For many of us, receiving our tax refund means a bump in our budget, and finally getting the new car we need. (That’s assuming you’ve already filed your taxes. If you haven’t, make sure you take advantage of your TurboTax discount as a Pen Air member.) Your refund is essentially a government forced-placed savings account to insure that your employer has withheld enough income taxes from your check. Thank you, Uncle Sam. Ask yourself this, is the best use of your tax refund purchasing a new vehicle? If yes, consider these things before you hit the lot.

  1. Most important – Know your budget for monthly payment, insurance premiums and maintenance. Crunch the numbers by using our calculators, and read our car buying toolkit. The last thing you want is to get into a vehicle that you can’t comfortably afford.
  2. Auto dealers generally see an upward trend in sales from mid-February until early June, likely due to tax season. Some experts advise against purchasing cars during tax season because prices may be higher due to increased demand (more shoppers), and car dealers know you have that extra cash from your refund. There are ways to combat this. When you are car shopping, it’s best to not share that you plan to leave with a car that day. End of the month can also be a great time to buy, and especially end of the quarter. Car dealerships and sales people are trying to meet those month-end or quarter-end sales goals.
  3. Refrain from sharing that you have a tax refund. Dealers potentially could see this as an advantage and not give you the best deal possible. Negotiate, negotiate, and negotiate. Keep purchasing power on your side.
  4. Use our Pen Air Car Buying Service, powered by TrueCar to get your baseline price for your negotiation. Know the honest, fair price for the vehicle that you are looking to purchase.
  5. Speakk with a member advisor, apply online or on the mobile app to get pre-approved for your auto loan so that you know what you can afford, and walk in the car dealership with a pre-approval letter.

As your trusted financial advisors, we are here with you on your car buying journey. Our Member Advisors are ready to answer any questions you might have. Call or stop by any Pen Air location today!