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Car Buying Guide

Table of Contents

5 Min Read

A car-buying journey can take time and effort. It has even become more difficult after the pandemic because of the high prices and low inventories. Also, buyers need more room for price negotiation. Do not worry; we are here to simplify the process and the steps to buy a new vehicle. Our new car buying guide will save you time and streamline the experience. We will ensure that you have a joyful and easy car shopping experience.


Explore the 10 Easy Steps to Buying a New Car

Before starting your car shopping journey, you need to know everything from the cars that fit your budget to your shopping style. This guide to buying car mentions the simple steps for a successful and smooth buying experience.

1) Know Your Shopping Style

People often want to buy cars within a few days of deciding to do so. This can lead to purchasing the wrong vehicle with few or no required features. Remember, as a car buyer, you have to be the one who controls throughout the entire purchase process. It is best to make choices before stepping into a dealership. People have a strong preference for a particular vehicle. However, taking time to research and be open-minded about the pros and cons of their desires is always a good option. Therefore, reliable information about online car sales is available on the internet.

We advise looking at the following about different types of vehicle shoppers and narrowing it down to the one that best describes you. You can begin your vehicle search by utilizing the shortcuts mentioned below.

  • Value shopper: You want an affordable price but are willing to pay for the quality.
  • Image Shopper: You are concerned about the impression your car gives and whether it projects your desirable image.
  • Methodical Shopper: You are passionate about the car-buying experience and what it takes to become a car-shopper expert.
  • Safety-Conscious Shopper: You are looking for a reliable and safe vehicle that you can trust to keep you and your family safe.

2) Narrow Down Your Shopping List

A hundred makes and models are available, so narrowing down one can be confusing. No worries; your lifestyle can help you find the best vehicle. Let’s use a few examples to narrow down a car that fits you best. You can choose a room and a safe car if you have a family with small children. You may care about the vehicle’s style and performance and can find a suitable car with appealing looks and a strong engine.

Before making a purchase decision, factors like size, color, performance, number of seats and doors, and comfort should also be considered. Additionally, you can check out the vehicle’s guides and reviews to narrow down your research. Side-by-side comparisons allow you to compare features and specifications, which can help you analyze your choices and make a final decision.

3) Calculate Your Budget

Calculating your budget and financing options is advised before stepping into the shopping journey. You can calculate the savings you have that you are willing to pay for the downpayment, maintenance service cost, insurance taxes, gas prices, and monthly installments. You can also seek finance advice from experts who can help you narrow the budget for your vehicle expenditure. Many buyers purchase a vehicle that is out of their budget on a low-down payment and misjudge the monthly installments they have to pay, which can stretch the loan amount and create trouble in the future. If you already own a car and are willing to sell it, researching the vehicle’s market worth and trading it can help you manage your down payment and simplify your budget.

4) Do Your Research

Researching the vehicle and collecting information from the 2024car buying guide can help you decide wisely about the car that best suits you. Your research should include the pricing, equipment options, rating, safety features, vehicle quality, and vehicle cost. You can also research expert reviews and existing car owners’ opinions. We have mentioned a few points that your research should include.

  • Safety: There are two significant aspects of vehicle safety: active and passive. However, the importance of these features varies depending on where you drive and your driving style.
  1. Active Safety concerns itself primarily with avoiding a crash. It is the driver’s job, and the vehicle’s essential features can help the driver prevent any collision. It is associated with features like antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, and all-wheel or four-wheel drive when driving on a slippery surface or in bad weather.
  2. Passive Safety primarily protects passengers during a crash. Features associated with passive safety include airbags, seat-belt pre-tensioners, energy-absorbing crumple zones, and head protection devices.
  • Quality: Your research should include evaluating the vehicle’s quality based on its defects and covering its positive aspects. Additionally, you can find out who rates the car for accessory quality, mechanical ratings, features, and the quality of its interior and exterior. 
  • Expert and owner opinions: You can check out the articles or YouTube videos of car experts and existing owners’ views of the vehicle you want to purchase. You can explore the car’s strengths, weaknesses, performance, and safety features.
  • Side-By-Side Comparisons: Running a side-by-side comparison can help you get detailed insights into the vehicle. If you need clarification on several cars, you can compare the specifications, mileage, horsepower, and seating capacity. Therefore, it will help you to make a better purchasing decision. 

