Buying a New Car Guide

There is a lot of adrenaline involved in buying a new car.  There is the “fresh” smell, the large expense, selecting the “right” colors and making sure that you get the best possible deal.  To many motorists a new care is their dream come true.  It is a prestige on the road and definitely makes one shine! realizes that buying a new car is expensive, and it is important that you have the best advice prior to buying your new car. When considering a new car, take a moment to brush up on the automobile warranties that may be available, and don’t forget our tax and tag calculator, you’ll want to know what the final cost will be.

If you are one of the many motorists on the road that is considering buying a new car, then you will want the best, most accurate, up to date information that is available to help you in not only how to select a new car, but how to go through the process of buying a new car and getting the best possible deal. has gathered all the information you need and presents it to you in easy to read, easy to follow guides. Also, make sure you inquire about the statistics regarding car lemons, as you don’t want to get stuck with one of these.

As a responsible motorist it is important that you are aware of what you are getting involved in with the purchase of a new vehicle.  There is the down payment.  Monthly payments.  Most often the insurance premiums are much higher on a new car.  In order to ensure that you are not setting yourself up for financial hardship, make sure that you can afford a new car.  Also, consider the reasons you want a new car.  Is it to have family vehicle that will fit the entire family?  Is it because you want the newest technology on the market?  Perhaps you have a teenage drive and want all the latest safety features.  Or maybe you want the reliability of a new car.  These are all great reasons to purchase a new car, and when you determine your reasons to purchase a new car, you will make a better informed decision.

Now that you have determined that yes, I do need a new vehicle that does have the latest safety features to protect my family then you will be able to move on to other determinants that will help to ensure that you are ready to purchase a new car.

Can You Afford a New Car?

While your dreams may be to purchase a new car, you must be realistic.  Can you afford to pay for a new car?  Before getting involved in the shopping process of purchasing a new car, you must take a good look at what your budget will allow.

There are rules in the financial industry that experts present as guidelines for consumers to follow regarding their car payment.  First, consumers are advised to never spend more than 20% of their net income on a monthly car payment.  Net income is the take home pay after taxes.  To determine what your figure would be, simply take your net income and then subtract each fixed expense that you currently have.  The remaining amount would be your spend able amount.  From there you are able to figure what 20% would be in exact dollars.

There are other things to determine as well.  You must also consider the down payment.  How much are you going to be able to afford in a down payment on the vehicle?  How much will can you comfortably afford in automobile payments each month?  And, one very important consideration is how much should you spend in total on the purchase of the car?

These are not the only costs that you will want to determine.  You will have monthly auto insurance premiums on the vehicles, sales tax, licensing fees and possibly dealer fees.

Each state has specific guidelines and regulations regarding their state sales tax rate and the state licensing fees. has compiled all the necessary information you need pertaining to your state.  Once you generate an idea about what you can comfortably afford to spend, then you can calculate the added expenses determined by your particular state.

Lending Considerations:

Most motorists cannot afford to pay for a new car with cash.  Therefore, a lending institution is required in order to be able to obtain a loan to purchase the vehicle.  Here, it is important to know your options.  Many times the dealers have fantastic loans available to motorists with exceptional credit.  However, if you happen to be a motorist with less than favorable credit, the cost of obtaining a loan through the dealership is normally quite expensive and you should consider looking for a loan elsewhere such as a credit union, bank or online broker.  It is a wise idea to get a copy of your credit record prior to shopping for a new vehicle so that you can see where your credit rating stands.  Should you find that you are in a situation where your credit ratings are less then favorable then it is recommended that you fix your credit prior to shopping and purchasing a vehicle.  This can simply be done by working down some of your payments and working off some of your debt.

Now that you have determined why you want to purchase a new car and whether or not you can afford to purchase a new car, you will want to know how to go about shopping for your new car for the best possible experience and the best discounted price!

Shopping For a New Car

Here your original reasons for purchasing a new car will come back into play.  Are you looking for a car with the highest safety features on the road?  Or are you looking for a family vehicle?  What price range are you looking in?  Now that you know the answers to all these questions you can begin to compare models.  The Internet is a great resource to obtain information.  You can shop the various car dealers to get quotes and compare features and prices.  Other resources include the newspaper, television and the auto dealership themselves.

Narrow your car search down.  Once you have narrowed it down, visit the dealership and drive the vehicles which you are interested in.  When you are at this point in the buying process you are normally ready to purchase.  Be well informed as to the “standard” price which the cars are going for.  And, always remember to negotiate for a better deal than what the auto dealer is offering the vehicle for.  The dealers cost is much less than the MSRP that they list the vehicle for. For more information, check out more of our automobile buying and selling section.

Other Topics Covered in This Section

Leasing vs. Buying

Buying Online or at the Dealership

Researching a New Car


New Car Taxes and Fees

How to Read a Window Sticker

Lemon Law