Shopping for a Car This Christmas? We Can Help

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Some people leave their families behind to sit in lawn chairs freezing overnight to ensure they get the best possible deals for Christmas. You? You forgot gifting was even a thing. And you just remembered. And you need a new car. Today. Good news: We know, and we’re here to help you out from this bind of unseemly procrastination. If your mission this weekend is purchasing a new car on St. Nick’s behalf for the whole family to enjoy, below are a list of tips and tricks to help you get the best deal you can. Jingle all the way through before you hit the lots.

Related: What’s the Best New-Car Warranty for 2018?

What car should I buy? That depends on a lot of factors, but our reviews can help. Check out our recent additions:

Which cars have the best deals right now? Check out our top deals for December. As always, your discounts may vary, so see your dealer for specifics.

Should I buy new or used? Read up on the pros and cons of each. If you go used, review our used-car buyers’ checklist and consider whether you want a certified pre-owned car.

How much can I afford? Read our primer. Then use our Price Comparison Tool while you shop to find what’s right for you.

Should I finance, lease or pay cash? That depends, but this might help you decide. How do I get the best lease rate? Bone up on common lease terminology, plus our tips.

How do I get the best financing rate? Our game plan lays out some advice. While you’re at it, here’s what you need to know about auto loans and what you’ll need to get one.

Anything I shouldn’t do when I’m at the dealer? Yep. Avoid these pitfalls.

Should I get an extended warranty? That depends. Here’s what you need to know.

How do I sell or trade in my old car? Learn how to prep your car before you sell it to a dealer, how to trade it in and how to deal with taxes and other considerations. If you still owe money on your old car, read this. Finally, if you want to sell it private party, here’s how to create the picture-perfect ad and how to seal the deal.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Patrick Masterson
Patrick Masterson is Chief Copy Editor at Cars.com. He joined the automotive industry in 2016 as a lifelong car enthusiast and has achieved the rare feat of applying his journalism and media arts degrees as a writer, fact-checker, proofreader and editor his entire professional career. He lives by an in-house version of the AP stylebook and knows where semicolons can go. Email Patrick Masterson

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