Tips to buy car or truck this Labor Day weekend

Noble Credit Union offers pre-approvals for car loans and has an online calculator to help members estimate monthly payments and total purchase price. PHOTO BY BRIANAJACKSON/ENVATO ELEMENTS

Labor Day Weekend is one of the biggest automobile and truck shopping holidays across the USA. The competition between dealerships is sometimes fierce as they advertise “unbeatable deals” and “generous financing.” The savings can be big, especially with some prep ahead of time. 

Here are simple auto buying tips to help you get the car or truck you’ll be happy driving for years to come:

Start shopping before the holiday. Try to decide in advance what model to buy. Research the price, financing and incentives. You’ll be a jump ahead when you go to the dealership to actually buy.

Get pre-approved financing. Credit unions and banks offer pre-approvals for car loans. That’s the best way to know how much you have to spend on a car to stay within your budget. If you’re looking for a particular monthly payment, estimate your total purchase price with an online payment calculator. ( has a great one!)

Take the weekend to buy. Don’t try to do everything in one day. Sleep on it. If you think it’s not the best deal, walk away and try again the next day. Dealers can be very motivated this weekend. Don’t accept an offer till you’re completely happy with it.

Shop early and late. You’ll avoid crowds and have more personal time with a salesperson if you visit the dealerships early or late in the day. When there are fewer shoppers, there are better deals.

Double-check the sticker. Check the car’s window sticker to verify the model year and other important information: fuel economy ratings, safety test results, and standard and optional equipment.

Bring your files. Bring your current documents, including your driver’s license, proof of insurance, title and registration. If you have a loan on the car, bring your loan documents. And don’t forget your checkbook for your down payment.

Be prepared to wait. As it’s sure to be a busy weekend, completing the process may take anywhere from 3 – 5 hours.  Bring a snack and some water. You want to be sure you’re able to focus on getting the right car and a great deal. 

Credit unions feature low rates. Noble Credit Union, a 2019 Forbes Best-in-State Credit Union, offers members low rates on loans and full access to a wide range of financial services, including checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees, online and mobile banking, low rate MyRewards VISA credit cards, even budget management. For more information about membership in Noble Credit Union, call (559) 252-5000 or visit