If you've completed Steps 1 and 2, you're more than halfway to a good deal. Now you'll need some tips on how to narrow the selection of used cars and/or understand what happens at dealerships before you're in one. The vehicle's sale price -- and not the monthly payment -- is your key focus, but you'd best study up on trade-ins, financing and insurance (F&I), service contracts and all the other extras that dealers offer.
Preparation is the key to
productive negotiations. Our guide explains how dealerships work and addresses the issue of trade-ins.
You’ll find these handy calculators throughout the site. Use them to see how the selling price, down payment, loan terms and interest rates will affect your monthly payments.
|For Used Cars|
|How to Buy a Used Car – Our guide explains how to narrow your choices on the phone and how to inspect cars in person.||
|Kelley Blue Book Used-Car Values – This tool can help you determine if a seller’s asking price is fair.|
|For New Cars|
|The Window Sticker –
A guide to understanding new-car window stickers.
TIP: See the Additional Charges and Stickers page to distinguish dealer add-ons.
|Rebates and Incentives – Cash-back and financing offers can lower your selling price. Check for updates before heading to the dealership.||