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Lindsey Patterson

3 Things You Must Know Prior to Purchasing A New Car

4 min read

If you’re in the market for a new car, you know you have a bit of homework to do. The best way to find a new car is to arm yourself with knowledge first. Know what you need and want, and figure out which cars on your short list are worth the most and hold their value the best. Know what it costs to repair those cars if something happens, and always know what the cost of maintenance on a car is before you bring it home. You might think that new BMW was a great price until you realize the cost of an oil change is four times what it is on any other car.


Buying a new car means arming yourself with knowledge, and there are many things you must know before you buy a car. Don’t rush this process, and take these tips into consideration. They’re designed to help you save money and get the best deal possible on a new vehicle.

What the Car is Worth

Not all cars are made the same. If you’re comparing SUVs, for example, know which brands have the best value. Let’s say you are looking into a Ford Expedition and GMC Yukon. You’re going for the base model without any frills or fancy options. You will find the cost of the Ford is significantly lower than the cost of the GMC. However, you’ll also find the GMC does not depreciate nearly as much as the Ford.


This means you’ll lose less money on your purchase, and you’ll be able to trade it in or sell it for a lot more than the Ford. Do you want to be upside down on your car in a few years, or do you want one that holds its value? Sometimes paying a little more upfront is worth a lot more in the end.

What Your Total Payments and Cost Will Be

Always secure your own financing before you car shop. Your credit union or bank will offer you a much lower rate than a dealer’s lender will, and you can make the entire process a little bit shorter and less stressful when you secure your own financing. You walk into the dealer knowing exactly what you can afford to spend and what the loan will cost you over the life of your new loan. Knowing this helps you stay on budget and only look at vehicles that fall within your price range.

The Definitions

Car salesmen like to throw different phrases around to make it seem like they’re giving you a deal. They count on you not knowing what the MSRP definition or the dealer invoice price definition is when you’re shopping. It’s time to do your homework by learning what these things mean and how they affect you.


For the most part, you know what you’re looking for and how much you’re spending, and you should have two or three cars at different dealers to compare. This helps you know you’re getting the best price by comparing prices at different dealerships. It also allows you to pit one dealer against another when you walk out of what a salesman is sure is a sale. When you say you have a better price at another dealer and prove it to them, they might lower the price and allow you to have more options.


Buying your new car is fun, but it’s a process. The best way to focus on a new car is to give yourself a few weeks to find out what you want, do your research, and learn. You don’t do yourself any favors if you rush into a new car purchase without first looking for ways to save. Education is the best tool you have when you’re buying a new car, and you need a good one if you don’t want to walk away paying too much.