When you’re ready to buy a car, don’t just jump into it. Start slowly and do your homework. The more you know about the car you want and the process of buying it, the more likely you’ll get a good deal.
Do your research
- Before beginning your research, decide on the type of car you want and the options you need.
- Check out pricing for various models and options.
- Check out other websites offering consumer information.
- Research items that could have an impact on the long-term cost of your car, such as maintenance, gas economy, car insurance rates, safety and repair records, etc.
- Figure out how much you can afford. Use our online calculators to help.
Know the terms
You’ll feel more comfortable in the buying process if you know the language of car buying and selling. Here are a few common terms:
Invoice Price — the manufacturer's initial charge to the dealer. The dealer's actual cost may be less than invoice price due to rebates and incentives.
Base Price — the cost of the car with only standard equipment and no options.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) — the manufacturer’s recommended selling price for a vehicle, including its options.
Manufacturer's Sticker Price — shows the base price, installed options and the manufacturer's suggested retail price, transportation charge and the fuel economy. Federal law requires it.
Dealer Sticker Price — usually another sticker you'll find on the vehicle that lists the manufacturer's sticker price plus the suggested retail price of dealer-installed options.
Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) — protection for consumers when a gap exists between the actual value of their vehicle and the amount of money owed to the lender.
Title — a document that gives evidence of an individual’s ownership of property.
If you have any questions or if we can help you in any way, please contact Member Services at (804) 323-6800 or (800) 285-6609.