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Car Buying Tips

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 1:32pm | by Helen Hoart

The first car I bought I think I drank an entire water cooler of water while I was at the dealership.  I was sooooo nervous. It doesn’t have to be that way. Today car buying is much easier because you have so many options to become more knowledgeable before you ever step foot inside a car dealership.

The first thing to decide is your budget.  Be realistic.  If you have an economy car budget don’t start looking at luxury car ads.  Budget will also determine whether you to buy a new or used car. 

Make a list of your driving needs.  Do you have to do carpools?  Do you have to haul a trailer? Is fuel economy important to you?  Do you need four-wheel drive? Once you’ve narrowed down your needs, go online and begin your search.

If you’re going to apply for a loan to buy your car, make sure you know your credit rating. You can request copies of your credit rating from these agencies—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  If you stumble upon some problems in your credit report, here are some credit repair tips.

The next step is to do some online research.  Many sites, including Consumer Reports, Edmunds,  Autobytel, Autoweb, Car.Com, CarsDirect, ConsumerGuide.com, Invoice Dealers, will help you decipher the car buying world

Also go to the manufacturers’ websites.  I recently checked out Toyota’s Prius models and then test drove a Prius because fuel economy is very important to me.  I was particularly interested in the Toyota Prius C inventory since it was a “city” version of the Prius with low maintenance and compact design.

Another useful site is Car Buying Tips.com. This site offers up just about everything you need to know about buying a new or used car. The tips are invaluable for anyone who wants to make sure they don't overpay for their new car.  

Putting in the research time and effort up front will ensure that when you walk into the dealership you’ll know what you’re looking for, what options you want on your car, and what you are willing to pay.

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