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Purchasing a second or third car for the family? How about your teenager’s first car? Many families choose to cut corners when it comes to adding additional vehicles. After all, your teen doesn’t need the shiniest set of wheels on the block, right? But some ways to save money are smarter than others. Below are four things to avoid when adding to your family fleet.

1.  Don’t overlook safety.

There are a few features that you can skimp out on to save money, but safety shouldn’t be one of them. The reasons are startling: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen drivers (ages 16 to 19) are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash. In fact, six teenage drivers die from motor vehicle injuries every single day in the U.S. So while leather seats, a great sound system, and smooth sports-car handling are luxuries you may not be able to afford, do take a car’s safety rating seriously. And if you’re purchasing a used car, be sure to access the vehicle’s history report, which will tell you what documented accidents it may have already experienced.

2.  Don’t be haggled on price.

As a CPS IBEW Credit Union member, you have a secret weapon the car dealer won’t see coming: a pre-approval for an auto loan. Simply apply online, receive a response the next business day, and walk onto the car lot knowing how much you can spend, whether you end up financing with us or not. And if you’re worried about paying more than you should, read this guide by Kelley Blue Book explaining invoice, MSRP, and fair purchase pricing, so you’re fully prepared to negotiate.

3.  Don’t be fooled by zero-percent financing.

You may be tempted by the popular “zero percent financing” options available at the car dealerships but compare with us before you decide. Credit unions are gaining auto loans at a much higher pace than other lenders and for a good reason. Over the life of the loan, a low-interest auto loan through CPS IBEW Credit Union may save you more money because the loan can be customized to your needs, even if you have a low credit score. Plus, walking into a car dealership prepared to pay with “cash” (which your Credit Union auto loan allows you to do), may help increase your negotiating power.

4.  Don’t be afraid to purchase pre-owned.

Buying a used car for a teenager can be a great way to save, but don’t buy just any used car. Certified used cars offer the best assurance of safety and quality. As a CPS IBEW Credit Union member you have an additional superpower: access to quality certified used cars available through Enterprise Car Sales. The cars are inspected by an ASE-certified technician, have no-haggle pricing, and are available to view online or in person.

So go ahead and start car shopping!  With pre-approvals, competitive auto loans and access to quality used cars, we’ve got your back.

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