Guide to Buying a New Car

What You Need to Know About Buying a New Car

Don't Be Influenced By Ads

Create your list of cars to test drive based on research, focusing on reliable cars, with high owner satisfaction, good safety marks, and strong road test performance.

Don't Scrimp on Safety

Advanced safety features can help avoid an accident or lessen the impact of a crash. They are becoming widely available, though they are still not standard on many models and trims.

No Thanks to Extras

Car dealers generally make most of their profit from financing and the sale of a wide variety of extra add-on products like theft protection, asset protection, prepaid maintenance, tire and key replacement plans, VIN etching, and extended warranties.

Pass on Special Events

Don't shop during special sales events solicited by direct mail. These are often run by contracted specialists trained in techniques that increase a dealer's profit.

Smart Financing

Resist the temptation to focus strictly on monthly payments to consider the long-term impact of your finance strategy, considering loan rate, interest paid, trade in, and even depreciation.

Fees to Avoid

If you see additional "pre-delivery inspection," "delivery," "destination," or "dealer prep" charges on a second window sticker, you should refuse to pay them.