Alabama Telco offers helpful tips on buying a new vehicle

Published 5:09 pm Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In today’s economy, saving has become a big trend.

“People are looking for ways to increase their wealth simply by spending less and cutting costs they don’t feel are necessary. We want to help them find those extra costs and prevent new ones,” said Stanton Davis, vice president of marketing for Alabama Telco Credit Union.

One major expense almost everyone incurs is buying a car.

Once viewed as a luxury item, autos are now viewed more as a necessity.

Whether it’s making the actual purchase, selling an old auto, filling up at the pump, taking it in for repairs or doing regular maintenance, an auto can quickly eat away at your wallet.

Here are some helpful tips to keep it from swallowing your funds whole:

-Buy late summer or early fall. This is the time frame in which dealerships are getting rid of current inventory to make room for next year’s models. They usually offer greater discounts and special rebates.

-Review your auto insurance policy every year. You may find you are not getting the best coverage at the most affordable rate. In fact, you can even take advantage of a special discounted rate with Alabama Telco’s insurance program.

-Shop your trade-in. The dealership selling you your new vehicle isn’t necessarily the one that will offer you the highest price on your old one. Take it around to several dealers and see who can offer the best price on a straight sale. Or, better yet, try to sell it yourself.

-Refinance your current auto rate. Rates may be lower than when you initially financed your vehicle, and financial institutions have promotions going on all the time. In addition, credit unions typically have lower rates than banks.

-Get pre-approved before you start shopping. This grants you more negotiating power. You’ve shopped for the best price, now you can focus on the best deal from the dealer.

Outside financing your vehicle, there are other ways you can save on your auto. Keep your gas tank at the full mark. This will help avoid the gas line freezing up in cold weather and prevent possible carburetor damage.

When driving, keep it under 60 mph. Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.10 per gallon of gas.

Don’t use premium fuel if you don’t have to. If your car specifies regular fuel, don’t buy premium under the mistaken belief that your engine will run better. The only difference you’ll see is about 20 cents more per gallon.

And pay attention to small things. For example, replacing a clogged air filter (which doesn’t cost much) can improve your car’s gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.

Alabama Telco Credit Union is a full service financial institution with branches located across the state of Alabama.

For more information on Alabama Telco Credit Union, visit