5) Explore the Best Price

After making the final decision based on the model, color, and car options, it is time to collect information about the car’s market pricing. Purchasing a vehicle at a correct negotiated price is necessary to eliminate future regrets.

  • Invoice price: After all the negotiations, you can ask multiple dealers for the invoice price. You can examine and check which dealer is ready to offer the lowest price of the vehicle.
  • MSRP: Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is a valuable tool for informed car shopping. It helps you budget, compare models, and understand potential negotiation rooms. MSRP gives you a starting point for how much a particular car model should cost, helping you set a realistic budget for your car purchase.
  • Fair purchase price: Inspecting the fair market price before making a purchase decision can help you know how much you’ll spend on your new car. You can examine the pricing reports of a specific model and create a typical range for marketing conditions and selling prices.

6) Decide on Leasing or Buying a Car

As car prices rise and loan terms become longer, purchasing a used car without the correct down payment within a budget seems challenging. However, before making any purchase decision for your new vehicle, it is better to consider all the alternate options, like leasing a car, as in this buying a car guide. Leasing might net you a smaller monthly payment, but a lease’s mileage limits may cramp your lifestyle. Let us understand the difference between buying and leasing a vehicle and what benefits you in this guide for buying a car.

Factors Leasing Buying
Introduction A lease is an agreement to use a new or used vehicle for a certain period and miles. Additionally, leasing a car allows you to ride a luxury car that might be out of your budget, Buying a car means owning the vehicle once your payment transactions have been made. Therefore, you can
Owner You can only claim to be an owner once you purchase the car. After completing the payment transactions, you claim to own the vehicle.
Monthly Installments & Downpayment Sometimes, there is no need to pay any down payment, and monthly installments are lower. You must pay high down payments and monthly installments on your new car purchase.
Insurance & Maintenance Higher insurance coverage is required. However, in most cases, you do not have to pay any maintenance or service fee. There is no necessity for higher insurance coverage. However, you have to pay the maintenance and service fee yourself.
Modification You can only modify the vehicle as you choose once you purchase it. Owning a car allows you to modify or wrap the car as you wish.

To sum up, you need to consider the use of your vehicle. Do you need it for short commutes or long trips? Additionally, do you prefer to upgrade your ride frequently and not modify the car as you choose? You can consider leasing a vehicle if you are OK with these things. However, if you are looking for ownership of a vehicle and want a car for your long road trips, purchasing a new car is a better choice for you.

7) Find Financing, Warranties, and Insurance

Before making a purchase decision, we suggest you use this car buying guide to find financing, extended warranties, and insurance for your vehicle. Getting the perfect deal will help you in the long run.

  • Financing your vehicle: You can narrow down the best financing options from dealerships and third-party financing options.
  • Warranties: An extended warranty can be a better option if your vehicle parts get damaged and you want to spend less on reparations or replacements.
  • Insurance rates: In many states, purchasing insurance is required. Inspecting the rates of various insurance companies before making a purchase can help you save a lot of money.

8) Sell or Trade Your Previous Vehicle

Before making a new car purchase, you can sell or trade it if you own a car and do not have any requirements after your new vehicle. Making an informed decision on selling or trading your existing vehicle is crucial. You can check the market value of your existing vehicle’s make and model. Therefore, it will help you reduce the payment and your monthly payable installments.

9) Decide the Platform

Once you have narrowed your choices, you should check the best platform to purchase. You can browse and research different car selling platforms before purchasing.

  • Purchasing on the dealer’s website:  You can buy your desired vehicle online and deliver it to your home. However, visiting the same dealership physically is always an option.
  • Visiting a manufacturer’s website: If you want a vehicle with customizable features, you can consider purchasing from the manufacturer’s site or factory.
  • Connect to direct buying sites: You can check the online companies that will help you complete your purchase online. They will handle everything required, from negotiating with the dealership to delivering the vehicle to your house.

10) Get Yourself a Test Drive

Before making the payment for your new car, it is essential to test drive it. Whether you have researched the vehicle’s features online or not, having a physical test drive is crucial to inspect the vehicle’s comfort, engine performance, handling, and drive-off.


