Buying a New Car, part 3

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Trading in Your Old Car

Discuss the possibility of a trade-in only after you've negotiated the best possible price for your new car and after you've researched the value of your old car. This information may help you get a better price from the dealer. Though it may take longer to sell your car yourself, you generally will get more money doing so than if you trade it in.

Considering a Service Contract

Service contracts that you may buy with a new car provide for the repair of certain parts or problems. These contracts are offered by manufacturers, dealers, or independent companies and may or may not provide coverage beyond the manufacturer's warranty. Remember that a warranty is included in the price of the car while a service contract costs extra. Also, consider Provident's Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI), which is often half the cost of similar coverage from a dealer's service contract, and is available in 3 different levels of coverage.

Before deciding to purchase a service contract, read it carefully and consider these questions:

  • What's the difference between the coverage under the warranty and the coverage under the service contract?
  • What repairs are covered?
  • Is routine maintenance covered?
  • Who pays for the labor? The parts?
  • Who performs the repairs? Can repairs be made elsewhere?
  • How long does the service contract last?
  • What are the cancellation and refund policies?.