A car represents one of the most substantial purchases you are likely to make in a given year. The key to striking the best deal and getting the vehicle you need is to spend some time doing your research. Use the advice that follows below and you will have the facts you need to make a smart decision.

Before beginning your car shopping journey map out exactly how much of a payment you can afford. Take the time to write out a budget and see how much money is left over each month. By doing this one step, you can avoid getting into a situation where you put a financial strain on your budget.

Do not get your heart set on a particular model of car when you are car shopping. You need to leave your options open so that you can get the best deal possible. The exact car you have decided you want may not be the best available option at the time you are ready to buy.

Take a good look at the underside of the vehicle. Try to keep your eyes peeled for signs of rust and erosion. A car can look great on the outside, but be falling apart underneath. If you see rust under the vehicle move on. This could mean a lot of repairs later on.

Don’t forget to look into the cost of parts for a vehicle before you buy it. Some cars, especially imports, cost significantly more to maintain than others. Investigate the cost of parts that wear out frequently, such as tires, brakes, and windshield wiper blades. Research the cost of alternators, spark plugs, and other engine components, too.

When shopping for a new vehicle, consider all of your options. There are many used cars that have extremely low miles and rock bottom prices. The ones to look for are the ones that have been leased and returned. These cars have been serviced at the dealership and usually have plenty of factory warranty protection left.

Ask the car dealer to show you a vehicle history report. This can tell you if the vehicle has been in an accident or if it has been recalled. It can also show you what repairs have been done and when they were done so that you know exactly what you are buying.

Set up financing for your vehicle prior to visiting the dealership. This can be achieved at your local credit union or your preferred bank. You may even get a lower interest rate and you will know what you can afford.

Due diligence should be exercised when planning your car budget. It is imperative that you take a full and realistic look at your budget. Not only must you consider a car payment, you must also consider insurance, gas and maintenance for the vehicle. There is nothing worse than having a vehicle that you cannot afford to drive.

New car shopping is stressful simply because it involves spending such a great deal of money. Education is critical to making a wise choice, given the abundance of choices available. Review the information above as needed, and the process really can be easier than you may have ever imagined it could be.

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