Buying a New Car - 5 Easy Steps
1. Determine what characteristics the car must possess to suit your
purpose: good gas mileage,
performance, passenger space, towing capacity, style, etc. After
considering these factors,
you will need to decide whether your needs will be met by an SUV, sedan,
coupe, station wagon, truck,
luxury car, or minivan. You probably have a favorite car manufacturer.
Visit their web-site
and see what they have to offer in the category of your choice.
2. Once you have selected several specific vehicles and you have
compared their features,
you will need to find out how much they cost. The easiest price to find
is MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price), but that is merely a
guidelines for dealers to use. What you really need to know is the
invoice price and sometimes other hidden incentives available to dealers
from the car manufacturer.
You can follow "Research" link to check the invoice and retail prices.
Remember also to check the price on options that may interest you, such
as a navigation system, premium package and etc. Many times you will be
able to find "manufacturer to dealer" incentives online, but in many
cases it is well-guarded secret. Don't be shy to ask your dealer if
there are manufacturer incentives on the model you are interested in.
3. By now you know approximately what the vehicle will cost you. Let's
find out if the loan payments fit your budget. You have several ways to
go here - financing, leasing, or cash. If you have planned to pay for
the car in full at the time of the purchase (this is known as paying
"cash" even if you don't use actual cash), consider that your local
sales tax and registration fees
will be added to the selling price. And if there is special finance
rates available, sometimes as low as 0.0% APR, you
should consider taking that loan and depositing the money planed for the
car to where it can earn interest.
The advantages of leasing are that you may be able to expense your lease
if you are self-employed or running a home-based business (please
consult a tax professional). Also, if you like to have a new car every
2-4 years and you drive it less than 10,000-15,000 miles per year, a
lease is easier because you do not have to sell the car after the lease
is over. Monthly payments during a lease are smaller then those during
regular financing, and you pay the taxes monthly rather than as a lump
sum at the beginning like you do with regular financing. The advantages
of regular financing are that you have the satisfaction of ownership,
and that in the long run you will most probably save money because the
overall interest you pay turns out to be less.
4. To make sure you are staying within your car budget, don't forget to
check with your insurance company.
Many times people underestimate what insurance policy will cost,
especially when getting a high performance sports car. When requesting a
quote, try to get insurance pricing for all the cars you are
considering. This is also the good time to check with several different
insurance companies or an insurance broker, to make sure that you get
5. Now that you are armed with all the information, it is time to start
working with local dealers. At this point you should know exactly what
you want: Make, Model, Trim Level, Optional Packages and Color(s).
Submit online "Purchase Request" and in a short time you will receive a
price qoute (usually via e-mail) from one or several
local dealerships. The quote is provided by Internet/Fleet Managers and
usually is very competetive, but you don't have to agree to it right
away - make a counter offer. Try to negotiate via e-mail, as this will
give you a little more control because they cannot badger you in person.
Once you are satisfied with the price, it is time to schedule a visit to
the dealership, finish all needed paperwork, and drive off in your new