Stretch Your Car Buying Dollars with Money Saving Tips from

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Stretch Your Car Buying Dollars with Money Saving Tips from

Today's tough economy has millions of consumers seeking ways to spend less and save more. If you're in the market for a car but stressed about your wallet, the experts at, a leading vehicle pricing and information website providing car search and car reviews, offer the following important tips to help you stretch your car buying dollar.

Deals abound, so do your homework.

Because car dealers are now moving inventory to make room for 2009 vehicles, pay attention to local dealer websites, newspapers and circulars for price cuts and special promotions on 2008 makes and models they must clear off their lots. Also, due to recent high gas prices, many larger cars are heavily incentivized with rebates and cash back offers, sometimes by as much as $10,000 or more. There are plenty of great car deals out there so do your homework before visiting the dealership.

Be smart about car financing.

If you need car financing, be sure to check a variety of lenders, such as your local credit union, to find rates and loan terms that work best for you. If you finance through the car dealer, check your credit score online and bring this information with you to the dealership to help determine the types of financing programs you qualify for. Finally, making a larger down payment could help you qualify for financing programs for which you may not have initially qualified, reducing your monthly car payment expenses in the process.

Be flexible about the car you buy.

When it comes to selecting a car, be flexible. Research a variety of makes and models in the same or similar class to find comparably equipped cars at more affordable prices. You may find a second, third or even fourth choice that costs less, without sacrificing the quality and features you really want. With the side-by-side car comparison tool, you can compare features, specifications, options, prices and warranties for up to four new or used cars, to assist you with your research.

Consider a used car.

The minute you drive a new car off the lot, it depreciates in value, so consider buying a used car. Not only will you avoid hefty depreciation costs from the get-go, there's a good chance you'll find a great used car in excellent condition for less money than a new car. If buying a used car scares you, check into certified pre-owned vehicles (CPO), which have gone through rigorous inspections and come with solid warranties for added peace of mind. Finally, be sure to check out the 5-Year-Total-Cost-To-Own tool at to learn more about specific depreciation and ownership costs for particular models.

Pay attention to your trade-in.

If you're trading in your existing car, research its trade-in price at and be honest with yourself and the dealer about its condition. Give the car a good detailing and repair any minor damage prior to visiting the dealership. If you financed the car, know how much you owe on your existing loan. Owing more than it's worth will obviously offset any discounts being offered on your new car, but on the other hand, those new car discounts might enable you to pay off your existing loan. Finally, don't be afraid to negotiate a fair trade-in price, but be realistic. With the current state of the economy and recent fuel costs, you're likely to get a higher value on a compact versus an SUV.


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Jennifer Lange
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