New Car Buyers Guide

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Buying a new car is a big investment and very exciting time for most people. But buying a new car is something that should take some time and plenty of thought. With this simple guide to buying a new car, you can save time and energy —and hopefully, end up with the perfect car to fit your needs.

New Car Buyers Guide

Research Before Your Buy

Before you invest in a new car, think about the features you want and need. Some important factors to keep in mind include:

  • Features Your Need
  • Features You Want
  • Safety
  • Reliability
  • Budget
  • Hidden Costs (depreciation rate, avg. miles per gallon, registration fees, insurance, etc.)

Once you’ve decided on which features are most important to you and which features you can skip, take a look at important vehicle ratings from the experts including Edmunds, J.D. Power Circle ratings and the Kelly Blue Book. Don’t forget about those hidden fees either! Use your state’s tax & tag calculator to factor in your registration fees to your final budget.

Car Buying Service

Many drivers also choose to work with a car buying service to help the process along. While some charge a flat fee for their services, they can find the car you want, negotiate a price and even arrange for delivery if you buy online.

Lemon Laws

No one wants to buy a new car only to get it home to find that it is a lemon. Most states have a clear Lemon Law defined, so be sure to research your rights before you buy.

Choosing the Best Time to Buy

There are a couple of good times each year to visit a dealership and get a great price, including:

  • The end of each month when salespeople are trying to meet their sales quota.
  • In December, most dealerships are looking to get rid of the current year model vehicles. To make room for next years models.


Going into a purchase with as much information as possible is the best way to come out on top of a deal. As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to request a price quote from at least 3 local car dealerships and compare them to get a good idea for the market. And be sure to ask about any incentives or rebates available to keep your costs down.

Trading-in a Used Car

You may be able to take some money off the asking price for a new car by trading in your old one as part of the purchase transaction. Be aware that a dealership may offer you less money for a used car than it may be sold for in the open market. However, trading a car back into a dealer is often easier than faster than other alternatives.

Reading the Window Sticker

The window sticker on a new car contains a ton of important information, including:

  • Model Information – Usually located in the top right corner.
  • Standard Equipment and Warranty – Typically located below the model information.
  • Optional Equipment, Pricing, Parts Content and Total Price – These sections are all typically located below the warranty information.
  • Fuel Economy, QR code and Safety Ratings – All located to the right-hand side of the sticker.


The type of car you drive can have a great affect on how much you pay for insurance. Get an insurance quote before you buy so that you know exactly what your premium rate will be. A Valid insurance policy is one of those important DMV requirements you must have before you can drive your new car off the lot.

Avoid These Common Mistakes

When you buy a new car, be sure to avoid these common mistakes so that you don’t regret your purchase later on.

Neglecting Your Research

With so many options available today, knowing what you’re looking for is half the battle. Spend time researching the make and models, pricing and the best place to buy.


Sit down and consider all of your budgetary costs like new car taxes & fees before heading to the dealership.

Don’t Give In

Feeling pressure from a dealer, friend or family member to buy a car? Don’t give in! Follow your plan and only buy when you feel comfortable.

Test Drive

Never buy a new car without completing a test drive. Look for how the car handles, brakes, accelerates, etc.