What You Need to Know Before Car Shopping Today: 7/15/17

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CARS.COM — If you're actively shopping for a new car, there's a lot to know before you ever get to the lot - and that's assuming you're not daft enough to fly to Germany for limited-edition shoes to pair with those new wheels. Confounded by the car-buying process? We can help — check out our guide to all things automotive purchase below.

Related: More Car-Buying News

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

Anything I should wait for? The redesigned 2018 Toyota Camry hits dealers late this summer, and Ford has some updates on the F-150 coming this fall.

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.

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.

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Copy Editor Patrick Masterson has taken a lifelong appreciation for cars and commas to his current home in Chicago.  Email Patrick

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