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What kind of research should I be doing before going to a dealership to buy a new car?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Patty Streeter,  at AskPatty.com Try going to some of the online sites to do your research like www.carsmagazine.com , Kelly Blue Book www.kbb.com and www.nada.org. What to do BEFORE you visit a dealership showroom Decide what type of vehicle will best meet your needs. Determine your monthly budget. Remember that every $1,000 you finance represents $20-$25 in monthly payments on a 60 month loan Keep in mind that additional costs exist and plan for them - costs such as sales tax, title or registration fees, and possible changes in monthly insurance payments Make a list of "wants and needs" - divide your list into features that you can't live without vs. features that you'd like only if your budget permits. Gather information on various models. Talk to friends, family, co-workers and insurance agents Read car brochures, automotive magazines and automotive sections of local newspapers Visit your local library to research the information you will need or search the internet Compare which vehicles offer the features you need as standard equipment or as an option. Research safety features such as air bags and anti-lock brakes, as well as comfort and convenience options. Then evaluate your wants and needs versus your budget. Research opportunities such as cash rebates and special promotions by calling dealerships, manufacturers or reading automotive sections of local newspapers. A list of rebates from every manufacturer is available through Automotive News, a publication also found at your local library. Approximate the wholesale/retail value of your "used" car. Acquaint yourself with the prevailing interest rate on a car loan from your local bank or credit union (if you have access to one).

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