How to Choose a Perfect Car for Yourself?

The first step in any car purchasing process is to decide the type of vehicle that is right for you. SUVs are becoming popular these days, as per consumer reports SUV buying guide. However, they come with trade-offs like difficulty parking and low fuel economy. Consider EVs as they reduce carbon footprint. However, driving ranges are insufficient if you commute for longer road trips.

Consider narrowing your search to a particular vehicle size and body style that fits your lifestyle. Therefore, you can list things, including the budget, to ensure you can afford the vehicle. After compiling the list, you can look at the options that fit your research and then schedule a test drive for an informative purchase decision.


Negotiations to be Considered when Buying from a Dealership

A new or used car dealership plays a vital role in your car-buying process. Sales professionals can be valuable partners in completing your purchase journey. However, it is essential to remember that their job is to earn revenue. Preparing for work with a car dealership means knowing as much as possible ahead of time. You can include the type of model you are interested in, the packages available, and the fair price of the car.

Additionally, you must be careful when dealing with monthly installments, as dealers can work in a larger down payment or extend the loan terms. If you are trading a car, negotiate the new car purchase price and current car value separately. If you are unsatisfied with the deal, we suggest walking off from the dealership in this new and used car buying guide.

Negotiating on Extended Warranties, Add-ons, & Extras

Once you have negotiated and completed the paperwork with a fair deal on a new car, you will hear a sales pitch from the fiance manager about extended warranties, wheel and tire insurance, fabric protection, etc. Some may be worthy, but some may be optional. Therefore, analyze what you should opt for per your needs and requirements. Many of these add-ons will be costly; it’s better to be intelligent and ready to negotiate these features. You can also deny to add these features if you do not find them worthy.


Discover the 10 Best Used & New Car Buying Tips

Purchasing a vehicle seems stressful and challenging. Do not worry; we have some of the best tips for you to consider in your car-buying process. You can make a deal on a wheel by including this guide to buying a used car or new car on a shopping journey.

1) Figure out your car budget: You can set a budget, considering your income for monthly installments and savings for a down payment. If you do not have any funds for the down payment, it’s better to save some amount and postpone your purchase. This will help you lower the loan’s monthly installment and period.

2) Narrow down your choices: Besides the budget, you can narrow down your choices by considering speed, safety, fuel mileage, and comfort factors. Additionally, you are advised to include the vehicle’s requirements according to your lifestyle.

3) Research: Once you have finalized the vehicle you want to buy, you must research it before purchasing. You can check the market price of the particular vehicle and the maintenance cost required. This will help you save more money in the long run.

4) Get Your Insurance Quote: You can talk to an insurance agent who can help you get quotes for the vehicles you have narrowed down. You can also check the third-party insurance companies and finalize the best deal for yourself.

5) Get a Test Drive: It is advised to choose the correct route to experience various types of driving and observe the vehicle’s performance. You can also include the comfort, engine performance, speed, and breaking in your inspection during a test drive.

6) Get a car inspection: If you purchase a used car, it is wise to take it to a professional mechanic for vehicle inspection. You need to check the vehicle’s condition before committing to a purchase.

7) Buy a car at the best time: Salespeople try to make their quotes at the month’s or quarter’s end. You can schedule your purchase when dealerships are willing to clear the space for newer models. This will help you get the best price and deal.

8) Negotiate: We advise giving a certain amount less than you are willing to spend on the car to the dealer. This will allow you to leave a space for negotiation and get your best deal.

9) Ditch the expensive rates: Salespeople often suggest add-ons you might not need. This increases the vehicle’s worth, and you will spend more than your budget.

10) Take someone with you: If you need more experience with car purchasing, it is always an excellent option to take a family member or friend. Therefore, they will keep you within your budget.


Consider the Following Things When Buying a New Car

You surely do not want to regret buying a car in the future. To help you make a wise decision about your car journey, we have a car buying guide that you can consider when purchasing a new vehicle.

1) Determine your budget: Calculating the amount you can spend on the downpayment and monthly installments can help you set an affordable budget. If you want to trade in a car, you can research its worth and negotiate with the dealership.

