Before You Buy

Let’s face it; cars and trucks continue to be very expensive relative to most people’s incomes. Next to our homes, it’s the biggest purchase most people make. The articles below will empower you with the right information to shop for and compare cars, along with their many and varied options to ensure you get the best deal possible.
Many models have been for sale for a long time; in fact, some seem to be kept around because the nameplate is an iconic and positive image for the brand. Vehicles like the Honda Accord, Toyota 4Runner, Volkswagen Beetle and Dodge Grand Caravan are great examples of this. People remember and associate those models with the companies that build them. Read More
One often-overlooked option for cars with relatively low values: Donate your car to a favorite charity and take a tax write-off. You must, however, itemize deductions on your tax return; the IRS says that only about one-third of all taxpayers do. Car donations seem to be all... Read More
Make an honest assessment of your old car and what it needs in the way of repairs. If your car is a worn-out heap, you'll probably decide that it isn't worth the trouble of fixing it up and selling it yourself; you'll either donate it to a charity or take whatever you can get... Read More
If you sell the car yourself, you might get a figure between wholesale and retail pricing, earning yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars more on your old car. But before you decide to sell it on your own, ask yourself these questions:... Read More
Access to cutting-edge technology is becoming an increasingly important aspect of many consumers’ lives.  This trend has not been lost on the Automotive industry, where car manufacturers have been rapidly... Read More
Haggling, horse-trading and bartering ... call it what you will. Though some buyers may consider it great sport to beat the last penny of profit out of an auto dealer, most consumers hate the hassle. Many would just as soon face a firing squad as go through the tribulations of negotiating for a new car. ... Read More
Sometimes things just aren’t what they seem to be. This variation on the old adage is truer than ever in the automotive world, where the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg all share a common platform. "Corporate cousins” is the auto industry’s term for similar models that carry different nameplates. Car manufacturers... Read More
If cell phones, AM/FM/XM CD players, internet-based communications and digital satellite radio aren't enough, you may want to consider two other entertainment options for your car: mobile video systems that can play DVDs and MP3 players that provide several hours of music uploaded from your PC. Read More
Would you pay extra to receive at least 180 digital radio channels in your car, no matter where you drive in the U.S. - all categorized by type of music or entertainment and many without commercials? Read More
Tired of wrestling with road maps or being late for appointments because you can't find an address? You might want to consider opting for a factory-installed navigation system in your next vehicle.... Read More
The chart below explains some popular options on vehicles available today, and whether they provide any benefit to you or alternately, any drawbacks you may want to consider... Read More
As a general rule of thumb, a late-model used car is simply less expensive to buy than the new version of the same make and model. It’s already sustained a good chunk of its depreciation cost (the second it was driven off the lot) and unless the vehicle was driven across the country and back ten times, it likely won’t have gotten to the point that substantial maintenance and repairs are needed. ... Read More
Understanding ownership costs can save you money. Regardless of what you may read in new car reviews or hear in new car ads, it’s not possible to know whether a vehicle is a good or a poor value until you learn about all the major ownership costs: depreciation, insurance, taxes and licensing, financing, fuel economy, maintenance and repairs. ... Read More
There's one golden rule when it comes to negotiating for a new car: Buying a new car, financing it, and trading in your old car may all occur at the same time, but these are three separate transactions and should be negotiated separately. Read More
The easiest and quickest solution to getting rid of your old car is to swap keys with the dealer; in return for a trade-in allowance on the new car, you give him your old car. It happens all on the same day. You have no ads to write. You don't have to spend time waiting by the telephone or giving test drives. You don't need to worry about smog or safety certificates which are, in some states, the seller's ... Read More