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Do Your Research

Whether you are buying or leasing a vehicle, these tips will help you get the best deal and avoid problems.

  • Check out different car makes and models. Do your research first and compare vehicles. You can go to the website of every car manufacturer and review every model of car available. In fact, most manufacturer sites will even let you use drop down menus to “build” an electronic version of your dream car. Then, when you decide which model, colors, and accessories you want, you can hit the locate dealer button and find the closest showroom that has the cars you like.
  • Research the dealer’s price for the car and options. It’s easier to get the best price when you know what the dealer paid for a vehicle. The dealer invoice price is available at a number of websites and in printed pricing guides. Try to locate the wholesale price; this figure factors in dealer incentives from a manufacturer and is a more accurate estimate of what a dealer is paying for a car.
  • Find out if the manufacturer is offering rebates that will lower the cost.
  • Get price quotes from several dealers. Find out if the amounts quoted are the prices before or after rebates are deducted.
  • Avoid low-value extras such as credit insurance, auto club memberships, extended warranties, rust proofing and upholstery finishes. You do not have to purchase credit insurance in order to get a loan.
  • Hybrid-electric cars are  popular among consumers interested in fuel economy and reducing their negative impact on the environment. These cars combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors and can be configured to achieve different objectives such as improved fuel economy, increased power, or additional auxiliary power. Also look for the Smartway logo to identify cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars and trucks. Fueleconomy.gov has more information about hybrids, electric vehicles, and alternative fuels.