2) Amount you should spend: Consider the 20/4/10 rule when purchasing a new vehicle. This rule suggests making a down payment of at least 20% of the car price, financing the car for four years, and paying less than 10% of your gross income in monthly installments.


Things to be considered before buying a car


3) Explore financing options: Dealerships offer a finance option. However, gathering information about the car loan marker is advised so you can negotiate with the dealer. Additionally, you can access third-party financing if they offer a better interest rate.

4) Get pre-qualified for a loan: To streamline your car shopping and remove any uncertainty about monthly payments, loan rates, and spending limits, get your loan pre-qualified. The bank will check your income statement and other financial information to let you know the amount you can afford to finance.


Learn the Guide to Buying a Car from a Dealership

Purchasing a car from an auto dealership can be overwhelming and exciting. However, following a simple car-buying guide will make your shopping experience easier at the dealership. We have mentioned some easy steps in this car buying guide when shopping from a dealership.

1) Calculate Your Budget

Checking your finances before starting your car shopping is essential because purchasing a new car can increase your monthly expenses. You must know the upfront costs of the new vehicle purchase, like sales and property tax, and one or a month’s auto insurance premiums in advance. Additionally, you must be aware that the dealerships charge document fees.

2) Check Your Credit

You must review your credit before starting your purchase. Automotive lenders will check your credit reports associated with credit scores when you apply for financing. Therefore, you should be aware of the condition of your credit to eliminate any last-minute hassle. A higher credit score will help you reserve an auto loan at the lowest rate.

3) Decide the Car and its Features

After setting your budget and inspecting the condition of your credit, it’s time to research the cars that fit your budget. You can list your preferences based on the type of vehicle, number of passengers, access to the garage, and features of the car ( leather seats, sunroof, backup camera). Being aware about the type of vehicle you want to purchase will ensure clarity at the dealership. Therefore, you can ask the salespeople to show you the vehicle per your requirements.

4) Get a Pre-approved Loan

You can visit different auto lenders and get a finance quotation. Further, you can compare multiple finance options and choose the lender who provides the best rate on loan. This will help you prepare for the down payment and monthly installments you will be paying.

5) Choose a Dealership

Now is the time to visit the automotive dealership. You can research reputable and established car dealerships near you that have high consumer satisfaction ratings and positive reviews. You should see multiple dealerships and ask for a quote for the exact vehicle, make, and model to decide which dealership will offer the best price.

6) Take a Test Drive

Test drives can help you inspect the performance, handling, and comfort of the vehicle you want to purchase. They can also help you confirm your decision among a few cars you have narrowed down.

7) Negotiate with Salespeople

Consider negotiating with the prices to make the best deal for yourself. If you are trading in your current vehicle for a new one, it is advised to negotiate both separately. You can browse online and can get the market value of the car. Further, the dealership can also ask the salespeople to match the offer.

8) Lock the Deal

After negotiating and reaching a mutual offer, you will sign some contracts; you must read them thoroughly before signing them. If you are trading the vehicle and deducting the cost of it in the downpayment, check that the dealer is deducting the agreed amount. In this car buying guide, we suggest bringing the required documents to eliminate any shopping process delays.

9) Take delivery

Confirm the delivery of the vehicle; in some cases, you might have to drive the car to your home from the dealership on the same day you buy it. However, you can also ask the dealership to arrange a delivery later. When you have placed a delivery, examine the vehicle’s brand-new condition. You also have to complete some formalities like registering the car and obtaining the license plate on the day of delivery.


Discover the Do’s & Dont When Buying a New Car

Buying a new car with this guide can be exciting and adventurous. However, the car buying journey can be stressful as well. If you make mistakes, you might spend more. Do not worry; we have a few pieces of advice that will prepare you to walk into a dealership confidently as a car expert. It is advised to keep the shopping journey as professional as possible. When purchasing a new car, you can familiarize yourself with the dos and don’ts list in the mentioned first car buying guide.

