Tax returns rev up car buying, experts say take it slow - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Tax returns rev up car buying, experts say take it slow

If you’re expecting a big tax return you may be tempted to rush out and spend it on a shiny new car, but financial experts say you should take your time, shop around and don’t fall for gimmicks.

“Some stores and auto dealers will tempt you to bring in your return, or prepare your return for you and use that refund to purchase,” said University of Missouri Extension financial planning specialist Andrew Zumwalt. “It’s a better idea to go somewhere where they focus solely on tax returns get the refund or find out what your entire return is, and then once you have the money in the bank go and make that purchase.”

Zumwalt advises against walking into a dealership with the intention of buying a car right then. He says that won’t necessarily get you’re the best deal. Instead, financial planners suggest you pick three or four models and price them out before you meet with a car salesman. If you set your sights on just one specific model, experts say you’re more likely to pay more, so keep your options open.

“Don’t just walk into one place and say I want to buy a car and then talk to that one person about that car,” Zumwalt said. “Get multiple quotes from multiple dealers, or auto sellers and compare.”

Experts say you should also do your research online before you step foot on a car lot.

“You might want negotiate the price over the Internet before you even step into a dealership,” Zumwalt said. “So when you actually walk into a dealership you have the price in mind, and the dealership knows the price, and you’re just there to sign the paperwork.”

Another tip for saving money when buying a car: don’t just shop around for the car itself; shop around for financing too. Zumwalt says if you have a good credit rating you may find a lower interest rate from a bank or credit union rather than the dealer.

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