Shopping for a New Car

Take your time. Don't be rushed or get caught up in "new car fever." You'll have to work to get a good deal, so be prepared to spend the necessary time and energy.

If you're buying a new car, find out the invoice price before going to the dealership. The invoice price is the manufacturer's charge to the dealer. It should be the starting point from which you begin your negotiations. You can find out what the invoice price is on a particular model by checking automobile publications or websites such as Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.

Try it out and check it out.

You should not only take the vehicle for a test drive, but also do a thorough walk-around inspection and ask plenty of questions about anything unusual (such as more than 50 miles on a new vehicle, or claims that the car was a demonstrator or executive car). Since dealers are not required to disclose prior damage, even on new vehicles, unless the damage exceeds a certain dollar threshold, be sure to inquire specifically about any prior damage.

Next Step:  Negotiating & Closing the Deal