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4 minutes read. Published October 21, 2022

Writer: Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers with the ins and outs of securely taking out loans to buy cars. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances through providing concise, well-studied information that breaks down complex topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate guarantee

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who ensure everything we publish is objective, accurate and reliable. Our loans reporter and editor focus on the things that consumers care about most — the various types of loans available and the most competitive rates, the top lenders, the best ways to pay off debt and more — so you can feel confident when investing your money. Integrity of the editing

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There are money-related questions. Bankrate can help. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We are constantly striving to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey. Bankrate adheres to a strict code of conduct , which means you can trust that our information is trustworthy and reliable. Our award-winning editors and journalists produce honest and reliable information to assist you in making the right financial decisions. The content created by our editorial staff is objective, truthful and uninfluenced through our sponsors. We’re open about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates and helpful tools to you by explaining how we make money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated for the promotion of sponsored goods and services or when you click on certain links posted on our website. So, this compensation can influence the manner, place and in what order products are listed, except where prohibited by law. This is the case for our mortgage, home equity and other products for home loans. Other elements, such as our own website rules and whether the product is available within your region or within your personal credit score may also influence how and where products appear on this site. We strive to provide an array of offers, Bankrate does not include details about each financial or credit item or service. The process of buying a car for the first time can be intimidating as well. One of the toughest elements of the process is knowing where to start. From choosing the best car for your lifestyle and budget to negotiating the best deal, there are a lot of steps to take. New car prices are high due to inflation and shortage of inventory . It is therefore crucial to be well-prepared for the buying process. If a car purchase is in your future, take these steps to ensure you get the best deal and car that meets your requirements. Before you head to the dealer researching a lot of the research involved in purchasing a new car happens before you even set to the floor of a dealer. Here’s where you can begin. Start by setting your sights. This may seem obvious however your first task is determine which vehicle you’d like to purchase with regard to the features that are important versus good to have. Check pricing. Before you begin negotiations, be aware of the current market prices and establish expectations for how much you’re willing to pay. This is an excellent source for researching current car pricing before arriving at the dealer. Investigate financing options. There are two primary options for car financing as follows . Pros and Cons for each of these options. Independent lenders may offer you an interest rate that is lower however, dealerships may offer incentives -for example- if you take out a loan through them. Do the calculation. The cost of owning a car is much more than the initial price. Be prepared to cover other costs like gas, insurance, registration, taxes and other fees. Be sure to check your credit score. As with most big buys, your credit score is an important aspect in your rate of interest. and before going to the dealership. Prepare your paperwork. Make sure you arrive at the dealership with your driver’s licence, your payment method, and evidence of insurance. If you’re financing through an auto dealer, then you’ll also require evidence of income, employment and residence. Get preapproved for a car loan with at three lenders. It only takes about a minute for your precious time. A loan preapproval provides you with the same negotiation power as a cash buyer and lets the dealer know that you mean business. Preapproval letters typically last for up to 30 – or 60-days. On the lot: Investigating the car A test drive is among the most important aspects of your car purchase. Explore every aspect of your car keeping your lifestyle in mind. Take a look at the particulars. The car you choose to drive for quite some time, so be ready to investigate the ins and outs to make sure you’re getting the best fit. Are the seats comfortable? Can you easily access the spare tire? Do you have enough room in the trunk? Plan a test route. Check the car out within the exact conditions which you’ll be driving it — on the freeway, through stop-and-go congestion, parking spaces and on hills. If you’re not familiar with the area well, tell the salesperson about the kind of driving you want to perform and ask what direction you should take. Start driving. Enjoy to your own time while driving to test the brakes and parking in tight spots and check the visibility. Also, you should be aware of the road noise and smoothness of the ride. You can compare the vehicle that you are considering to the list you made. Remember that list of nice-to-haves and the essentials you wrote down? Now that you’ve found a car check that the car aligns with these priorities, so that you have the ideal lifestyle you desire. Let your emotions go. If you’re in the new car on the lot, enjoying its high-tech features and new car smell, it’s effortless to lose track of your financial plan and must-haves and let your emotions run the show. If you come across a vehicle you like but doesn’t fit the criteria you set, head home and contemplate the purchase before making a decision. When you are on the road: Deal-making Once you have chosen the car you want to drive home You’ll have to be prepared to make inquiries and negotiate for an affordable price. Check for deals. Dealerships can offer special pricing depending on the or even the day of the week. Look for special prices or rebates before meeting with an agent. Do not discuss trade-ins. The salesperson is likely to offer a deal purchase, but you should negotiate your purchase price before discussing the value of your previous vehicle. This way, the dealer will not have an estimate in mind in relation to the value of the vehicle you previously owned. Create a counter offer. Utilize the number you gathered while researching market value to guide your decision. The trick to counteroffer is not to be too exaggerated that the seller will be taken seriously, but to push back enough to get the most favorable price. Be confident when negotiating. Negotiation is among the most stressful aspects of car purchasing. But if you come with the best price on the price of the car and financing from the dealer in the event that it is available it could mean you save money. Don’t overdo your negotiation; always be ready to walk away if you’re unsatisfied with an offer. Read the fine details. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you read your contract in full. Be sure to pay attention to the money due upfront, including closing costs and . A lot of these costs can be waived or negotiated from the dealership. The main thing to remember is that buying a new car will impact your budget for years, so be sure you’re prepared when you begin the process. Do your research before heading to the dealer, then crunch the numbers, and determine the amount you’re willing to pay. And, once you head to the dealership, keep your emotions at home and remain focused about your budget. Learn more


The article was written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers in navigating the ins and outs of securely taking out loans to purchase cars. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to control their finances with precise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into digestible pieces.

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