Buying a new car in America can be an overwhelming experience. There is so much variety. The major car manufacturers advertise heavily on a national basis, and the local dealers advertise with equal aggressiveness. The unsuspecting customer can not only pay too much for a car, but can also end up with the wrong kind of car. So do your homework. Check the auto magazines and especially the consumer magazines to determine what car is best for you. Don’t just buy image or romance. Buy value and quality. You will have to live with the car for a long time.
Finding the Right Dealer. After you get a good idea of what kind of car you want to buy, you’ll then have to find a dealer for it. In most communities, there will be several dealers selling the same makes and models of cars. Price will not be your only criterion for choosing a dealer. Auto dealers are known for high pressure tactics. You want a dealer who has a good service department and who stands by the purchase with provable integrity. The only reliable way to find one is through personal recommendations–people who have purchased cars from a particular dealer and had good experience servicing the car with the dealer over a period of years.
Automobile Options. Once you find a good dealer and choose your dream vehicle, you still have to be careful not to buy unneeded and expensive options. You have to be strong when dealing with a professional salesperson. Most automobile sales are negotiable within a certain price range. It is common practice to “trade-in” a used car in exchange for a discount on the cost of a new one.
Automobile Financing. Dealers can often arrange bank financing for the car. This is convenient, but you might be able to get better rates if you arrange your own financing. It’s senseless to make a great deal for a car only to lose money by paying too much for the financing. You have to watch for deceptive advertising regarding financing. Some dealers may advertise very low interest rates for auto financing, even 0% financing. How do they do this? They charge more for the car in the first place. Watch out.
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