ACCC Explains What Consumers Need To Know Before Buying A Car

American Consumer Credit Counseling provides consumers with seven tips about what they need to know before purchasing a car

Boston, MA – September 18, 2019

What You Need to Know Before Buying a CarBuying a car can be an intimidating experience, especially given the wide range of options and potentially aggressive salespeople. Because of the options and the pressure, consumers must walk into a dealership with all the knowledge necessary to ensure they’re getting the best deal. To help, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) explains what consumers need to know before purchasing a car.

“Getting a new car is very exciting, but many consumers understandably get anxious about the buying experience,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Consumers need to be savvy during the car buying process and enter the dealership fully prepared.”

According to Experian, auto loan balances reached an all-time high of $1.27 trillion in 2018 and the average balance is $18,956. The study also found the average monthly cost of a new car is $530 and the average monthly payment for a used car is $381.

ACCC explains what consumers need to know before buying a car.

  1. Finances – Car buyers should have a set budget before heading into a dealership. A potential buyer needs to know what kind of deposit they can make, as well as what monthly payments they can afford.
  2. Credit score – Buyers should know their credit scores before applying for loans. The consumer’s credit score will determine the loans the buyer qualifies for, and will also allow the buyer to negotiate better deals.
  3. Research – A potential buyer needs to be prepared before going to a dealership. Looking at online reviews about dealerships can help a consumer avoid a bad experience. It is also essential to get familiar with different dealership policies and warranty packages.
  4. Compare Prices – It is helpful for potential buyers to compare prices before making a purchase. Buyers should gather information from not only different dealerships, but also from online services to help them find the best possible price.
  5. New or used? – While a used car may be more affordable upfront, it is important to note that it may cost a buyer more in the long run due to maintenance and repair fees. To help avoid these fees, make sure to ask for any repair records for used cars.
  6. Insurance – Sometimes changes in vehicles affect insurance rates. Potential car buyers need to check in with their insurance company before buying a car to avoid surprise fee increases.
  7. Timing – Because car dealers work on a month to month basis, they are likely willing to negotiate better deals at the end of the month. Additionally, if a potential buyer is not looking for the latest model, buying a car at the end of a model year could help them find a vehicle at a lower price.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling and student loan counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at

About American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to or visit