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MVCU, car, commercial
Home / News & Financial Education / Reading Between the Lines of Car Commercials
Reading Between the Lines of Car Commercials on 2/5/2021

Reading Between the Lines of Car Commercials

Besides the Super Bowl, February is known as a huge month for car sales. If you tune in to watch the big game, you’re likely going to see a ton of car commercials.

Car commercials and car advertisements are a great way to learn about what’s available on the market. However, just like any other product, if the ad seems too good to be true… it is. Here are some things to look for when watching or reviewing an automobile advertisement:

No money down, 0% APR.

You can go to a dealership and leave with a car without paying any money? Sign us up! Unfortunately, this is the epitome of “too good to be true”. Read the fine print and you’re going to see “qualified buyers with approved credit”. Notice how it doesn’t say what qualifies as good credit? This offer is reserved for those with the highest credit scores only.

If you actually do qualify, remember that “no money down” will mean that you’ll ultimately pay more in interest over the life of the loan. For example, the car you’re buying costs $20,000. If you put $5,000 down and get $2,500 on your trade in, you’ll be financing $12,500. If you don’t put any money down, you’ll be financing $17,500.

We’ll buy your car for $5,000! …or… Buy today and get $500 cash back!

Everyone loves cash back, right? Not when that cash has been built back into the cost of the car. The sticker price has already been adjusted – so that car over there that you’ve had your eye on cost $17,500 before the ad. Now it costs $22,500. When you subtract that $5,000 they’re paying for your trade-in, you’re paying the original sticker price.

Bad credit or no credit accepted!

This is just a way of saying you’re going to be paying a higher interest rate and the term will be longer. If you do take this offer, ask if there are any fees for repaying the loan early. If there aren’t, pay that loan off as quickly as reasonably possible.

Before you accept a high interest rate, long-term loan, check with a financial institution like MVCU. We have a long history of helping people get a loan that works for them as they rebuild their credit.

If you’re buying a used car, read between the lines!

Just like when you’re buying a house, what’s written may have a double meaning (read “charm” as “small”). The terms to keep an eye out for are:

  • Mechanic’s Special. That vehicle needs repairs and those will come out of your pocket.
  • Fresh paint. The fresh paint was applied because the car had some collision repairs made to it.
  • Highway driven. That car has high mileage.

Remember that when you’re looking to buy your next car, our Auto Advisor experts bring years of car buying and selling experience to the table. They can help you locate, negotiate, and finance your next car… for free. 
 

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Category: Car Ownership



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