first car guideMost 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. Not doing enough research before the purchase.

2. Not test-driving the vehicle before the decision to purchase

3. Not knowing what manufacturer incentives are available

4. Not knowing the right price to ask for, or not negotiating at all

5. Accepting offers of high-priced add-on products and services such as extended warranties and rust protection

6. Not having shopped for financing at local banks and credit unions

7. Accepting a dealer’s offer to drive the car home while he tries to get the loan approved

8. Thinking there is a 72 hour legal right to return a car to the dealer

9. Not reading over the contract or checking numbers before signing

10. Buying more car that can be afforded

Buying Used

1. Not doing enough research on a vehicle’s reliability and safety history

2. Not shopping around enough for the best car for the best price

3. Not getting a vehicle history report from Carfax or AutoCheck

4. Not knowing a vehicle’s used-car value from Kelley Blue Book, or what is a fair price to pay

5. Not performing a long test drive

6. Not getting a mechanic to inspect the car

7. Taking the word of a seller that his car “runs fine” or “has had no problems.”

8. Not looking over the seller’s title to the car

9. Not knowing that almost every used car sale is “as-is” with no guarantee, no warranty, and no return right

10.  Not shopping several sources for best loan rates


Listed here are the most common mistakes that new and used car buyers make most often. Mistakes are made due to lack of preparation, lack of knowledge, impatience, and bad assumptions about a seller’s or dealer’s honesty.

More details on each of these topics can be found in other articles on this web site.

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