Go Car Shopping

Buying a car is as easy as can be, once you know how to go about it. In the past, it has often been a guessing game whether a certain car is what you need, nowadays technology can make it so much easier.


  1. Figure out what kind of vehicle you need/want. If you have 4 kids and plan to use the vehicle as a 'to and from work' vehicle, maybe a 2 door sports car wouldn't suit you as well as an SUV or 4 door sedan.
  2. Get an idea what brand/make you'd like to buy, if you have a preference in brand.
  3. Get an idea of what budget you are willing to spend.
  4. Visit your local lots and see what is out there in your local market. Oftentimes, a dealer may be able to make you a very good deal on last year's model, especially during the time when a lot is switching stock from year to year.
  5. Use an independent source to determine the wholesale and retail values of your target vehicle. The most frequently used sources for this are, DriverSide, Edmunds, andKelly Blue Book Is the seller's price very similar, or is there an unexplained difference in price?
  6. Visit a local mechanic and ask about vehicle reliability. Mechanics can usually give you a good idea what makes and models to stay away from. It may be in your best interest to visit two mechanics, if they both say that a certain make and model is not good, then you can make your decision from there.
  7. The test drive is the most underrated experience, and if done properly can make the choice of which car you want. Does everything work? Are the seats comfortable? Is it going to use so much fuel you can't afford it? That little rattle may be a non-issue sitting on the lot, but when you have to listen to it for an hour while commuting from a long day at work, it may be the final straw on your sanity back!


  • Take pen and paper to the dealer, mechanic, tire dealer and write down things you are likely to forget.
  • Check the Tire Sizes (they are printed on each tire on the sidewall) and ask a tire dealer what each tire would cost. Generally, low profile tires are more expensive, while bigger tires aren't as expensive. If you think you may be putting a lot of miles on the car, perhaps a model with less expensive tires would be more suitable. If you only want the car for weekend driving or as a backup vehicle this isn't as important.
  • Keep in mind that while some car salespeople have changed, some never will. At the end of the day, the seller is only concerned with moving the cars off the lot as quickly as possible, not about putting you into a car that you'll love. They get paid to get people that walk in to drive out. There are a few out there that really want to make a good deal for you, but there are many more that don't care as long as your car payment checks don't bounce!
  • BE FLEXIBLE! If you are willing to be a little generous on color, options, etc. you can actually get a very good deal. A CD player may be a $500 addition, but buying a CD Player and having it professionally installed may only cost $200 or less total!
  • Don't leave the lot with anything that you don't feel comfortable with. YOU have to drive the car long after the dealer has forgotten your name. If something is bothering you, tell the dealer he will have to make it right or you will do business elsewhere.


  • Make 100% sure that the car has a clear title. If there is any question to whether the car can be legally bought, transferred and tagged, WALK AWAY. I can think of only a handful of cars that weren't sold in large numbers, there's another one out there just like that one but with a legal title and history. (Under some circumstances, a title issue can make a car un-taggable, meaning that as soon as the drive out tags expire, you cannot legally run it on the road. Occasionally, it may be possible to drive it, but there may be a hefty fee associated.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil and Paper.

Related Articles


  • www.autotrader.com
  • www.cars.com/
  • www.driverside.com
  • www.edmunds.com
  • www.kbb.com/

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