When you’re shopping for a new ride, sometimes all you want are the essential details delivered quickly and easily. We’ve condensed our more comprehensive eight steps to buying a new car into a few essentials. Here we go:
1. Pick your vehicle
Read Edmunds reviews and best vehicle lists, such as those for best midsize sport-utility vehicles, best sport sedans and best pickups. Then narrow your choices, settling on the vehicle that fits you best, whether that’s a minivan or a subcompact. Shopping online is the fastest way to get a great deal, so these steps assume that’s what you are doing.
2. Arrange financing
Run your credit report and get your credit score. The score tells you your credit tier, which will affect your annual percentage rate. Even if you have bad credit, you can still buy a vehicle that’s right for you and your wallet. Next, get preapproved for a loan at your local bank, credit union or online lender. By going in with financing already arranged, you can determine if the dealer can beat your interest rate. This strategy also keeps the negotiations more focused since you will only be looking at the total price of the vehicle (also called the “out the door” price), not a monthly payment.
3. Check vehicle prices
For a quick sense of pricing on Edmunds, look at the deal “meter” next to most vehicles listed in the Edmunds new-car inventory. It will indicate whether the special offer shown is a fair, good or great deal. Click “Reveal Price,” supply some contact information and you’ll immediately see the deal details.
Some listings may ask you to request a quote from the dealership, and that’s easy to do. It’s smart to get multiple quotes once you are serious about a make and model. It can add a little time to the process, but it also can pay off.
If you want more context on the vehicle’s selling price, Edmunds can help with its True Market Value tool. You’ll get an idea of what people are paying for vehicles that are similarly equipped to the one you’re considering, and it’s a good reference point for negotiations. Edmunds also has a tool to help you appraise your potential trade-in to determine if you might trade it in or sell it on your own.
4. Gather dealer quotes and test-drive
If there is no special offer, you can email, text or telephone dealers for a price quote. Getting four to six quotes on vehicle prices in an hour should be easy. Call the internet manager to verify that the vehicle in question has the options you want and to check if it has any other dealer add-ons. Not all will match your ideal configuration, so you may have to be flexible on options and color to get the best deal.
When you’ve found the exact vehicle you want, take the lowest price quote, then call or email the internet manager and make an offer. Even if
New & Used Car Values – Find My Car Value, Car Worth and Car Pricing – Autotrader
Use Autotrader’s used car valuation tool to find the Kelley Blue Book® Value of the car you’d like to sell or buy.
Kelley Blue Book® Private Party ValueThe Kelley Blue Book® Private Party Value is the starting point for negotiation of a used- car sale between a private buyer and seller. This is an “as is” value that does not include any warranties. The final sales price depends on the car’s actual condition and local market factors.
Kelley Blue Book® Trade-In RangeThe Trade-In Range is Kelley Blue Book’s estimate of what a consumer can reasonably expect to receive this week based on the style, condition, mileage and options of the vehicle when they trade it in to a dealer. However, every dealer is different and values are not guaranteed.
Kelley Blue Book® Fair Market Range (Used Car)The Fair Market Range for used cars is Kelley Blue Book’s estimate of what a consumer can reasonably expect to pay this week in their area for this year, make and model used vehicle with typical miles and configured with their selected options, excluding taxes, title and fees, when buying from a dealer. Each dealer sets and controls its own pricing.
Trim refers to both exterior and interior options that enhance a base model. (Ex: Ford Mustang GT or Honda Accord EX) Trim levels can increase the value and functionality of a vehicle, as well as improve its appearance.
Mileage is estimated based on typical mileage of similar vehicles. If you’re selling this vehicle, replace this estimation with your vehicle’s actual mileage to get the most accurate values.
Kelley Blue Book provides values and other information specific to your location.
Enter your email address to receive your valuation report to your inbox. Your privacy is important to us. Please read our Privacy Statement.
The Kelley Blue Book® Private Party Value is the starting point for negotiation of a used-car sale between a private buyer and seller. This is an “as is” value that does not include any warranties. The final sales price depends on the car’s actual condition and local market factors.
The Trade-In Range is Kelley Blue Book’s estimate of what a consumer can reasonably expect to receive this week based on the style, condition, mileage and options of the vehicle when they trade it in to a dealer. However, every dealer is different and values are not guaranteed.
The Fair Market Range for used cars is Kelley Blue Book’s estimate of what a consumer can reasonably expect to pay this week in their area for this year, make and model used vehicle with typical miles and configured with their selected options, excluding taxes, title and fees, when buying from a dealer. Each dealer sets and controls its own pricing.
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of
When buying a used car, it’s usually hard to know what a fair price is.
You have to consider not just the type of vehicle, but the vehicle
condition, mileage and options.Good thing Kelley Blue Book has over 90
years of experience with used car pricing and we’ve done the analysis
for you.If you’re buying a used car at a dealership, start with the
Typical Listing Price.It gives you an idea of the asking prices you
might see on dealer’s lot. For what you might actually pay for that used
car, use the Kelley Blue Book® Fair Market Range as a guide. It’ll show
you what you can reasonably expect to pay this week in your area for a
used vehicle with the options and mileage you want. It’s based on data
from real transactions, plus market conditions and vast industry
knowledge. If you’re buying the car from an individual instead of a
dealership, look at the Kelley Blue Book® Private Party Value. It’s the
starting point for negotiation of a used car sale between a private
buyer and seller. It tends to be a little lower than the used car Fair
Purchase Price because a private party doesn’t have all the costs
associated with running a dealership. And even if you don’t know exactly
what used car you want, KBB.com helps you find used car pricing and more
on vehicles in popular categories like sedans, SUVs and trucks.
What’s the difference between a used car and a CPO Car?
Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Cars are essentially top-quality, inspected
used cars backed by manufacturer’s warranties.
Are less than 5 years old
Have fewer than 100,000 miles
Have been thoroughly inspected by factory-trained technicians
Include an additional warranty
Qualify for new car loan rates
Often include additional perks like roadside assistance
For a non-certified used car, what you see is what you get, but at least you can rely on the Kelley Blue Book® Fair Market Range to know what you should pay!
Is age or mileage more important when buying a used car?
Most people think that a low-mileage car is the better deal, even if
it’s 5-10 years old. But, unfortunately, that’s not necessarily true. It
really comes down to how the vehicle has been maintained and treated
over its life.
An older vehicle with low mileage has parts that may’ve rusted or
deteriorated over time, especially rubber components like hoses, seals
and tires. On the other hand, a higher mileage newer vehicle (which is
more likely to have newer comforts and technology) can still be in great
condition if all the maintenance like oil changes and tune-ups have been
Here are a few things you can do to give you more context on a specific vehicle:
Research the model’s history. Check to see if there are repetitive problems, such as serious (and expensive) issues with the transmission or engine.
Know the car’s history. Ask the dealer or owner to show you a vehicle history report