So you want wheels. And you want the best deals on wheels. You've come to the right place. Dealer Select has compiled the latest research and tips on buying cars, with crucial information concerning your legal rights as a consumer. We hope we've provided the information you'll need to make a deal that you'll be happy with.
For most of us, buying a car is the largest purchase we'll ever make besides a home. Today the average cost of a car is about $24,000, and, because it is legally binding, the purchase should be very well-considered.
Unfortunately, we at Dealer Select hear from remorseful car buyers every month. Again and again our phones ring with the question, "Can I return the car I just bought?" Our answer is almost always, "No." We wonder why they did not use the Dealer Select Program?
Avoid being one of our callers by doing your homework before you buy a car. In this book, we provide guidelines and references to help you decide what kind of car to buy, what you can comfortably afford, whether to buy a new or used car or lease one instead, what options and extra protections to purchase, car rental practices to be aware of and how to maintain your vehicle without getting run over in the process. To get the latest on pricing CLICK HERE.
Car buying is intimidating to many people. For instance, how many of us know the difference between three and four cylinders? If air bags are fail-safe? Or whether an extended warranty makes sense? If you aren't car savvy, or are a little rusty on car mechanics and the latest dealer practices, you may appreciate a few tips and pointers.
Do you feature yourself tooling around town in a gleaming vehicle with the latest options? Were you on the crest of the wave with your bright-red hot rod at age 20? Did you have to have a talking car, the rage of the early 1990s? Would you feel inferior today without an impeccable interior to show your business clients? Then you probably won't be fulfilled without a new car.
But buying new isn't only about image. New cars have safety features that are constantly being improved. They may be less likely to rust because of better rust protection. And they're virtually problem free. With a new car there's less risk of being stuck on the highway on the hottest day of the year with a busted radiator that just went out. If something does go wrong, it's usually under warranty for several years, so you won't have to pay to fix it unless you have a deductible written into your warranty.
On the other hand, buying a new car is a financial risk. You can't know how much your car will be worth several years down the road. It will lose hundreds or thousands of dollars in value over the first two years, but you may still be paying off a loan based on its negotiated showroom price.
Many car experts say you'll come out best financially if you buy a car that's a couple of years old, after the major depreciation has occurred. Jack Gillis, author of "The Used Car Book," writes that used cars cost an average of $8,000 less than new cars. Even with the cost of repairs, used cars cost less to drive. Gillis estimates that you can save about 15 cents a mile driving a used car after the first year. With savings like these, you can stash some cash for repairs and still come out ahead.
When deciding whether to buy a new or used car, ask yourself if you have the temperament to drive a car that needs periodic maintenance, or if you'd rather spend more money up front for a car that is warranted to deliver a reliable ride.
Buying is more traditional. But bold headlines keep telling you that you can lease a brand new sedan for $259 a month. Or a four-wheel-drive truck for $299 per month! But you won't own the vehicle. If you lease, you're really just renting a car for the long term.
So is buying more practical? There isn't an easy answer. No matter how
you look at it, leasing and buying aren't easy to compare. Take some time to read the
chapter "Get a Lease on Leasing," in which we've identified some ways to compare
leasing and buying by calculating your monthly payments and looking at the long-term costs
of each. This is only an overview of the issues you'll face in determining whether to buy
a new or used car, or choose instead to lease. Read the chapters concerning each of these
choices before you make your decision. Learn the rules of the road before you hit the
streets, lots and showrooms!