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New Car Buying Tips

Michelle Naranjo
by Michelle Naranjo
May 21, 2011

Here’s a few tips for buying a new car to aid you on your next new car purchase.   You can also use this as a checklist to keep with you when browsing the Internet or visiting your preferred dealer.  A is checklist essential for some to keep on track with budgets and needs. Furthermore, write down the positives and negatives of the makes and models you are interested in.  A new car shopping tips checklist is also helpful so you don’t forget anything.  You don’t want to get to the dealer and back home only to realize you didn’t ask your most pertinent questions.

Tips for Buying a New Car:

Before you can begin your search it is a good idea to narrow your search down to your appropriate price range.  Look into which options you would like to consider that won’t cost you more than you can spend.  Keep your budget in mind.  You can even use an easy online tool to calculate what your monthly payments will be.

Get to know the vehicle or vehicles you are considering.  The more you know, the more power you have as a consumer to negotiate your price.  Check for recalls that particular model may have had. Make a list of standard option it comes with, and the options you want to pay additionally for.

It’s always a good idea to know your credit score, especially when dealing with loans.  When you shop for a vehicle you will know more about what to expect as far as your vehicle loan and payments by having viewed your credit report beforehand.

Shop around for a loan.  You may find a better percentage rate on a loan through your credit union rather than the dealership.  You can usually get approved for a loan within the same day.  It’s best to get a few samples from different dealerships and banks on what they offer.  This will assist you in making educated decisions by having the knowledge of going rates within your credit score range.

Make sure to check the resale value of the car. Look into your local newspaper, online, and local dealerships to see what the trends are with regards to resale values.  Check ratings in magazines to see what the advantages and disadvantages to the particular model you are considering buying. 

Always test-drive your potential choices.  Set some time aside on the weekend, or pick a day that work best for you and have some fun test-driving.  You should test drive not only the car you like, but also other brands with similar features.  Pay attention to how the car drives.  Also, consider driving something a bit different to see the differences in your driving experience.  This will give you a good idea on what feels right for you.

Once you have narrowed down your search and have test driven your favorites you should be about ready to make an offer.  Take into consideration these tips for buying a new car and any other tips you may have found useful.  Don’t make any quick decisions.  If you make a hasty decision you may take their counter offer even if it’s not within a realistic price range.  Make an offer you are comfortable with. 

  • What can you spend?  Have your bottom number and top number and stick to it!
  • Be familiar with the make and the options you are willing to pay extra for.
  • Know your credit.
  • Find out what types loans are available in your credit range.
  • Shop for a loan and find one with the lowest percentage rate.
  • Resale Value.  Does this vehicle have a good reputation with regards to resale value?
  • Test drive a few similar vehicles of your choice.  You may find the one you thought you loved doesn’t handle the way you’d like it to.
  • Make a first offer. Be patient, and be ready to deny their counter if you are not comfortable.
  • Don’t make an offer you are not willing to negotiate and be stern on your budget.

You can keep these new car shopping tips handy or make your own checklist to jot down essential details you don’t want to over look.  Note resale trends with your make and model. Read performance and handling reviews to get an idea of how they drive.  Decide if you are able to afford available extended options and add these to your lists as “must haves”.   In addition, put a few of your top questions for the salesperson on your list for reference.  Make an initial offer; however, if you are not happy with your counter offer, move on until someone comes back with an offer you are contented with.


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