Do’s Don’ts
Research your purchase: It is better to explore different features, prices, and online options for your desired vehicle on the dealer’s site. Visiting a dealership without an existing finance offer: Dealerships make the most money in their finance office. Make sure to have an auto finance offer before visiting the dealership.
Talk to your insurance agent before the purchase: Insurance companies offer the exact products that dealerships offer, like vehicle service contracts and GAP insurance, but they are much more affordable. Refrain from saying you will pay cash: Letting the dealers know that you will pay the amount in cash will not allow for negotiation, and you won’t be able to check if a dealer is ready to offer a zero-percent financing deal.
You must know your credit score and budget: You must calculate the budget, including maintenance, fuel, and other expenses. Additionally, you must be aware of your credit score and the amount of loan you can finance for your car. Do not consider only the monthly installments: We advise checking the gross cost, including the interest payment and other loan fees. Dealers often suggest lowering the monthly installments, but this will extend the loan period.
Break down the transaction into components: Make sure to negotiate on every single step and separately for each transaction. Do not shop at only one dealer: Checking with various dealerships will allow you to negotiate better and find the best deal for yourself.
Do take a test drive. After examining the vehicle’s performance, speed, comfort, and many other factors, a test drive will satisfy and enhance your purchasing decision. Refrain from taking a car unless all paperwork is done: There is a chance that you won’t get the exact finance deal you were promised. Therefore, you would feel free to accept any offer the dealer will offer you later.


Mistakes You Should Avoid in Your Purchasing Journey

Often, car buyers make mistakes in the excitement of purchasing a new car that they regret later. We surely want you to make sure your car shopping is smooth. Therefore, we have mentioned a car buying guide that you can follow to avoid any mistakes.

1) Mixing your emotions and money: You should consider taking multiple car test drives and allow yourself some time before confirming your purchase decision. Additionally, you should avoid falling for the appealing car sales pitch by the salespeople as per your requirements and budget.

2) Find the best dealership: Do not visit the nearest dealership. Try multiple dealerships around the town. You can also ask for suggestions from your friends and family who have experience with a dealership. As dealerships charge according to ZIP code, you will likely get a better deal far from your place.

3) Taking trade-in too early: You should first negotiate for the car you want to purchase, and after the mutual agreement on a specific price, you can ask for the trade-in and negotiate on it separately. Additionally, it is unnecessary to trade in the vehicle at the same dealership from where you are making a purchase. You can also sell a car somewhere else, where you are finding the best deal.

4) Agreeing with the sticker price: The price you see on the dealership’s sticker is not the final price you must pay. You can negotiate and lower the price. You can also compare the sticker price with the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

5) Not reading the paperwork: Read the paperwork thoroughly before signing it. Salespeople might include unnecessary add-ons, such as wheel protection, extended warranties, interior protection, etc.


Save up to $10,000 on Your Car Shopping

We understand the emotional connection of a car buyer with the car they want to purchase. What if you can save up to $500,000 with this car buying guide? It sounds like a joke, right? No, it isn’t. We can help you save this money if you consider the below terms in the buying car guide.

Car buyers focus on negotiating the price and need to look into accounts and other aspects of the transaction. These include car insurance, trade-ins, finance, and add-ons such as extended warranties.

Further, in this guide to buying a new car, we will focus on money-saving aspects and leave the ownership cost out of the equation. That means you can save more money by choosing fuel-efficient and reliable vehicles. We observed a pattern in the result: the buyers get different prices for the same car.

  • 15% end up doing pretty well
  • 5% negotiate incredible deals
  • 60% struggle to get a deal
  • 20% get ripped off

The top 20% save as much as the bottom 80% combined. This pattern appears in many different areas, including wealth distribution in America. Let’s learn how to become among the top 5 percent of negotiators. It is not difficult if you take the time to learn; we will show you it’s well worth your time.

You can save $5,000 each time you buy a new vehicle. By following a step-by-step and consumer reports new car buying guide, you can save $2,500 more than your typical car buyer. Most buyers finance their purchase, and up to 80% do so through a dealership. You can save up to $1000 in interest payments and $1500 if you trade in or sell your previous vehicle. Therefore, you will save $5000 – $10000 by summing up.


Discover How Dealerships Make Money?

