Hey, if you have to get from point A to point B, you might as well go in style using cool, new features, right? Buying a new car at a price you can afford is definitely a win-win. But sometimes the thought of buying a new car can seem confusing or overwhelming with so many options. Well, we’re here to help. By using our helpful car buying tips and tricks plus our NEW AutoSMART car shopping tool, you’ll be ready to buy a car you can feel comfortable (and let’s face it, cool) driving for your daily drives or future road trips.

How Do You Prepare to Buy a Car?

How do you prepare to buy a car or what’s the first step once you know you need (or want) a new car? Start searching (and researching) for your dream vehicle. First, find out how much vehicle you can afford based on your budget. We recommend using our free tool, SavvyMoney, within Digital Banking to see personalized Auto Loan offers. Then, start searching for a vehicle within your budget with our AutoSMART tool.

Find out what you can afford with SavvyMoney.

Wondering what interest rate you may qualify for? Using Advia’s SavvyMoney within Digital Banking, you can see what your pre-approved interest rate is based off your current credit score. If it isn’t as high as you were hoping, review your credit report for errors or fraud and even submit a dispute right within SavvyMoney. You can also see your credit score’s grade and the reasons why your score may be higher or lower than you had expected.

This FREE tool is amazing for understanding your credit, getting your credit score strong, and seeing what loan offers you qualify for. Learn more and opt in via Digital Banking today!

Additionally, if needed, take some time to improve your credit score for a better interest rate and higher loan balance. Wondering how to do that? Give us a call or make an appointment for your local branch! Our Advia Certified Financial Counselors can help you check your finances and make recommendations on how to boost your credit score, such as a Credit Builder Loan.

How to Find the Perfect Car? Shop Around!

Finding great cars to buy is easy, choosing only one can be difficult! But with the help of our amazing Dealer Partners, you can find a car that is affordable and just your style. With AutoSMART, you can customize a vehicle or search the inventory of Advia’s numerous Dealer Partners all in one place. Additional features include:

  • Customizing your vehicle with all the features you want and finding that vehicle at a local dealer
  • Evaluate the price of the vehicle with AutoSMART’s pricing guide
  • Contact the dealer directly to learn more about the vehicle or schedule a test drive
  • Apply and get pre-approved online so you can take your pre-approval certificate with you to easily close your Auto Loan at the dealership!

While some people like to visit the dealership and walk around the available vehicles, others like to do all their searching online. Either way is fine, but make sure you’re shopping around and comparing the prices of different vehicles. Getting a great car is good, but getting a great deal is even better!

Should You Get Pre-Approved for a Car Loan Before Going to the Dealership?

Yes, it’s very helpful to get pre-approved for your car loan before heading to the dealership. Why? A pre-approval certificate says that you are ready and able to buy a car, which will speed along the car buying process.

Getting pre-approved before heading to the dealership has other advantages too:

  • Know exactly how much you can afford: With your pre-approval certificate, you’ll know exactly how car you can afford. This will show your credit range, maximum approved loan balance, approved loan term, and interest rate.
  • Get into your next vehicle quicker: When you walk into the dealership with a pre-approval certificate, you’ll be driving out in your new vehicle. With a pre-approval from Advia, you can close your loan right at the dealership.
  • Strengthen your negotiating skills: With your pre-approval certificate in hand, you won’t spend over budget or purchase a vehicle out of your price range. The maximum pre-approval amount is the max you can spend and can be used as a negotiation tool. Plus, with your financing already handled, you can focus more on negotiating the price of the vehicle, not the monthly payment you can afford.
  • Save time at the dealership: Don’t wait while the dealership pulls your credit report and sends your application to several banks and credit unions.

When you take your pre-approval certificate to one of Advia’s Dealer Partners, buying a car is quick, easy, and could save you money. Get pre-approved online!

While it’s great to know what you can afford, it’s a whole other question as to what you want to drive! The next step in the car buying process is choosing the perfect car for you.

Think ahead – protect your investment.

Once you’ve found the perfect set of wheels, make sure you keep it protected. No one wants to think negatively, but planning for the unexpected is a smart move. With our selection of coverage options, you and your vehicle will be protected for the long haul.

Mechanical Breakdown Protection protects your wallet from costly vehicle repairs down the road.

Breakdowns happen, we get it. New and used vehicles alike can sometimes require maintenance for repairs not related to an accident. That’s where Mechanical Breakdown Protection, powered by Route 66, can help you by covering most repair costs which may not be covered by an extended warranty.

Prepare for the unexpected with Payment Protection.

Help protect your family against the unexpected with Payment Protection. Protecting your loan balance or loan payments against death, disability, or involuntary unemployment could help protect your finances. Be protected for the future and include Payment Protection in your next Advia Loan.

With Guaranteed Asset Protection you can be prepared, and be protected.

Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) is a great way to protect your finances if the value of your vehicle is less than the amount of your loan. Adding GAP may help reduce or eliminate the gap between what your vehicle insurance will pay and what you owe on your loan.

At Advia we make being protected affordable. Right now, GAP is as low as $475.1 On average, GAP can cost you as low as $0.18 a day. Members who qualify for Advantage Plus Rewards will receive a $25 discount.2 Learn more and add GAP today!

Other Helpful Tips for Buying a Car?

Another helpful tip for buying a car is to make sure you always take a test drive! And take your time. Turn off the radio and listen to the car. Use all the features to make sure they work. Have kids? Bring the car seat(s) along to see how easy they are to get in and how well they fit. You want to really get to know the vehicle before purchasing so you don’t have any surprises later!

Thinking of negotiating the deal? Good idea! But be prepared. Make sure you’re negotiating with facts, like comparable vehicle prices from other dealerships, any repair issues with the car, and listed vehicle values. If you’re buying new, make sure you know which add-ins you really want and be prepared to say “no” to the ones you don’t.

Getting a new car is exciting and your financing should feel just as good! Get pre-approved for your next Auto Loan and With Advia you’ll get low rates and 90 days payment free.3 Have questions about Auto Loans? Contact us or ask Ava online today!


1 Max term 84 months; max loan-to-value 115%; maximum benefit of $50,000. Your purchase of MEMBER’S CHOICE™ Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP), which includes deductible assistance, is optional and will not affect your application for credit or the terms of any credit agreement you have with us. Certain eligibility requirements, conditions, and exclusions may apply. You will receive the contract before you are required to pay for GAP. You should carefully read the contract for a full explanation of the terms. If you choose GAP, adding the GAP fee to your loan amount will increase the cost of GAP. You may cancel GAP at any time. If you cancel GAP within 90 days you will receive a full refund of any fee paid. 2 Must have an Advantage Plus Checking status at time of purchase to receive discount. 3 Interest begins to accrue at the time of disbursement. Offer and rates effective September 10, 2020 and subject to change at any time. See adviacu.org/advantageplus for Advantage Plus qualifications. Rates and terms may vary based on creditworthiness of borrower and term of loan. Floor rates and restrictions apply. All loans subject to approval. Advia is an Equal Opportunity Lender.