The easiest and most economical way to buy a car is to buy it directly with cash. If you don't have the cash to buy a car directly, a credit card is an option. Another option to consider is buying a car with a personal loan, also known as an unsecured loan. Tell the vendors in advance that they won't take you for a walk.
Do everything you can to negotiate the car loan and lower the purchase price. Start with a ridiculous number and go backwards. If the seller makes you an offer that includes a monthly payment of a certain amount based on a 60-month loan, tell them that you want the same payment with a 48-month loan. Car dealers are known for offering an attractive monthly payment to prospective buyers.
If this payment is attached to a 72-month loan, then it's really not that attractive. Ninety percent of people who buy a new car try it first. Don't be among the 10% who don't. You want to test the car for many reasons, but comfort should be the most important thing in your mind.
There are some cars that you won't feel comfortable driving with. If this is the case, go ahead. Any mechanical or maintenance problems encountered by the mechanic can determine whether or not you buy the car. If you plan to go for the used car route, a certified pre-owned vehicle (CPO) will be your best option.
In most cases, CPO cars have low mileage and have no history of serious accidents. They are used with care, pass a thorough dealer inspection, and include an original manufacturer's warranty.