The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Car

Buying a car is a big investment, and it's important to make sure you get the best deal possible. Our experts have put together a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the car-buying process. Whether it's your first time or your 50th, always start by creating a budget. A good rule of thumb is that the price of the car should be equal to or less than 20% of your annual pre-tax income.

When you're ready to start shopping, take control of the transaction. Tell the seller that you are not buying a car today under any circumstances, but that you will buy it soon. Today you're just shopping and finding out facts. Be firm and don't let the seller lead you into any buying conversations today.

If you start to feel pressure or confusion, leave immediately. We've found a source where you can get information on new car rebates, secret factory-to-dealer incentives, and new car dealer invoice pricing. When you reach an agreement and view a fully completed buyer's order, compare the line of the amount owed to the difference figure on the buyer's fact sheet for the vehicle. Ask your mechanic to check the car carefully and tell you how much he will want to put the car in good condition so that it doesn't look like new.

Dealers love to combine their trade-in with the price of the new car, as it creates price confusion and makes it difficult to compare offers. From a financial standpoint, the less you spend on a car, the more money you have left over for everything else. Many people who have followed FoolproofMe's approach to the automotive business regularly save thousands and thousands of dollars. When it comes to financing, Reed suggests a five-year loan as it has been traditionally seen as a sweet spot.

You'll learn how to find the best deal, whether you need to buy a new, used, or “certified pre-owned” car, how to insure yourself for less, how to sell your old car, and more. Some people prefer to buy used because the big drop in value just by leaving the lot has already occurred. TrueCar is a company that allows you to buy and price your car online and puts you in contact with a local partner dealer to deliver the car. The dealer salesman will often want to know if you plan to change another car and if you also want to get a loan through the dealership.

At some point during the car buying process, many dealers will try to change it from buying to leasing. Be sure not to get stuck in debt more than the car is worth.