Author Archive

How do I know what price to pay for a car? Let’s say you see a nice used car that you like on a dealer’s lot that is priced at $14,000. Is it a good price? Can I talk the dealer down to, say, $12,000? How much discount can I expect to get? These are […]

Refinancing your car loan can often lower your monthly payments. Auto loan interest rates are hovering at the lowest rates seen in many years. If you are currently paying a high rate, you may be able to benefit by refinancing at a lower rate. Depending on the value of your car and the amount you […]

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 […]

We see this question being asked frequently: “What is the best car to buy?” Of course, the real answer as to what is the best car can vary, depending on your own personal needs, preferences, and finances. Some people place a great deal of importance on reliability. Others might think safety or cost is more important. […]

We hear the question all the time, “Where can I find a good cheap reliable car?” The people who ask this question obviously have limited funds but are looking for the best car that can be purchased with the least amount of money. Unfortunately, finding a car that’s inexpensive AND good AND reliable can be […]

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 […]

Buying a first car, or even a second or third, can be a perplexing and stressful experience. There’s so much to know and understand. Which is the best first car? Which cars are most reliable? Which is safest? What should I pay for my car? Where is the best place to buy a car? Where […]

Are certified used cars good deals or not for first car buyers? Many car dealers sell “certified” pre-owned cars. How are these cars different from other used cars? Are they more expensive? Are they worth considering as a first car? Most major automobile manufacturer’s dealers now offer “certified” used cars. A certified car has been […]

How do I know how much car I can afford? Assuming you’ll buy with a loan, you will want to have a monthly car payment that will fit within your current income, after considering all your other expenses. Don’t make the mistake of buying based on future expectations — a forthcoming raise, a new job, […]

Figuring car payments is easy if you have the right calculator — it’s not easy math otherwise Car payment calculation is not simple math. It requires a rather complex business math formula that is not easily done by hand and most people are not capable, or not willing, to take it on. It’s not as simple […]

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, […]

Of all the cars available to teenagers, which are the best first cars? If you simply want the fastest answer to that question, without explanation, we would say the Honda Civic is the best all-around car for teens. The Toyota Corolla would be a close second. If you don’t like the Civic or Corolla there […]

Even many experienced car buyers don’t know about the “secret” factory-to-dealer rebates given to dealers by car manufacturers. Car companies often select certain models and styles for these rebates, and the selection can change from month to month. Dealers can use factory-to-dealer cash (sometimes called “marketing support”) in almost any way they choose but most […]

Car manufacturers offer special sales incentives every month on particular vehicle makes, models, and styles. Incentives vary from month to month. Incentives come in the form of direct-to-customer rebates, special lease deals, and low-interest loans, including 0% APR loan deals. See Best Car Deals for current new-car incentives, including 0% loans. Zero percent financing, when […]

As this is being written, this year, 2011, has become the best time to buy a new car in years. And 2012 looks to be even better. In normal years, we would tell you that the best time to buy a car is when sales are slow at the end of the month, end or […]

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 […]

Car manufacturers use incentives to make their new cars more affordable during limited-time promotions. The most common incentive is a direct to customer rebate, although there can also be other incentives such as low-interest loans, 0% APR loans, special car lease deals, and “hidden” factory-to-dealer cash. Incentive programs vary from month to month depending on which […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]