The Do’s & Don’ts of Car Buying »

The Do’s & Don’ts of Car Buying

With all the sales events going on this month I thought I'd take a moment to discuss a few car buying rules. It's easy to get carried away by a good deal, or worse, a bad deal in holiday gift wrap. The thing is the deals are out there, but you have to keep your head straight. Here are a few of our industry insiders' top tips for car buyers.

Do shop around. Find overstock offers, year-end clearance sales and dealer liquidations.
Don't fall in love. Expand your options to a few different makes and models, test drive them and compare prices.

Do research loan options. Know your credit score, if it's better than 720 you're likely to qualify for $0 down deals and a 6% interest rate bank loan.

Don't take a long loan. Yes, the monthly payments sound awesome, but the longer you pay the more of your payment goes to interest.

Do lease. Many used 2009 models are back on dealer lots and leasing at the best values on the market.

Don't lease. I know, contradicting myself here, but due to depreciating car values lease interest rates for new cars are often equal to loan payments.

Do read the business section. With many car manufactures in limbo it's vital to understand who's likely to climb their way out, dead brand vehicles are expected to depreciate faster than normal.

Don't negotiate in person. Take advantage of email and telephone to communicate with dealers, this keeps YOU in YOUR comfort zone and will allow you to think through any deal on your own time.

To sum it all up, do your research and choose a car based on what is right for you. Don't let a dealer, lender or commercial make your decision for you. Please post your "do's and don'ts" in the comments, we're all here to learn from each other.

What Our customers are saying

The lease rate I got by calling the dealer was $67 higher than the rate I got from Car Leasing Secrets. It’s all about the local competition. So happy with my Benz!
Cristoph Wiese
Athens, GA
This is probably the easiest way to get quotes and compare them. I got one from each dealer in my city. One of them was surprisingly low. The quotes are free. No worries there.
Kristen Fletcher
Albany, NY
What a great way to shop around! I wanted a Corolla. There’s only one Toyota dealership in my city but I got a quote for a Honda Civic and decided to go with that one because I got such a good offer.
Mark Dolan
Missoula, MT