Buying a new car is a stressful process, no matter how many times you've done it before. From calculating your budget to finding the right car and finishing all the paperwork, there's a lot to do. Before narrowing down your selection, assess your family's needs, the demands of your trip to work, and the vehicle's core purpose. Use a widely accepted source, such as Kelley Blue Book, to find out the fair market value and average sales price of the car you're considering.
Don't let price be the only factor when buying a car, as sacrificing quality for price will likely cost you more money in the long run. Try different makes and models of vehicles to find the type of car you really want. Don't reveal your cards until you have to - if you tell the dealer what you expect to pay each month, you give them your leverage. As the year ends, dealers are looking to dispose of their remaining inventory in anticipation of receiving New Year's models, making early winter a good time to shop for offers.
Keep “hidden expenses” in mind beforehand and don't know about additional charges after signing. Here are 10 tips and strategies to ensure you get the best quality vehicle at the lowest price: Research cars that might interest you before going to a dealership, instead of going unawares; use resources like US News Best Cars and Autotrader to determine what type of car you want; know how much your current car is worth, why the car you plan to buy is sold, how much money you can deposit, and how much money you can spend on the monthly car payment; know what the car you plan to buy is capable of before you go to the dealership; consider buying a certified used car; prepare extra paperwork if you're going to change your current vehicle; go back to the dealership that has the car you like another time and tell them you're ready to buy; mark how you plan to pay for the car before going to the dealership; state and local taxes and registration fees will not be negotiable; and be aware that these costs can add up to approximately 10 percent of the total cost of your car.