PrimeLists: Buying a Car

Written by: Tony Lin

Buying a car is a complicated process with multiple steps involves.  With the new PrimeLists, the collection of articles and advice found in this article will arm you with everything that you’ll need to tackle the dealership and buy your new (or used) vehicle.

The car buying process goes from determining the general outlines of the kind of car you’re looking for, to heading to the dealership to shop for a car, closing the deal, and financing your car (if you intend on financing it).  This PrimeList will go through the whole process of buying a car.

Determine Your Ability to Afford a Car

1. You need to figure out if you can afford a car.  If you have the money to pay for it upfront, that is great.  If you’re planning on taking out a loan, use a monthly calculator to figure out if you can afford it.

2. If you’re planning on trading in your current vehicle to help pay for a new one, then do your research on the trade-in value of the vehicle.  Ideally, you want to maximize the trade in value of the old car to reduce the cost of buying a new one.

3. Finally, figure out when is the best time to go buying a car so you can buy a new car at its lowest price.

Buying and Financing a New Car

1. The Dealership is often seen as a scary place in the US, but it doesn’t have to be.  However, you have to realize that their goal is to charge you as much money for the car as you can.  There is an excellent article from Edmunds.com highlighting the tactics and problems of a dealership.

2. Negotiating with the dealership over the car is probably one of the more stressful things out there.  You have to make sure you’re armed with the invoice and fair price and ensure that you get the lowest cost possible.

3. Financing a new car does have to be difficult.  There is a 4 part series on PrimeRates describing how you should go about financing your car: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4.

Buying a Used Car

There are multiple ways to go about buying a used car, but it is very similar to buying a new car.  However, it is much harder to determine how much that used car is worth and how low the seller is willing to go.

PrimeRates has an excellent 3 part series on buying a used car from a private seller: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3.

1. Evaluate your used car.  You need to figure out how much it is probably worth before making an offer on it.  Look at similar cars to compare their prices.

2. Negotiate the price.  You have far more leeway on negotiating the price of a used car because there is no invoice floor price.

3. Financing your used car is as easy as financing a new car.  Here are some steps to get a used car loan.  As with all loans, you want to make sure that you get the best rate on that used car loan.


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PrimeLists: Buying a Car

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