• Car Shopping: Things to Know Before You Go

    Car shopping is much easier today because of the countless resources available on the Internet that can help you select and finance your next car.

    Know What You Want

    Be clear about what kind of car you want, such as a convertible or SUV. Make a list of the features you cannot live without, such as power locks or fuel efficiency. Then make a list of the extra goodies you’d like to have, but can live without such as a sunroof or leather seats. Review these lists often and remain open to other possibilities while shopping.

    Do Your Homework

    The Internet is abundant with free information from consumer sites and car owners who are thrilled to share their knowledge about cars, what they’re like to own and how much they cost.

    Be Patient

    Automobile manufacturers make millions of cars worldwide, year after year. It’s highly likely that you will find the right car for you, whether new or used. If you are in a pinch and need a car immediately, do not buy the first decent car you see. Buy yourself some time instead by renting an inexpensive car.

    Go with Confidence

    Get competitive quotes from trusted Internet sites such as Carsdirect.com. If you are old-school, and like going to a dealer lot, call ahead and make an appointment with a sales person. Ask to have one or two cars ready to test-drive by the time you get there.

    Never Shop Hungry

    As is the rule with groceries, so too is it with cars. Car shopping is an exhausting process designed to wear you down. Eat before you go and you will be less likely to drive home in the dented Cavalier with two missing hubcaps for Honda Accord money.

    Have Fun

    If you’re like most people, you don’t buy a car everyday-you probably wait several years, and you probably dislike the process. The most important thing when car shopping is to have fun. As soon as you notice that you are not having fun, stop what you are doing and take a time out.