Car Shopping

6 Steps
To A Smart Buy

Ahhhh! Car shopping, the blood, the sweat, the tears...It is for some people, but after you read this tip, not for you.

Car shopping should be a fun, exciting time and can be, if you know what you're doing prior to ever walking into a dealership.

Remember, a vehicle is typically the second largest purchase you will make, so it is in your best interest to take a little bit of time and do some research.

As you may or may not know, repossessions are on the rise and even consumers with excellent credit history's are being affected by today's tough economy.

People are finding that their over inflated vehicle payments are strapping them for cash and they simply can't afford to keep up.

Follow these six simple steps to make the smartest buy possible and avoid the pain of over inflated payments.

Do Not
Buy New Vehicles

It's important to note that car shopping for new vehicles is typically not a good idea. This is due to the massive and immediate loss in value you will realize as soon as you drive off the car dealerships lot.

The only time it may be okay to buy a new vehicle is if you lease the vehicle, or employee pricing is available in addition to large rebates and special finance rates.

Do Not
Buy More Than You Can Afford

Car shopping can be an emotional adventure which can often times lead to making purchases that are a bit over your head.

An example would be someone making $2,000 a month and taking on a $500 (or more) a month car payment. You may think at the time you buy your new car you can make this payment, but I'm willing to bet you'll regret it a few months down the line.

I would suggest a payment that is no more than 15% of your gross monthly income.

Shop Online

Car shopping online has become the way of the future. The competition is fierce and you can shop a multitude of car dealerships with a few simple clicks of your mouse.

Do Arrange
Your Own Financing

Car Dealerships make big money when they arrange financing for you. It's a smart idea to get your own auto loan.

Of course, if they can beat the best rate you were able to get on your own, then finance with their source. Arranging your own financing will keep the dealer honest and make them compete for your business.

Do Negotiate
The Best Deal

This may sound difficult for some, but it is really not as hard as you think. Keep in mind that for every thousand dollars you are able to lower the sale price or get more for your trade, you will save an average of $20-$30 per month.

If you were able to negotiate $4,000 off the sale price that would equate to $80-$120 per month in savings. That's big! Check out some of my Car Buying Tips regarding negotiating a good deal.

Never, Don't, Do Not
Ever Buy A Car The First Day

Always, always see if the car dealership will allow you to take the vehicle home for the night before signing the contract.

You need time to evaluate the deal and the vehicle in a pressure free environment, without any sales people or sales managers trying to cloud your judgment and use your emotions against you.

For a complete 11 step plan to buy used cars or new cars read my step by step Car Buying Guide.

This is one of many car buying tips available, but an important one. Follow these steps and you will not only make a smart buy when car shopping, but also make the entire experience much easier and more enjoyable.

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