New car buying

The following is general information on new car buying.

If you are planning to buy a new car, your first trip should not be to the dealership, but to the library. Check magazines that publish information on the value and performance of various makes and models. This should give you a general idea of which cars to consider.

Next, line up tentative financing and insurance. While car loans are available from banks, finance companies and through dealerships, approximately half of all people who finance new cars do so through the dealer without shopping for terms and rates. The single most important factor to compare is the annual percentage rate. Keep in mind that your lender will require you to carry collision or comprehensive insurance if your new car is used as collateral for the loan.

Investigate the reputation of dealers whose showrooms you plan to shop at. Call the Better Business Bureau for reliability reports. Do not start negotiating with a dealership until you are reasonably certain it will give you prompt, satisfactory service after the sale. Visit several dealerships and ask sales people for performance data on the car or cars you are considering. Discuss the warranties and test drive your choice or choices.

Finally, select one model, nail down the price and get the best deal on the trade-in value of your old car. It is the net difference that counts.

This tip was brought to you by the Better Business Bureau of Central and Northern Alberta.