Knowledge is Power When it Comes to Buying a Car

Ride of a Lifetime


Knowledge is Power When it Comes to Buying a Car

By Michelle Ochsner

So you’ve decided it’s time to buy a new car. With so many dealerships out there, you feel like a very small fish in an ocean full of sharks, and with good reason. Car buying is one of those experiences that can either be awe-inspiring or the worst thing that’s happened to you since that horrible date your mother set you up on.

But where do you start?

Explore your buying options to find what best suits your wants and needs. First, decide what type of car is right for you. This decision will likely be made based on lifestyle and a budget that isn’t more than twenty percent of your monthly income. Things to keep mind while researching automobile types are prices, fuel economy, family size, reliable hauling, towing capacity, luxury, and style.

Now that you’ve determined the type of car you need, the hard part begins. It’s overwhelming with so many makes and models to choose from. Outside influences and personal experience are significant when deciding which to select. Whichever you decide; Ford, Honda, Chevy, Dodge, or Toyota, do your homework! Utilize the internet and become an informed buyer. Remember, knowledge is power. Websites such as,, and (Kelly Blue Book) have buyers guides designed to counsel you.

When you’re ready to find a dealership, select ones recommended by friends, family, and co-workers. Walk-in there knowing as much as possible about that style of car you are going to purchase including rebates, incentives, and the true market value, TMV. Download a mobile app to your smartphone for quick information as you explore your buying options on the car lot. You’ll be there for hours so eat before you go shopping. This will keep you focused on the task.

Learn to negotiate. Even though you will never master the art of negotiations like a professional car salesman, the skill can save you thousands of dollars. Research and understand dealerships pricing structures and be ready to quote the absolute highest price your willing to pay as you negotiate. Shop mid-week and at the end of the month when sales are slower or quotas haven’t been met. Learn how to interact with salespeople and stay focused on why your there. You want to buy a car and they want to sell you a car. If you feel you’re being taken or the price is way over budget, simply walk out and go somewhere else.

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