When buying your next car, be sure you get your desired value. This process is not easy, especially when pesky salesmen are trying to convince you to make a deal that isn't in your best interest.
Before beginning your car shopping journey map out exactly how much of a payment you can afford. Take the time to write out a budget and see how much money is left over each month. By doing this one step, you can avoid getting into a situation where you put a financial strain on your budget.
Check out the maker's site if you want to customize your car. While the cars on the dealership lot may be the kind of car, you want, a number of car manufacturers give you the opportunity to customize the car a bit with color and features. You may have to wait a few weeks more to get your car, but it might be worth it.
Take an extended test drive. Don't just take it for a quick spin through the neighborhood by yourself. Instead, enlist everyone who will be regularly riding in the car to share their opinions. Ask the dealer for a full afternoon test drive so that you have the chance to take it on the freeway to check things like the pickup and the blind spots, and spend some time really feeling the comfort of the interior.
If you cannot find the exact car that you want, ask your dealership if they can order it for you. Most domestic cars can be custom ordered with the exact upgrades and options that you want. Even used cars are often easy for car dealerships to find and have shipped to their location. You will have to wait a bit longer for this option, but it might be worth it if you have your heart set on something specific.
While the dealership that you buy your vehicle through will offer to finance, check into your options. Get a loan quote from your bank or a credit union. Oftentimes, they will offer better rates than the dealership. This will allow you to bring those quotes to the dealership's financial officer and negotiate a lower rate.
When shopping for a car, it is important that you keep safety in mind. "Passive Safety" involves the features the car has to keep everyone in it safe. This includes reliable seat belts, airbags, energy-absorbing crumple zones, and head-protecting advice. Look for these features when searching for a car.
Never give your trade-in's keys to the dealer before you've come to an agreement. The dealer could take your keys (and thus, your car) hostage and manipulate you into an unfair deal. Always hold on to your keys and if the dealer wants to take a look inside the car, open it up for them while you hold the keys.