10 Tips and Strategies for Buying a New Car

Buying a new car is a stressful process, but it doesn't have to be. From calculating your budget to finding the right car and finishing all the paperwork, there are many things to consider when buying a car. To make sure you get the best quality vehicle at the lowest price, here are 10 tips and strategies to help you through the process. First, assess your family's needs and the demands of your trip to work before narrowing down your selection.

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. When car dealers know you've done your homework, they're more likely to offer their best deal first.Don't let price be the only factor when buying a car. 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.

Compare dealerships that offer concierge test drive service for a sales representative to give you the test drive.When it comes to negotiating, 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.Be aware of additional charges after signing. It's your job to keep “hidden expenses” in mind beforehand.

State and local taxes and registration fees will not be negotiable. Taken together, these costs can add up to approximately 10 percent of the total cost of your car.You also have the right to have the car checked by a mechanic before making a purchase. Research cars that might interest you before going to a dealership, instead of going unawares. To determine what type of car you want, use resources like US News Best Cars or Autotrader.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.

If you know everything that's going on, you'll be way ahead of most car buyers.Once you've decided on a car, go back to the dealership that has the car you like another time and tell them you're ready to buy. However, many buyers find the convenience of driving their old and new car outside convincing.It's a good idea to really mark what not to do at the dealership as it can be even more important than knowing what to do. Don't fall in love at first sight or assume that new cars are the same at two dealerships even if both are local. Don't know about additional charges after signing or let price be the only factor when buying a car.

Calculate how much you need to tow before buying and make sure the vehicle you choose is up to the task.