How to buy a car during quarantine
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The process to buy a car even in normal times can be a wild ride, but we have partner dealers ready to help.
Car sales have recently been approved in the state of Michigan under strict CDC guidelines, allowing dealers to reopen with some restrictions that make buying a new set of wheels look a little different these days. Here’s what to expect if you’re in the market.
Let’s talk budget
Even before COVID-19, you should first figure out how much car you can afford. Will you pay cash? Will you do a trade-in? How much of a loan do you need?
If you’ll finance your new car with a loan, determine how much you’re willing to spend each month. Use our Auto Loan Calculator to quickly determine the purchase price that corresponds with your monthly budget and don’t forget there may be extra fees or insurance costs.
A pre-approval is a process in which we send a loan application through underwriting to determine whether or not we can offer a conditional pre-approval based on your application. If we find that we can offer a pre-approval, we’ll let you know what amount you’re approved for, the term of the loan and what the lowest rate could be for your new vehicle.
We say “could be” because the final loan approval is dependent upon the collateral (vehicle) you find. For instance, an older vehicle with more miles could come with a higher loan rate, while a newer vehicle with lower mileage could have a lower rate. Your final rate and loan term, and thus your monthly payment, will be determined by the collateral and conditions of the loan.
To get pre-approved at Consumers, apply here.
Begin your shopping online
Once you’ve established your price limit, begin your car search online, as showrooms are closed. We recommend taking a look at the inventory of our preferred dealers. We work closely with these vetted partners to make sure your financing and buying experience is safe, secure and customized to meet your budget.
Most dealers would like you to call ahead to schedule an appointment to test drive the cars you are interested in or to have your current vehicle appraised for trade-in. Some may even be willing to do home delivery to make the process even simpler.
Sign and seal the deal
Once you’ve found your next car, let the dealership know you want financing through Consumers. (If you already have your pre-approval letter that makes it even easier.) Our partner dealers know us well and make the car buying process seamless. Check out the ones nearest you for the best servicing options!
Do you have auto loan questions? Call our knowledgeable loan professionals at 800.991.2221. If you’re ready to buy your new ride, apply here. We’re here to help you get where you’re going! During the coronavirus confinement, we’re available online, by phone and by appointment at select offices equipped to maximize safety.
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