People are constantly in their cars, as it is one of the most common forms of transportation. As of 2012, there were around 254 million vehicles registered in the United States alone, meaning that a majority of Americans own a car. With a variety of cars to choose from within the plethora of car manufacturers there are in the United States, citizens have an overwhelming task ahead of them. The first choice that a person should make when buying a car is whether they want a new or used car. This will change your search process greatly and affect the prices as well. Prices vary between cars whether new or used, and doing research about the car you want to buy will make the car buying process much easier.

Used Cars

Buying a used car can be risky, because it has a history that could be good or bad. It is important to see how much background information you can get about the vehicle before buying it. Whether you are going through a dealership or a private party, get the VIN number of the car and look online at accident report websites. Ask any questions that come to mind, because past accidents or upgrades can make the price of a car change.

Look at the Kelley Blue Book to see how much the make, model and year of a car you are interested in goes for. You can check prices specific to your area on cars that are used, or Certified Pre-Owned. You can also choose if you want to go through a dealership, or a private party dealer. The prices will differ here, because prices at a dealership tend to be higher than going through a private party. It will tell you what the best price you should pay for a car is in both places for a car in fair, good, very good, and excellent condition are going for. Another site to do research on is Edmunds’ True Market Value (TMV).  TMV will give an accurate description of the market value if a car, whereas the Kelley Blue Book will show listing prices from dealer in the area, as well as what a fair price is. Most dealerships will use Kelley Blue Book, so having the number that the dealership will most likely offer is a smart step so you can have a variety of different numbers to work with and offer. Doing this research will help you get a price range for your car that others have gotten. You can go into a purchase with this price in mind. Without doing research, you could over pay for a car. Having a range of prices in your head will ensure you stick to your budget.

Haggling is okay if you have done your research. If someone is telling you that the used car you want is $5,000, but your research has constantly proven that it is worth $3,000, you will be able to negotiate with the seller more effectively. Try starting with an offer lower than your budget, that way you have some room to grow with the price.

New Cars

Buying a new car is certainly a bit more expensive than a used car, but it does come with less risk. It is a car that has never been owned by anyone else, so there is no history to report. New cars often come with warranties that will cover any recalls a car may have in the future.

Research when buying a new car is important, just as it was with buying a used car. You need to go into a possible deal with numbers in mind. With new cars, you should always look and see what the car you are interested in was sold for in different places. See on reviews how much others have paid, and try and create a median number. Look online at the car you want and see which features come with the car, and which ones are optional. Often times, dealerships can hike up the price of a car with amenities that are optional. If you don’t need something, see if it can be taken out of the deal to lower the price. When buying a new car, you will most likely have to go to a dealership, so make wiggle room in your budget. There will most likely be a lot of back and forth between you and the dealer, and you need to be confident in your research to make sure you receive the best price. Start on the lower end of the price range, and work your way upward if you need to.

Going into a deal with a budget in mind will ensure you don’t overspend. After doing research, you will know what a good amount to pay for the car you want is, and will ensure you don’t overspend. Before looking for a car, make sure that it fits into your budget so you have another sound number to go into a dealership with.