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What You Must Know About Shopping For A Car

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

What You Must Know About Shopping For A Car

Mary Bruns
September 8, 2013


You should take the car-buying process very seriously. Many people are so happy about the prospect of buying a car that they do not think of the seriousness of the task. Buying a car is a serious financial investment, and you should do all you can to remain businesslike.

Before heading to the dealership, do some comparison shopping online. You should try to save your dealership trip until after you've decided on the type of car you want. Research brands online to learn what you like best as well as which brands are safest. The dealer often won't talk about safety or other things it's important for you to know.

Have a clear understanding of what those upgrades will cost you. Purchasing the fancy stereo, leather seats and DVD player might be appealing, but those options can add a significant amount to the price of your car. Take some time to think about how much you really need the upgrades, and only purchase the ones you will use the most.

Rather than buying a brand-new car, purchase a lightly used one that is only a couple of years old. Many cars come with transferable warranties that last for three years or 36,000 miles. You will save a significant amount over buying new, and the warranty will give you peace of mind for the first year or so.

Look online for the best available deals. You can literally save thousands by searching online. When you find a vehicle that you like, visit a dealership that has it in stock or ask your own dealer to get it for you. You may even consider making the trip to buy the vehicle yourself if it will save you quite a bit of money.

Check out the maker's site if you want to customize your car. While the cars on the dealership lot may be the kind of car, you want, a number of car manufacturers give you the opportunity to customize the car a bit with color and features. You may have to wait a few weeks more to get your car, but it might be worth it.

Take a look at owner reviews before selecting the car you want to buy. These can be found online, at many different websites. Owner reviews give you a good idea about how much others enjoy the car, and if they would recommend it to friends and family. They offer a different perspective than professional reviews, and they are very informative for anyone who is car shopping.

Watch out for the car salesman who offers you a price on a car before he visits his sales manager. The salesman will tell you anything you want to hear, but only the manager can approve the deal. Ask to speak to the manager face to face and see the deal on paper before committing to purchase the car.

Do not think that purchasing from a dealer is your only option. You have many options, including private sellers or smaller dealerships. Make sure you scan the local papers and social networking sites so you're able to make your search as effective as possible.

Only use reviews on the internet as a general guide. A lot of people when they have problems with a car will post negative reviews on the internet. So look at all the reviews for common problems as opposed to a general ranking. If there is a problem with a major component, then probably find a different vehicle.

One of the most important things to consider before making a car purchase is which car or style you want. By deciding this before entering a dealership, you will be able to avoid high-pressure sales. It also helps you to consolidate your searching and really inform yourself about one specific make and model.

New car buying has an element of excitement to it, but it can also be characterized by nervousness and uncertainty. Conquering the doubt the process can engender simply requires some education and knowledge. With any luck, the tips above have left you feeling prepared and confident about your next visit to the car dealership.


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