Here are some useful tips and guidelines if you are planning to purchase a car regardless if it is new or used.

Buy A New Car

Buying or leasing a new car is not as is easy it may seem, there can be certain problems and issues that you have to deal with before you can successful get one. Here are a few tips to get the best deal when leasing or buying a car and save yourself from headache:

  • The first thing to do is to do your research, find out what kind of car and model you really want for yourself. As you do your research, compare different vehicles and their specifications that will best suit you and your family. Car manufacturers have made this task easy for potential buyers by posting their available car models, specifications, and reviews in the website. In fact, most car manufacturers have a drop down menus in their websites which enables their clients to “build” an electronic version of the car they are looking for. You can “build” a car according to your specifications which includes the model, color and the accessories that will come with it. After doing so, the website can also help you find the nearest dealer and showroom that offers the car you specified.
  • While you are at your research, you should also try to find out how much the dealer paid for the vehicle, how much they are offering it and other options. This information is usually included in the manufacturer’s website and price guidelines. You should specifically look for the wholesale price of the car because this gives you an idea on how much the dealer paid for the car. The wholesale price is the closest estimate you can get to get the best deal.
  • There are some manufacturers that offer rebates when you purchase a car, look for it as this can lower the cost of the car.
  • Don’t stick to one dealer only, it is best to ask for price quotes from different dealers. You should also try to find out if the quoted amount is the price before or after the rebate has been deducted.
  • Remember that there are tempting offers that will be offered to you, this may include credit insurance memberships from auto clubs, extended warranties, upholstery finishes and rust proofing. Remember that you also do not have to apply or purchase a credit insurance to be able to get a loan.
  • With the rising issues on global warming and pollution, hybrid-electric cars are gaining popularity in the automotive market. These cars are highly popular especially to those who are interested in fuel economy and those who want to decrease their carbon footprint and negative impact on the environment. These cars do not perform less than the traditional ones but they have instead a combination of the benefits of engines using gasoline and electronic motors. They can also be modified and configured to be able to attain specifications such as improved fuel economy, power increase or additional power auxiliary. For a cleaner and a more fuel-efficient car, look for the Smartway Further information about hybrids, alternative fuels and electric vehicles; you can visit

Buy A Used Car

One of the many problems of buying a used car is when you are unable to see or know about the damages or defects of the car prior to the purchase. Here are factors to consider before you buy a second-hand vehicle:

  • Your state or local consumer protection office can be contacted to learn more about your rights when buying a used car.
  • Even when buying a used car, you are required to process certain paperworks and documents to be able to register the vehicle under you name. Find our further information about this by contacting your state motor vehicle department.
  • The National Automobile Dealer Association published the NADA Official Used Car Guide to help consumers in comparing or checking prices of cars that can be similar to what they are about to buy. You can also check the Kelley Blue Book, both of which are available in your local libraries.
  • Do a background check and know more about the history of the car. The seller should be able to provide you information such as past owners, maintenance and use of the car. One of the most important information that you should find out is that if the car has been damaged in a flood, if it has been involved in a crash, has its odometer rolled back or been labelled a “lemon”. To be able to get hold of these information, the vehicle identification number will be able to help you. Vehicle history reports can also be bought at gov, these reports can be helpful but does not necessarily mean that a car is 100% guaranteed to be accident-free.
  • For help regarding your car’s title history, you can ask your state motor vehicle department for assistance.
  • A searchable online database by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers information about recalls, investigations and complaints in relation to your car.
  • Information about safety defects, recalls, “lemons”, and technical service bulletins are provided by the Center for Auto Safety
  • The odometer reading on the car should always match the mileage disclosure.
  • The car warranty is as important as any other detail when purchasing a used car; you can contact the dealer or the manufacturer if the warranty is still in effect to make sure that you can still use the remaining coverage.
  • Each dealer should have a return policy, make sure that you have yours in writing and read it carefully (look for fine prints) before closing the deal.
  • If you have your own mechanic that you trust, it is best to have the car checked and inspected first. You can make a deal with the seller that you will pay for the examination once the car passes it, but they should be the ones to pay if a significant problem is discovered. Your mechanic should check all parts and areas including the car’s frame, air bags, tire, undercarriage and most especially; the engine.
  • Look for terms such as “balloon payment” and “base mileage” in the dealer’s documents, these terms may tell you that you are just leasing the car and not buying it. Therefore it pays to read and understand the documents carefully.

