Test drive more than one car before you buy it. Any new car is going to feel fantastic if you’re used to driving an old one. Think seriously about how the ride feels, where the buttons are located, and how much of the road you are able to see. Test-driving more than one car will help you realize where you want to be.
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Know your credit score before you enter the showroom. Your credit score will help to determine your financing rate, and knowing it helps you to understand how much you will have to pay for your car. The best financing rates are often reserved for those with the best credit score. Knowing yours can help you to be realistic about your chances of getting the very best deals.
Consider selling your car privately, rather than trading it in for the new car you want. You will almost always get more for your car through a private sale than you would through a trade in. Even if the dealership makes it sound like they are giving you a great trade in value, they will likely raise the price somewhere else to make up for the difference.
Learn about the true market value of the car before making an offer. Oftentimes, dealers will have the car marked up a certain percent over the value so they have some wiggle room. If you know the market value, you can better haggle with them about the price you will pay out the door.