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Buying a car for the first time, or even the second, third, or fourth time, can be a confusing and intimidating experience — unless you know what you’re doing. Knowledge means power and confidence when it comes to buying cars. Decide on Your Car You need to know what car will satisfy your needs and […]

Used Car Inspection Checklist Use this handy 50-point checklist when buying and inspecting a used car. Print it and take it with you.   Wheels and Tires Are tires worn to unsafe level (less than 2/32″ tread depth at lowest point)? Tires with less than 2/32″ tread depth at lowest point are unsafe and should […]

Everyone buying a new car wants to get a bargain and a great deal. So where can those deals be found? Although we’ll be primarily discussing brand new cars here, we can make some comments on used cars, if that’s the direction you think you want to go. Used Car Deals Finding a great deal […]

Is it possible to get a car loan and buy a car with no credit? The answer? Yes, under some conditions. Let’s explain. It is a common situation, especially with young people who have never had a loan, never had credit cards, or never borrowed money for a car. Without a history of prior loans […]

Online car buyers exposed to common car scam by criminal sellers Users of online car buying sites such as AutoTrader, Craigslist, online newspaper classified auto ads, and other non-dealer car sites often find unbelievable good deals, only to find it was no deal at all, but a common car seller scam. We often hear the question, […]

Most automotive consumers only buy a car every few years, which is not enough time to be an expert at the task, or to keep up with new dealer sales  “tricks.” This means that there are many ways in which mistakes can be made. Here are some of the most common mistakes. Buying New 1. […]

There’s one kind of car buying customer that sales people just love. They are “payment buyers.” A car salesperson’s job is to sell cars — and make maximum profit for his dealership. The way to make maximum profit is by selling at the highest possible prices and including as many “add-on” extra items or services as possible. Some […]

It’s difficult to recommend cars since there are so many choices, and so many types of people and personalities who buy them. We all have different likes, dislikes, needs, and finances. If we were all the same, there would probably only be one car brand, in one model, and at one price. There are many […]

According to questions I see posted on Yahoo Answers, there are a huge number of first car buyers out there who have somehow found exactly the WRONG way to buy a car. They then look for help AFTER they realize their mistake. It’s nearly always too late by that time. Here’s how NOT to buy a […]

Although we’ve discussed this topic previously (see Lease vs Buy), there is one aspect that we haven’t discussed and continue to hear questions about. The question is essentially this: “If a car dealer is offering a special promotional lease deal, a purchase rebate, and a low interest loan on the car I want, which one is […]

Do you need an extended car warranty — car repair insurance? All new cars come with a new-car warranty from the car manufacturer. There is typcially a general “bumper-to-bumper” warranty that covers just about everything that is not a wear-and-tear item, and a powertrain warranty that covers the engine, transmission, and drivetrain components. For most […]

What are the advantages and disadvantages of car leasing? Car leasing has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Here is a summary: Pros: – Get new car every 2-4 years, with latest features and safety equipment – Lower monthly payments – Usually no down payment – Car is always under warranty – Lower sales tax (in most […]

The most common car scam is one in which a nice car is listed for sale at a low price on Craigslist.com, Autotrader.com, or other web site. There is no hint, other than the low price, that it is a scam. They show you a couple of good pictures of the car and even provide […]

When you buy a car with a loan, you not only pay back the amount borrowed but you also pay finance charges (interest).  Each month’s loan payment consists partly of principle and partly of interest. Actually, the amount of principle and interest changes each month, although the total remains the same. In the beginning, you […]

Buy-here-pay-here car dealers provide auto loans to people with bad credit. Most car dealers do not directly finance loans on cars they sell. They work with outside banks and finance companies to provide loans for their customers. It’s up to those banks and finance companies, not the dealer, to approve and provide customers car loans. However, […]

One of the most frustrating things about buying a used car is knowing not how much it’s worth — its value — a fair price to pay. Two cars of the same year, make, model, condition, and mileage can have two very different values, depending on who is making the valuation. Even the same car […]

Leasing can provide an affordable option to anyone needing car financing at minimum monthly cost. Upfront cost can also be minimized by paying no money down — $0 down payment. Lease payments are 60% – 110% lower than loan payments for the same car. And most leases can be obtained with zero money down— $0 […]

Used cars are for sale everywhere but many people find it difficult to find just the right car for the right price.  It can be frustrating and even overwhelming. First-time buyers, in particular, often have difficulty with the various stages of the process: buying, pricing, negotiating, applying for loans, registering, and getting insurance. What seems […]

One of the questions we see pop up often from young drivers is “How to drive a stick shift (manual transmission) car?” The question arises for a number of reasons. Some people who are driving for the first time know they’ll be driving a “stick shift” car and are concerned that it might be difficult […]

A Car Loan Story David, 17, recently graduated from high school, landed a good paying job, and wanted to buy a new car. His thought was that he would go to his neighborhood Ford dealer where he had been admiring a bright red Focus model that he felt he could afford, and arrange for a […]