Monday, March 18

Ten Tips for Car Buyers

Reward1. Slow Down! Speed in the automobile business is a very dangerous thing.

2. Budget Before You Shop. Know what you plan to spend on a car before you begin to shop. Use the calculators in the FoolProof Car Buying Guide to help you determine that sum.

3. Do Your Homework. Is safety and reliability important to you? How about mechanical reliability? Sellers can't tell you if the cars they sell are unsafe or mechanically unreliable. We can help.

4. Don't Deal with Dealerships That Require You to Sign a Mandatory Binding Arbitration Agreement. Call dealerships before you visit them and ask. If they have require such an agreement, tell them you plan to take your business elsewhere.

5. Never Buy on Your First Visit. All dealerships want to sell you the first time you're there. Why? They make more if you don't shop!

6. Never Leave a Deposit Until the Seller Has Agreed to Your Price. Sellers want your deposit so you can't leave.

7. Don't Fall For "Spot" Delivery. You know: take it home "on the spot," the first time you've seen the car. Spot delivery means your emotions, not your pocketbook, are ruling the transaction.

8. Stop the Transaction if You Feel Pressured or Confused.

9. Always Compare Dealer Financing to Financing at a Bank or Credit Union.

10. Remember That the Price of the New Car Isn't Where Sellers Make Money. Many dealers will sell you a car for "cost" but still make thousands on you—on financing, on your trade-in, on add-ons and products such as credit insurance and warranties.