We often see car dealers say they are not making any money on the deal whenever you go for a negotiation. Well, that’s not the case; dealers approximately earn profit up to $10,000 per sale. We have mentioned from which sources the dealerships are making money in this car buying guide section below:

1) Financing: Dealerships mostly make money by selling add-ons, car loans, or your trade-in. They work with third-party lenders and earn commissions on the interest rate of the loan you get. However, in some cases, like 0% loan interest, they do not have a chance to earn money from this source.

2) Add-ons: Salespeople often offer extended warranties, additional accessories, and GAP insurance, which increases the dealership’s profit margin.

3) Trade-ins: Dealerships often offer less than the car’s actual worth to earn some profit. Therefore, you won’t get the best deal if you trade in your vehicle at the same dealership where you purchase a new car.

4) Vehicle parts and service: When you take your vehicle for service or repair, dealerships often offer additional services or upgrades, like brake services and new air filters, that might be optional.

5) Markup on New Cars: Dealerships purchase many vehicles from the manufacturers at a wholesale price. Therefore, they sell them close to the MSRP, allowing them to earn a considerable profit.

6) Manufacturer incentives and holdback: Dealerships also earn manufacturer incentives for selling specific models or reaching certain sales goals. Additionally, they receive a holdback from the manufacturer. It is a certain percentage of the vehicle’s invoice price, which holdback \a reimbursement cost of financing the inventory.



Car buyers can follow the essential steps mentioned in the car buying guide. For a flawless car buying experience, buyers must research, negotiate, and calculate their budget per the guide to car buying. Buyers should be bold and walk away if they do not find a better deal at a dealership. Additionally, they can follow the best tips, which will help them find the perfect car while avoiding any mistakes often identified by most buyers.


  • Q. What is the 20% rule when buying a car?

    Buyers should be able to pay a 20% downpayment. Additionally, they should opt for the auto loan fiance for four years, and the monthly payment should exceed 10% of their gross income.

  • Q. What is Dave Ramsey's rule for buying a car?

    As per Dave Ramsey, you should be able to afford the car, which you can pay in cash. However, the general rule is that the vehicle’s total value should not exceed half of your annual income.

  • Q. How much do you need to put down on a car?

    You should be able to make a down payment of at least 20% on your new vehicle purchase.

  • Q. What is the cheapest way to buy a car?

    Buying a car outright is considered the cheapest new car option. Therefore, you would be owning a car without paying any interest on it. However, you should have a lump sum amount to pay for it. However, you can also lease a car if you want.

  • Q. What is the best month to buy a car?

    October is considered the best month to purchase a new car, as there are many discounts and offers during this period.

  • Q. How do you buy a new car without getting ripped off?

    • Make a list of wants and get a pre-approved loan.
    •  Do your research. You can call, text, or email the dealer to get the quotation if you have a determined car.
    • Start researching dealers.
    • Ask for everything in writing for proof.
    • Keep your negotiations separate.

  • Q. What is the best way to buy a new car?

    • Set your budget and get a pre-approved loan.
    • Research and narrow down the features your car must have.
    • Take a test drive of the car you want to purchase
    • Get dealer quotes
    • Maximize trade-in value
    • Lock the deal

  • Q. How should a beginner buy a car?

    • Set a budget and determine the amount you can afford
    • Save for a down payment
    • Check your credit history
    • Decide the perfect car for you
    • Prequalify for financing
    • Visit the dealership or connect with them online
    • Negotiate to lower the price

  • Q. How much money do you need before buying a car?

    You should have a 20% downpayment on a 4-year automotive loan and spend 10% of your salary on monthly payments.

  • Q. What is the Lemon Law?

    Lemon law allows consumers who own a new car or have leased it to get their vehicle repaired under the manufacturer’s original warranty. Additionally, they can get their truck replaced, repurchased, or repaired, which is less expensive and complicated than filing a case in court.

  • Q. Are EVs worth Buying?

    As per our electric car buying guide, EV maintenance costs are much more affordable than fuel engines.

Written by

Team Spyne

Young, enthusiastic, and curious are the three words that describe Spyne’s content team perfectly. We take pride in our work - doing extensive research, engaging with industry experts, burning the midnight oil, etc. Every word we write is aimed at solving our readers’ problems.

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