but they should make sure that they’re getting what they want. They need to make sure it fits with their family’s lifestyle.”
As for the lending side of a vehicle purchase, Farmers National Bank is proud to partner with many local car dealerships in order to offer competitive rates paired with excellent customer service.
“Farmers is a community bank based right here in Canfield. When people call our Customer Support Center, they are talking to people that live and work within the communities we serve. We make all of our loan decisions locally. We are truly a community bank,” says Leonard.
For more information about Farmers National Bank, visit them online at farmersbankgroup.com or give them a call at 1-888-988-3276.