The process of purchasing a car is something that strikes fear in the hearts of many. The fact is, however, that by spending the necessary time to research the process ahead of time, car buying does not have to be so daunting. Read the article that follows, and you should have the information you need to make the best choice for you and your family.

Check out the maker’s site if you want to customize your car. While the cars on the dealership lot may be the kind of car, you want, a number of car manufacturers give you the opportunity to customize the car a bit with color and features. You may have to wait a few weeks more to get your car, but it might be worth it.

Be flexible. While you should head to the car dealership with a good idea of what you are looking for, it can pay to have a little wiggle room. Try to have several makes or models that fit your needs, and you can choose the best deal when you find out what is available at your particular dealer

Before buying a car, consider the cost of insurance. If you are financing the car, you will probably need comprehensive coverage, in addition to liability protection. Some cars cost significantly more to insure than others. Avoid any surprises by asking your insurance company for a quote before you sign any paperwork.

If you aren’t concerned about getting the absolutely latest model, consider car shopping in November or December. During this time frame, dealerships will offer deals on the current models. They want to clear out their inventory to make way for shipments of the next year’s models. This means that you will be offered more incentives, lower sticker prices, and more room to negotiate!

Have a friend or family member that sells cars come along with you as you search for a new car. Car salesmen can be very aggressive, but if they know that you are with a fellow salesman you will have an easier time getting the deal that you want and deserve.

Rental cars are an excellent source of information to test a vehicle. If you need to know what a car really feels like, go to a rental place so you can test drive it extensively. Take a trip to get an idea of how the car drives and its features. You can decide if you like the car on the highway and when driving long distances.

Know your credit score before you enter the showroom. Your credit score will help to determine your financing rate, and knowing it helps you to understand how much you will have to pay for your car. The best financing rates are often reserved for those with the best credit score. Knowing yours can help you to be realistic about your chances of getting the very best deals.

If you are absolutely in love with a certain color or interior finish, don’t settle for less. Though the specific vehicle that you want might not be in stock at your local dealership, ask them if they can get it for you. Most dealerships have relationships with other dealerships and will trade vehicles back and forth. Keep in mind though, you might end up paying a little bit extra to cover some of the costs of the trade.

Always be leery of any used car dealers on the side of the road. These dealers almost always have a less than reputable reputation. The cars they sell could have flood damage, need major repairs, and are sold without warranty. Once you drive that car off the lot, any problems the car has are now your problem.

Wait until a new model isn’t so new, if you really want it. There’s no point in being the first person with the latest car, if you have to pay more for it. Usually, prices go down after the initial launch. So, if you can hold off your excitement for a few weeks or more, you may get a better deal.

How the staff at a dealership treats you when you arrive and thereafter show a lot about how they work. If the same salesperson takes you from start to finish, you have a good lot. If they pass you off to a high pressure “closer,” you might want to head to another location.

While the dealership that you buy your vehicle through will offer financing, check into your options. Get a loan quote from your bank or a credit union. Oftentimes, they will offer better rates than the dealership. This will allow you to bring those quote to the dealership’s financial officer and negotiate a lower rate.

Consider skipping the dealership completely and go with an auto broker. An auto broker usually works with several dealerships and acts as an intermediary to get you the best deal on the car you are looking for. They work on commission, however it can still save you time and money in the long run. Be aware though that a few states have banned auto brokers.

Do not let the salesperson you deal with take advantage of you. They may seem nice, but it’s so they can gain your trust. However, don’t be fooled into getting something that you don’t really want.

Did you know that buying a hybrid car entitles you to a one-time tax deduction of $2,000? Find out if any of the cars you’re investigating are hybrids and how you can use the tax deduction yourself. Build it into your budget and enjoy the reward you get from thinking green!

Car shopping is not always an enjoyable experience, given the multitude of factors that must influence the final decision. Education and information are critical tools when it comes to making the right selection. Heed the tips and guidance found above, and you can have a car shopping experience that is not only stress-free, but that results in the perfect choice being made.