Car Rental

Renting a car means you are borrowing another person’s vehicle for a specific period of time. This is an advantageous option for you especially if you are visiting another place or your car is still in the shop. But just like the buying a car, there are also certain things you have to consider before signing the agreement form:

  • There are certain fees and charges that may be included when renting a car. These fees may include airport surcharge of fees for car drop-off, fuel, insurance, taxes, mileage, drivers and additional equipment rental (for items such as ski racks and car seats). It is best to ask the total cost after all these fees have been included.
  • There are car rental companies that ask and check for driving records of customers once they arrive at the counter. Some costumers are turned down because of this even if they already have a confirmed reservation.
  • Some customers make a mistake of duplicating insurance coverage; make sure you are not committing the same mistake. For business travels, ask your employer if the insurance covers accidental damage to rented cars. For personal travels, check with your personal auto insurance, membership from the motor club or the credit card company if they have a coverage for car rental accidental damages.
  • Before renting and upon return of the car, make sure you check the whole vehicle including the tires for existing damages or damages you might incurred unknowingly. If you are able to, try to return the car before closing time so that you and a representative can check the car together.
  • Ask about refuelling charges and policies. Some car rental companies may require a refuel and ask for the fuel receipt from you when you return the car.
  • It is better to pay using your credit card rather than a debit card to avoid holds of funds from your checking account.
  • Ask the car rental company about deposits and a clear explanation about deposit refunds once you return the vehicle.
  • For further information about car rental and insurance options included, you can visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
  • For information about state laws that cover short term car and truck rental, you can contact your yourstate or local consumer protection office

Car Safety Information

Car Safety Tests

Here are the different organizations that perform safety crash tests on automobiles:

  • TheNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
    • Assesses the level of protection of drivers and vehicles during side-impact and front crashes by conducting crash tests on new vehicles.
    • Checks quality of vehicular restraints such as seat belts and air bags
    • If a car is involved in a single-vehicle crash, they help determine the likelihood of this car rolling over.
  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:
    • This organization assesses the protection provided by a vehicle’s structure by performing different tests that uses offset-frontal car crash.

Safety Performance Reporting

Below are organizations that provide and report on automobile safety information:

Lease A Car

Leasing a car means borrowing another person’s car with a certain amount. Loan payments are higher than monthly lease payments but do not have ownership or equity in the car at the end of the lease. Here are a few tips to get the best deal:

  • Think of the differences between leasing and owning a car. Leasing companies are required by the Consumer Leasing Act to provide clients information that will enable them to compare monthly payments and other related charges.
  • Visit multiple dealers and compare lease offers
  • Credit scores also play a role in car lease; clients with better credit standing are qualified for the low down payment promos and rates. Calculate the total cost over the duration of the lease.
  • Independent agents give out better deals than dealers. Leasing options are also offered by financial institutions that offer auto financing.
  • Specifically ask and understand the details on wear and tear limits. There are things that you might consider a normal wear and tear but can soon be classified as a significant damage and can be billed extra charge at the end of the lease.
  • Most cars for lease are allowed to run 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year, but each dealer varies from the other. An average charge of 10 to 25 cents is charged for each additional mile driven.
  • The manufacturer’s warranty should most likely cover the duration of your lease and the number of miles you are allowed.
  • Ask the dealer regarding terms if you return the car earlier than what was agreed upon. Most leasing companies require a termination charge for leases that end earlier than the deadline.
  • As the dealer what happens if the car will be involved in an accident.
  • All terms and agreement should be in writing, all materials and equipment should also be listed in the list.

For more information about car leasing, you can visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board.