Last Modified: March 17, 2020 by Jeff Ostroff | Originally Published May 7, 1999
Using our car buying advice and tools, you’ll get a great deal that is more than fair for the dealership. If you set out to and aren’t prepared, then prepare to get ripped off, it’s that simple. We’ll explain how to get the most out of tools like TrueCar and RydeShopper.
People have no problem taking weeks to plan a vacation, but don’t spend a few hours doing research before they buy a $30,000 vehicle. Remember, the lowest price is not always the best “deal.” There are other factors that you need to take into account. You’ll be able to save a ton of money by following our advice.
1. The Best Car Price Doesn’t Mean You Got a Good Deal
A good deal means that you were treated fairly and the dealership made a reasonable profit. The most important thing you’ll read here on CarBuyingTips.com is to make sure that you don’t just focus on the final price. Some dealers will play the “Cash Flow Shell Game” so they can rip you off while making you think you’re getting a good deal. An example:
They give you a very low new car price.
Finance manager sneaks in car buying fees.
The dealer undervalues your vehicle trade-in.
Your car loan APR is increased.
The buyer in this example thought they were getting a good new car deal because of the low price, but they actually got ripped off. We’ll explain all of the tricks to look out for and teach you how to avoid becoming a victim. To save the most money make sure you read the whole site. If you miss one valuable topic on CarBuyingTips.com it can cost you thousands of dollars.
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See How Much You Can Save Get Real Pricing on Actual Cars
Begin by getting the lowest price using services like TrueCar, RydeShopper, Edmunds and Cars.com. Don’t be a “monthly payment buyer” and only look at the payment amount – that is the worst thing you can do. Doing this or becoming a “trade-in buyer” is exactly what the dealer wants and you’ll play right into their hand. Once this happens, you’ll get ripped off, I guarantee it!
2. When is the best time to buy a new car?
This is more complex than you think. The incomplete answer is there are two “best times.” September and October, as dealers sell off cars to clear space for the new models. Also, December when everyone is out shopping for XMAS gifts, leaving dealer lots void of customers, motivating them to cut prices to meet year end sales goals. For complete details visit our article: Best Time to Buy a Car.
3. All Prep Work Can be Done from Your PC, Tablet or Phone
The last time I bought a vehicle I was able to do all my homework without leaving my house. In the
Before you start shopping for a used car, do some homework. It may save you serious money. Consider your driving habits, what the car will be used for, and your budget. Research models, options, costs, repair records, safety tests, and mileage — online and through libraries and bookstores.
Whether you buy a used car from a dealer or an individual:
Test drive the car under varied road conditions — on hills, highways, and in stop-and-go traffic.
Ask for the car’s maintenance record from the owner, dealer, or repair shop.
Determine the value of the vehicle before you negotiate the purchase. Check the National Automobile Dealers Association’s (NADA) Guides, Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and Consumer Reports. Some of these organizations charge for this information.
Research the upkeep costs for models you’re interested in, including the frequency of repairs and maintenance costs.
Examine the car using an inspection checklist. You can find checklists in magazines, books, and on websites that deal with used cars.
Check whether there are any unrepaired recalls on a vehicle. Start by asking the dealer if the vehicle you’re considering has a recall. You also can check yourself by entering the VIN at safercar.gov, or by calling the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236. If there is a recall, ask the dealer to fix it, or to give you information showing it was fixed. Keep in mind that federal law doesn’t require dealers to fix recalls on used cars, so you might need to get the repair done yourself. But don’t wait — according to NHTSA, all safety recalls pose safety risks and, left unrepaired, might lead to accidents.
Get an independent review of a vehicle’s history. Check a trusted database service that gathers information from state and local authorities, salvage yards, and insurance companies. For example, the Department of Justice’s National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) offers information about a vehicle’s title, odometer data, and certain damage history. Expect to pay a small fee for each report. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) maintains a free database that includes flood damage and other information. You can investigate a car’s history by its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). You also can search online for companies that sell vehicle history reports. If the report isn’t recent or you suspect that it has missing or fabricated information, verify it with the reporting company. The information in the reports may not be complete, so you may want to get a second report from a different reporting company. Some dealer websites have links to free reports.
You have two choices: pay in full or finance over time. Financing increases the total cost of the car because you’re also paying for the cost of credit, including interest and other costs. Consider how much you can put down, the monthly payment, the financing term (such as 48 months), and the
Welcome to the best free car buying guide! We have been educating car buyers since 1999. We cover everything you need to know about buying new or used cars and avoiding car dealer scams. We will review key resources like TrueCar and RydeShopper.
