10 Key Car Buying Tips

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1. First do your research to determine which car is best for you. “Best” does not mean the car of your dreams. If you were buying such a car I doubt you would be reading this article. The best means getting a car the suits your particular transportation needs. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself: What is your budget? Do you need a four door, or will a two door do? Do you need four-wheel drive or will two-wheel be sufficient? Do you need a lot of space for a number of passengers you will transport? Will you be driving long distances and is great fuel economy essential?

2. Once you have settled on the automobile that best fits your needs, then you should pinpoint a dealership in your area that sells those automobiles. The specific sales that dealerships may present on a given day may vary, so look for the unique deals your local dealership has to offer. (If a dealership that is a little out of the way offers, say, zero dollars down, then it may be worth the trip out there).

3. Also, if you are still on the edge between two cars of the same class that are close competitors, look at the incentives and rebates they offer. That is, all car features being virtually equal, look for cost as the tie breaker. (If one company offers 3000 dollars cash back and the other only 500, the superior selection should be rather clear).

Edmunds.com - A Car Buyers Resource

Edmunds.com is an excellent car shopping resource. Whether you are looking to find out the trade-in value of your current car or the best market price for a new automobile, you can rest assured. Edmunds not only provides a plethora of information on what cars are available to purchase, but it also offers tips and tricks on how to maximize any car deal. Furthermore, the site is remarkably easy to navigate. So the consumer can spend time analyzing their options, rather than searching aimlessly around a serpentine website.

4. Make sure you have your target car price established and you look at what people are currently paying for the car (not what they sticker price may happen to be). The window sticker often reads a price that exceeds what most people pay for it. There are many sites online, including Edmunds.com, that offer this useful pricing information.

5. Be flexible. If you can be flexible with any of the detailed features of your car, such as the color of the paint, the interior style, or the sound system, you will have significantly more leverage with car dealers. If you are flexible dealers are more likely to work with you because they know they do not yet have you pinned down. Plus, some features cost a bit more than others, and siding one way or the other on a number of these features make a dent in the overall cost of your purchase.

Ten Key Car Buying Tips - Continued

6. You can now buy online. Buying online may save you a bit of cash and can be down from the comfort of your home. However, there are a number of downsides to shopping online, such as not actually being able to drive the specific vehicle you are going to purchase before signing the deal. Also, dealers can actually be quite knowledgeable and helpful. If you are not sure which car is best for you, or your credit it not remarkable, many dealers will be of great service to you. You have to pick the avenue and salesperson that is of the greatest value to you.

7. Trade in your old car. If your old car is not going to a friend or relative, trade it in. It saves you the hassle of having to advertise and sell it yourself. Also, if you go to a few dealers you can usually play them off one another to get a couple hundred more dollars for your trade-in. This may help you cover your down payment.

8. Once you have the car you want at the price you want from a solid dealer, the key is to make sure you do not end up paying a series of taxes and fees that you had not accounted for. If you have a per month price or a five year pay down price, for instance, make sure all possible costs are included in that estimate.

9. Be careful about paying for varnish protections, extended warranties, specialty floor mats, etc. As you close the deal and sign the papers, many of these miscellaneous dealer add-ons will be offered. Most people do not buy these options. If you do not feel that they are entirely necessary, then do not pay for them.

10. As you are ready to pull away in your new car, give it one last inspection to make sure everything looks good and is working. If it is, then drive way and relish in the fruits of your labor!

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