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Car Shopping Tips You Can Use

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Car Shopping Tips You Can Use

Wendy Miller
February 8, 2014


If you are thinking about purchasing a new car or truck, then you may be worried about getting ripped off. Everyone has heard stories about car dealerships, but if you are prepared with research and information, you can feel confident about the decisions you make. Read through this article to get that information.

Establish a budget before you go car shopping so you have a great idea of what is in your price range. Try your best to stay within your budget. If you must go over, the amount that you go over should not be so significant that it puts you in a financial bind.

Take time to look over the dealer prior to making buying offers. You will have more negotiating power if you know how they operate and what finance options they offer. Also, learning about their customer reviews can help you avoid getting ripped off.

Know what you want before you step foot in a dealership. You are going to be dealing with professional salespeople, so have your mind made up about what you are willing to pay, what you want and what you are not interested in. That will make it less likely for them to sway you.

Do not pay for lots of extras when you are buying a car. Sure, it would be nice to have a lot of fun features in your new car, but do you really need them? Every toy or gadget you add jacks up the price of the car considerably. Figure out what you really need, and just stick to that.

Be flexible. While you should head to the car dealership with a good idea of what you are looking for, it can pay to have a little wiggle room. Try to have several makes or models that fit your needs, and you can choose the best deal when you find out what is available at your particular dealer

Check the BBB rating of your local car dealers before you visit them. As you likely already know, car dealers can be less than honest. Save yourself from a lot of stress and expense by investigating how others feel about the car dealer. The time it takes is nothing compared to the time you can waste at a sheisty dealer.

Be wary of any dealer who is not willing to give you an extended test drive. Asking for a full afternoon to test out the car is a perfectly reasonable request. If the dealer refuses and will not accommodate the request, you should take your business elsewhere. A car is a big purchase and a big commitment, a dealer should understand that and let you get completely comfortable with the car before purchasing.

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.

A test drive needs to be taken. No matter if you have determined that your perfect car is already sitting on a dealer's lot, you still need to test it yourself. No amount of prior research can compete with first hand experience. You might notice that the feel of the car isn't what you expected.

Try your luck online. There are millions of cars being sold online. Prior to visiting a dealership, make sure you know as much as possible about the cars that interest you. The Internet is a great place to find information such as prices, reviews, vehicle specifications and a lot more.

Bring a spare set of keys with you to the dealership. When they ask for the keys to your trade in, give them the spare. Some dealerships will use your car keys to hold you hostage if a deal is not made. You want to avoid this, so make sure you have the ability to walk out of the dealership at any time without having to ask for your keys.

Now that you are prepared and informed, you are ready to go out and find the right car at the perfect price point. Don't forget these tips, and if you feel you are being pressured, step back and go through the article again. It is here for you whenever you need it!


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