Complete guide to buying a new car. We will help you avoid the traditional negotiating hassles. You will learn how to get the best deal and avoid all of the common dealer tricks and scams.
Learn all of the important steps when buying a used car. We will cover all topics including choosing a car, getting quotes, negotiating with the seller and protecting yourself from buying a lemon.
We give you the truth that dealers don’t want you to know. We level the playing field, teaching you how to get the best price on a car, while allowing for a fair dealer profit. We give you useful, easy to understand, examples of each step in the car buying process. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll buy a car.
We’ve created some informative and useful videos on various topics related to cars. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel so that you’ll always be alerted to our latest productions.
Once you have decided to shop for a car, the first big decision you need to make is new or used. Most people have a very strong opinion on this topic. Typically it will come down to budget and personal preference. Some people would rather buy used because the large drop in value just by driving off the lot has already happened. Others prefer to only buy new because there is no risk of hidden issues not covered by a warranty.
You will always get more car for your money when buying pre-owned vehicles. The downside is that what you are buying has been used by somebody else and you don’t know how it was cared for. Whichever you decide, your goal is to get the best deal. It’s a good thing you landed here because, if you read carefully and follow our tips, you will learn everything you need to know about the process.
We’ll review auto buying sites and teach you how to use them to get competing bids to keep the dealers in line. In our research, the best sites we found are TrueCar, RydeShopper, Edmunds and Cars.com. You’ll learn how to calculate what dealers pay for new cars and trucks so that you can make a fair offer. You’ll learn all you need to know in our new car buying guide.
Beware of “Good” or “Fair” Prices
You probably think that is a strange warning from a site that tells you how to
Thanks for visiting my website! My name is Tony Iorio. I am a 37 year veteran of the car business. If you want to learn how to buy a new or used car at the lowest possible price with the best car financing available . . .without being badgered and ripped-off at every turn, then you’re in the right place.
You will also learn how to trade a car even if you owe money on it, the best time to buy a car, How to try to get a car loan with bad credit, how to avoid problems when financing your car through a dealer, what goes on behind the scenes in a car dealership during a car deal and many other aspects of the car buying process.
You will find no theory here – only actual proven facts from my own hands on car dealership experience!
Most car dealers and car sales people are honest folks, but you must remember. . . Car Sales People, Sales Managers and Finance Managers all work on commission. They are thinking about their pay checks first when selling you a vehicle and arranging car financing for you!
You should also be aware that many car dealers train their sales staffs in a Dedicated Professional Selling System designed to manipulate you into making an emotional car buying decision before you have a chance to think it through. So Be Prepared!
Explore this website. There are hundreds of pages of car buying secrets and car buying advice here. Information and tips that will save you thousands of dollars, tons of time and a whole lot of aggravation in your quest to buy and trade a vehicle!
Some Emails From My Website Visitors:
Tony . . . “A note of thanks for teaching me the in’s and outs of negotiating the best deal on a new car. After spending time learning from your website I was able to save thousands of dollars on the purchase on a brand new Honda. I was able to buy it at $200 below the invoice price by employing many of the strategies mapped out on your well designed website.” Andy
This is an email I received from a very happy website visitor who used the information on this website to get herself a great car deal! Read Her Email Here!
“I’m a General Sales Manager of a large dealership. You obviously do have the experience in your explanations of how the whole automobile industry machine works. To anyone buying a car you offer solid helpful advice.” James
Hi Tony… “Just thought I’d drop you a line to let you know I bought my car today, and I couldn’t have done it without your advice and information. I was dreading the whole experience, but thanks to you I DON’T feel as though I got taken….I almost feel a little guilty!
“As you say Tony, you can save thousands of dollars if you take the time to be informed.
Buying a car – whether new or used – is one of the biggest purchases we make. It is important to take your time in deciding which car to buy and not be pressured by anyone who simply wants your money or your signature on a contract. Once you decide on the vehicle that best fits your needs and budget, shop around for the best price, know the vehicle’s history (if used), and be prepared to walk away from the deal if your questions are not being answered. Before you buy or lease a vehicle:
Know the value of the vehicle by checking vehicle pricing guides, newspaper ads, the Internet, or by comparison shopping. Popular publications include the National Automobile Dealers Association’s (NADA) Guides, Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and Consumer Reports. Some may charge for this information.
