In order to buy new cars the smart way, a lot of preparation and research is required, from choosing the right car (with the right financing) to making sure that you are really getting a great deal. And the new car industry has lots of tricks and secrets that can cost you thousands of dollars if you unknowingly fall victim to them. So we will assume that you don't already know how this business works, and we will provide some basic car buying tactics that are designed to teach you how to buy a new car.
- Figure out how much car your budget will allow. If you need help with this, use an online car loan calculator. Make sure your finances and credit score are in good shape, and allow enough time before purchasing to fix any mistakes that might show up in your credit file. Once that is done, shop around for a pre-approved car loan.
- If you don't already know what kind of new car to buy, use the Internet to search for vehicles that are within your price range and narrow that list by conducting extensive research. Try to do most of this research online so that you don't have to road test a hundred different vehicles. If at all possible, research all of the models, options and prices before visiting any dealerships. When you have reduced the list to a few different models, it is time to road test them. Be sure to leave your checkbook and car title at home to prevent dealers from pressuring you to buy before you are ready. Tell dealers that you are just looking and that you are not going to buy for several weeks.
- When you are researching new car prices, be sure to check out all of the available rebates and incentives that may apply. Some of these incentives (like dealer holdback and factory-to-dealer cash incentives) are closely held secrets, so you will have to do some digging. It is worth the effort though, since some incentives can be $3,000 or more. If you don't know about them, you will end up overpaying.
- Be sure to get lots of free new car price quotes when you are finally ready to buy. You can get them at many buy new car online websites and there is no cost or obligation. You just have to provide your contact information. These free quotes can also be used to find out which dealers have the car you want in stock.
- Do not consider these free quotes to be the dealers' final offers. Instead, use these quotes to start negotiating a better deal by playing the dealers against each other. They need to sell a lot of cars every month, so they need you a lot more than you need them. It's all just a game, so play it cool and take your time. Remember that rushing into a deal is always a mistake. (For more negotiating tips, visit several how to buy a new car websites.)
- Once you and the dealer have reached agreement on the price, you will have to go to the dealer to finalize the transaction. Before signing any contracts, read everything first and don't sign anything that you do not understand. Be sure to do a thorough inspection of the vehicle before accepting delivery to verify that all of the accessories and options are actually on the car and that there is no physical damage like scrapes, dents or torn upholstery. Then enjoy your new car!
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