Are you an AARP member thinking of buying a car? Starting from a car’s purchase conditions to maintenance, every step of the way matters, in the long run, making it a big decision. This is why doing a bit of research before making such a big decision is a smart idea. This way, you can take advantage of the deals and benefits you qualify for from AARP memberships.

In this article, we will be detailing what factors you need to consider for making a car purchase to what programs you should take advantage of. These tips will not only help you make the right decision but also help you save a bunch of money.

Car Shopping Considerations

With hundreds of models out there, choosing the right car can be a bit difficult with all the flashy advertisements. So narrowing down your list of choices will benefit you a lot in this predicament. You can do so easily by considering the factors below:

Affordability: How much you can afford is the most basic factor to consider. Prices for low-end brand new cars range from $25,000 to $40,000 on average. Second-hand and reconditioned cars also don’t come cheap. The price range for these vehicles ranges anywhere from a few thousand to $15,000 on average. You also need to figure in loans, insurance, and registration costs in the purchase price as well.
Maintenance costs: Your car will regularly need fuel. You’ll need to pay tolls, parking, and more. Your car might break down and cost you a lot in repairs. These recurring costs that can add up to large amounts over time, so consider which model will keep these costs to a minimum with your lifestyle.
Check for reviews online: These days, there are a lot of fantastic car reviews online, especially Youtube. Check out the reviews for the model you want to buy and take a look at the comments section for user validation.
Shop around and test drive: To get the best price, it’s always a good idea to shop around a bit before making the final purchase. Also, make sure to take out the car you want to buy on a test-drive to check for defects or other issues.
Go through the fine print: Though this might seem like a no-brainer, you would be surprised by the number of people who overlook this critical step. Return policies, warranties, warranty supplements, and lemon laws all fall in this category. Check them before the final purchase.
Get a second opinion: If you’re making an expensive purchase, having a third-party mechanic inspect the vehicle is a good idea. For a small fee, you could save a lot of money later on.
Are You 45 or Older? Consider AARP Benefits

AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) benefits can be a big help when making a car purchase. If you are in your late 40s (45 or older), consider waiting a couple of years to buy until you hit 50. If you’re an AARP member at that age, you easily qualify for the AARP Auto Buying Program. This program offers you a host of benefits that will make your future car purchase smooth and easy.

Aside from benefiting from the AARP Auto Buying Program, you can also be eligible for the AARP auto insurance programs as well.

Car Shopping as an AARP Member

Interested in car-shopping an AARP member? Let’s give you short a rundown of the AARP Auto Buying Program. Other than meeting the age and membership criteria, you also need to provide your driver’s license and registration for any current vehicles you own to apply. Any car-dealer signed in with the AARP can provide you with the insurance quote after you provide the documents mentioned above. To find the vehicle of your choice, AARP provides software tools, exclusive dealership contacts, and more.

The chief benefits of shopping as an AARP are:

Lifetime renewability
12-month rate protection
Towing and Labor

AARP Auto Buying Program Tools

The AARP also provides members with certain auto buying program tools to make car purchases easier. These tools, which fall under the AARP Auto Buying Program, consist of the following:

Research tools: Software tools to help you filter out your probable purchase options easily. You can compare safety ratings and price with these tools. 
Certified dealer network: The AARP has an exclusive car dealer network all across America who are the only ones eligible to offer AARP programs and benefits
Used car inventory: Looking for something cheap? This software will help you to browse used cars from AARP members as well as outside sources.    

Purchasing a car is a long-term decision that will affect you for years to come. So taking advantage of the best deals, offers, and memberships is the smartest thing to do. Check out the official AARP website to learn more details and the membership process.