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If you are like most consumers buying a new car, you are probably looking for the perfect car at the right price with little or no hassle. While car buying is sometimes portrayed as stressful and intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. Armed with the right information and tactics, you can find the right car at the right price without having to jump through lots of hoops.

Why can buying a new car be so difficult? Well, there are many makes and models available, at a wide variety of price ranges. Add to this the high-pressure sales tactics you may encounter at the dealership, and it’s easy to see why buying a car can be so bewildering!

Well, first things first. Before you even think about heading into a dealership, set some parameters, do some research, and narrow down your choices.

Before you spend too much time on research, take a good look at your finances and decide how much you are willing to spend. That alone will significantly narrow your choices. Once you have a price range in mind, ask yourself what features you want your new car to have, and rank them in order of importance. For example, if you have a large family, a large car that can carry them all might be at the top of the list. If you live in an area known for bad weather, four-wheel drive might be a priority, while if you spend lots of time on the road you might want something with good gas mileage.

Once you have set your price range and priorities, it’s time to do a little research! Organizations like Consumer Reports list virtually all vehicles that are currently produced, as well as their prices, safety ratings, reliability ratings, gas mileage, and options. You can save a great deal of time by doing some research before you start visiting dealerships, as it will allow you to focus your choices even more closely.

Once you’ve gathered all your information, narrow your selections to between three and five makes. If you’ve done all your research, you should know how much each car costs on average, as well as whether they have the potential to meet your needs. Now it’s time to visit the car showrooms!

Visit the dealerships, and test drive each car. Ask each dealer what the price of the car is before you ask what your trade-in is worth. If there are several dealers that sell the same make within your area, it is worth visiting them all to compare price.

When at the dealership, try to avoid getting starry-eyed over options you don’t need. While a navigation system is certainly a fun and handy thing to have, don’t add it if it wasn’t on your list of priorities. Once you start looking at cars, it’s easy to go over budget. To avoid this, stick to your guns and only buy things you truly need.

Once you’ve made your choice, determine the value of your trade-in. Again, if you are visiting more than one dealer, compare what each dealer is willing to give you for trade in. In most cases, you can expect the dealer to give you the vehicle’s wholesale price, which is lower than its retail value.

Finally, when you have decided on the exact make and model, as well as the dealership, it’s time to arrange your financing. Shopping for a new car can be an enjoyable and interesting experience, and we trust these car buying tips have been helpful. Enjoy your new car!

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