Article — Speed to the Best Deal

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Thinking of buying that hot set of new wheels you’ve had your eye on? Here are suggestions for getting the best deal—before you get to the lot.

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Research the costs. In addition to checking out the price of whatever options you want and what rebates and incentives are available, remember to zoom in on other costs, such as car insurance, sales taxes, registration, and title fees. Look up the value of your trade-in, too.

Research the financing. Are you going to kick-start your purchase with a loan? To be sure you’ll qualify, visit the web site of one of the three major credit bureaus and review your reports. Fix mistakes if there are any. Next, use an on-line comparison site to evaluate loan costs offered by various lenders, including fees and interest rates. In some cases, you can apply for pre-approval.

Research the buying process. Now that you’ve rounded up all the data, make sure you’re familiar with the sales techniques you’ll hear—and how you can counter them. Tip: Do not overlook this step even if you decide to purchase your new car on-line. Remember you’ll still be visiting the dealership in person, and you’ll still be talking to sales personnel.


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