COLAtoday City Guide Live Banner
Sponsored Content

3 things to do before heading to the car dealership

If your current vehicle is grinding your gears, it may be time to start the search for a new one.

Sponsored by
AllSouth Federal Credit Union

With some preparation, your visit to the dealership can be as smooth as your new ride.

Photo provided by AllSouth Federal Credit Union

There’s a lot to consider when prepping to buy a new ride, so we asked the experts at AllSouth Federal Credit Union to help steer us in the right direction.

Here are three things you should do before heading to the dealership.

Get pre-approved for an auto loan

Pre-approval is a conditional approval based on your credit, income, and other factors, and it typically lasts for 30 days.

Did you know? You can apply for AllSouth’s Auto Loan online or in-person at any of their locations.

Create a budget

Get familiar with your finances to see what you can afford. Pro tip: It’s recommended that you spend no more than 10-15% of your net pay on your car payment.

Remember to consider other costs, such as:

  • Gas
  • Insurance
  • Maintenance

Psst.. These additional costs, combined with your monthly car payment, should not exceed 20% of your take-home pay.

Research makes and models

Do your homework to determine which make and model is best for you. Consider what’s most important, like:

  • Safety features
  • Cargo space
  • Gas-powered vs. electric

Once you’ve identified your “must-haves,” you can narrow down the vehicles that fit your needs.

3 more things to know before you go

Check out our other Guides
Discover the cost of living for Columbia, including housing, transportation, and everyday expenses. Find out how Columbia, SC compares to the national average in terms of affordability.
See what’s in store for Columbia weather over the summer months in the Midlands of South Carolina.
We’re giving you all the pertinent details about some of the elementary, middle, and high schools in Columbia so you can make the best decision for your family.
Hit the town and enjoy a drink after work at one of these cheers-worthy local bars.
Make the most of the warm weather with this list of the best local events and activities happening this summer.
We’re highlighting 20 parks around Columbia, SC.
If you don’t have coffee already in hand, consider this your sign to grab some with our coffee guide, featuring 25+ local coffee shops.
From lifting weights, indoor rock climbing, personal training, dance fitness, boxing classes, and martial arts programs — we’ve rounded up 30+ gyms and fitness offerings around Columbia.
To help make your entire experience at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates and parking to food and bev options.
Whether you’re looking for results-driven skincare, relaxing body treatments, or want to sweat it out in the sauna, we’ve rounded up four local spas to check out.
COLAtoday phone
Good news for Columbia.
Get the best local news & events sent to your inbox each morning, for free.