Always read and understand your purchase contract. Carefully review the vehicle’s price, fees, and finance charges. Don’t sign anything you don’t understand.
Make sure you understand the manufacturer’s warranty or any extended warranties offered by the dealer at extra cost. Because the cost of an extended warranty can be expensive, you should find out what it covers before you buy it.
When getting a loan, compare interest rates. You may pay more money when a dealer obtains a loan on your behalf than if you go directly to a bank or lender.
Protect yourself from fraud and unsafe used vehicles. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) provides important information about a used vehicle’s history. You can obtain a NMVTIS report at www.vehiclehistory.gov. Licensed dealers selling used cars must have a NMVTIS report to show you.
Understand the restrictions when buying an out of state vehicle: the car must be certified to meet California smog laws to be registered in California. See Buying an Out of State Vehicle on the California DMV website.
Find out if a vehicle has a safety recall notice and whether it has been repaired by checking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Center for Auto Safety websites.
Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights
The Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights gives you certain protections when you buy a new or used vehicle from a licensed California dealer:
Buyer Disclosures. No charges may be added to your contract without full disclosure and your consent. Dealers must give you an itemized price list for optional “add-on” items such as service contracts, insurance, anti-theft devices, or other products.
Credit Score Disclosures. If you are obtaining financing from the dealer, the dealer must provide you with your credit score and a written explanation of how it is used.
Limit on Markups. When a dealer obtains financing on your behalf, it sometimes adds a hidden markup to increase the interest rate on your loan. The law caps the amount of compensation a dealer can receive from the lender.
Certified Used Cars. Used cars advertised as “certified” must meet specific requirements. Dealers must perform a complete vehicle inspection and
Just because a car isn’t new doesn’t mean it can’t be new to you. Buying a used car can be just as exciting as purchasing a brand new model. Unfortunately, getting a used vehicle can also be just as complicated as figuring out which new car would suit you best. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to help you.
Set a Budget
Before you can start used car shopping, you should figure out your budget. This will help your process in many respects—including setting the right expectation for the types of used vehicles you can purchase.
There are a few key factors to keep in mind while you’re number crunching.
Personal Budget Factors
It’s very important to have a realistic idea not only of what you canspend, but also of what you shouldspend on a used car. Just because you can afford it doesn’t mean it’s a good option for you.
It’s generally suggested to spend no more than 20% of your monthly take-home pay on a monthly auto payment. However, this is just a broad recommendation and may not apply to every circumstance.
Keep all your other monthly expenses in mind, such as:
Rent or mortgage.
Phone and Internet bills.
Student loans/other debts.
If your monthly budget is mostly spent after taking care of necessary bills, it may be more prudent to keep your car payments on the lower side.
Used Car “Hidden” Costs
Owning a vehicle entails more than paying for the vehicle itself. There will be costs associated with your used car other than your monthly auto payment, such as:
Your car insurance rate.
Various taxes and fees.
Your car’s depreciation rate.
Gas, oil changes, and other maintenance.
Don’t forget to keep these factors in mind when determining your used car budget.
For more help on putting together the best payment plan for you, check out our used car taxes and fees calculator and browse our guide to creating a budget.
Narrow the Search
Once you have a solid idea of how much money you can spend on your used car, you can start determining which type of car within that price range will be the best option for you.
Types of Used Cars
There are plenty of used vehicles to go around, and several ways to generally categorize them. When you begin your shopping process, consider these options:
Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles—The purpose of CPO programs is to alleviate concerns about the condition of a non-new vehicle. Still, the inspections, repairs, and warranties involved in each program vary greatly. Make sure to read our guide on certified pre-owned vehicles for more information.
“Second tier” vehicles—Thesecars may not be the biggest sellers on the lot, but can still be reliable—and much cheaper—regardless of their less-popular manufacturers.
i.e.the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are comparable in quality to the Chevrolet Malibu or Nissan Altima, but can cost much more.
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Buying a new vehicle generally is a aggravating experience that may leave most people questioning in the event that they paid an excessive amount of for his or her automotive. There was every little thing from tremendous sound systems, lighting, shag carpeting, wood trim, Captain’s chairs and beds to spoilers, mag wheels, customized horns and CB radios. Another question may end in the use of dealership plates when a supplier permits a purchaser to drive off the lot with a vehicle that is nonetheless technically registered to the dealer whereas it undertakes to course of a financing application.
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