back to articles | December 31, 2018 | Dale Peterson

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Car Buying Tips

Tips for Buying a Car

Car Buying Tip #1
Think about what car you want to buy, and how much you want to spend. Do some research. You'll be less likely to feel pressured into buying a car, and more likely to get a better deal.

Car Buying Tip #2
Check publications at a library or bookstore, or on the Internet, that discuss car features and prices. These may provide information on the dealer's costs for specific cars.

Car Buying Tip #3
Shop around to get the best possible price by comparing cars in ads and at dealer showrooms. You also may want to contact car buying services and car broker buying services to make comparisons.

Car Buying Tip #4
Plan to negotiate on the cars price. Dealers may be willing to bargain between 10 and 20 percent on the car's price. Usually, this is the difference between the car's suggested retail price (MSRP) and the car's invoice price.

Car Buying Tip #5
Because the price is a factor in the sale whether you pay cash or finance your car -- and also affects your monthly car payments -- negotiating the price can save you money.

Car Buying Tip #6
Consider ordering your car if you don't see the car you want to buy on the dealer's lot. Cars on the lot may have options you don't want to buy, raising the price. Keep in mind, dealers may want to sell a car on the lot quickly, so you may be able to negotiate a good deal if you want to buy a car that is on the lot.

Car Buying Tip #7
The car's invoice price is usually is higher than the dealer's final cost. So negotiate down from there.

Car Buying Tip #8
Base Price is the cost of the car without options, but includes standard equipment and factory warranty. This price is printed on the window sticker.

Car Buying Tip #9
The car's Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price or Sticker Price (MSRP) is the base price with the manufacturer's installed options and includes the manufacturer's suggested retail price, the manufacturer's transportation charge, and the fuel economy (mileage). Called the Monroney sticker, this label is required by federal law, and may be removed only by the car buyer.

Car Buying Tip #10
The car's Dealer Sticker Price is the MSRP sticker price plus the suggested retail price of dealer options. Keep this in mind when negotiating to buy a car.