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Overview Checklist
Quick Car Tips

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1. Pick the vehicle you want and need. Getting a car simply because it's practical may not make you happy with your new car. Getting a car that looks cool but does not fit your needs can also be a thorn in your side. A Trans-Am is usually not a very good family car. However, there are plenty of sedans out there that have plenty of get-up-and-go power.

2. Remember to calculate the costs involved with getting a new car especially if it's considerably more costly than your existing car. Insurance and the sales tax can be 2 major costs that can throw your calculations off in budgeting for your car. There are other costs to consider too. MORE...

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3. You likely have an old car that you want to use as a trade-in or might want to sell it outright. Find out what the value of it is by checking out other used cars of similar age and mileage. That will help you to determine what it's worth.

4. Sometimes a late model pre-owned car may provide what you want and you may get it at a substantial savings if you look around for a good deal. Instead of getting a new Cadillac, get that well priced 2 year old BMW instead. MORE...

5. Leases might look attractive, but they are quite a bit more complicated than a less complicated car loan is. A regular auto loan is usually a better deal in the long run. MORE...

Opt for a home equity loan instead of a regular car loan when it makes more sense—it's tax deductible saving you more money.

6. Use your available pricing resources to get current pricing on the vehicle you are considering. Consumer Reports provides a comprehensive option cost paper report for just a few bucks. It will no doubt help you to save hundreds or thousands in dealer negotiations. There are also plenty of sites on the Internet that give you preliminary pricing on vehicles. MORE...

Once you lock in on a general price, call your local dealerships that sell the vehicle and get quotes. Be firm about what you are looking for to avoid a dealership baiting you on another vehicle trimline even if it is the model you are looking for. MORE...

7. Get a loan before hand to help firmly establish what you are willing to pay for a vehicle. Being able to waive those dollars may help you in getting a better bargain. MORE...

8. If you don't want to deal with dealerships directly, you can use online services to find your vehicle for you. They take the haggle pressure off of you and can help you save considerably on the vehicle you want.

9. Before you finalize the sale on the car, the financial manager will try to sell you add-ons like rust-proofing and additional scotch guard for the interior. Since cars are already treated to resist rust and the interiors are many times already scotch guarded, it's usually not worth the extra expense. Also be aware of other expensive add-ons. If the price of those add-ons seem too expensive, don't get them. Items like car alarms and such can be gotten from 3rd parties for much less than what the dealer is charging. MORE...

10. Dealers will also attempt to sell extended warrantees on your vehicle. Instead, get an extended warrantee through an outside broker. Extended warrantees from 3rd parties can offer equal or better coverage than the warrantee offered at the dealership at up to ½ the cost of what the dealership is charging.

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Car Buying 101
Overview Checklist Did You Calculate the Costs? New or Pre-owned? How Much Should You Pay? Get the Best Car Price Closing the Car Purchase
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