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• If you have a trade-in, the time to discuss it with the dealer is after you've negotiated the purchase of the car.

• After you've negotiated a price for a new car, you can decide which dealer to buy from by seeing how much they'll give you for the trade-in.

• Find out what your trade-in is worth by checking the, and By selling the vehicle yourself, you'll get a price about halfway between average trade-in and average retail. A dealer will give you the trade-in price.

• Finance a car for 48 months or less. With a 60-month loan, the value of the car declines much faster than the loan balance. So for much of the five-year period, you owe more than the vehicle is worth.

• Keep the financing separate from the car-price negotiation, too. When you allow the dealer to arrange financing, terrible things can happen.

• Buy a manufacturer's extended warranty or one from your own auto insurer. Don't buy a third-party contract.

• Don't buy an extended service contract from an automobile dealer or anyone else until you've had time to think about it and shop prices. You do not have to make this decision at the moment you're buying your vehicle.

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Car Complaints Top the Consumer Gripe List

Consumer complaints involving automobiles nabbed the top spot on a tally of the Top 10 gripes of 2013, according to a survey by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI). Among the other grievances: home improvement/construction (No. 2); Credit/debt (No. 3); retail sales ...

The Truth About New-Car Incentives That No One Else Is Telling You

When sellers address potential buyers in advertising or face-to-face, their objective is to create a “sense of urgency” that will motivate them to buy now. The essential message is that “today’s unique opportunity will be gone tomorrow.” In most cases that’s not true, but we gullible consumers fall for it, ...

Advice for car shoppers with bad credit

Advice for car shoppers with bad credit

The Wall Street crowd that led us into the housing bubble and bust is now getting into car financing for subprime borrowers. If you have bad credit and need a car, listen to this advice.

Get a car loan the Clark Smart way

Get a car loan the Clark Smart way

Shopping for a car and need a loan? Here's how to do it the Clark Smart way, so you can avoid the #1 pitfall that hurts most car buyers.

Electric car deals create short supply

After telling you several weeks ago that automakers are rolling out great leasing offers on electric vehicles, I now have a new situation to report: Electric vehicles are in short supply on dealer lots!  Range anxiety had been a big reason why people weren't buying electric cars. That's the fear ...

What Your Car Says About Your Credit Score

Could the car you drive be an accurate indicator of your credit score? Better check your wheels against this list to see what you're subliminally broadcasting to the world! A fellow I know named Wes Moss wrote a book about what makes a happy retiree and what makes somebody unhappy ...

The True Cost To Own A Car Is More Than You Think

When we think about cars, we almost never consider what it costs to own and operate them day in and day out. Imagine you had a taxi meter running in your car every time you used it. The average vehicle -- defined as a small sedan like a Chevrolet Cruze, ...

Is car leasing worth the money?

Is car leasing worth the money?

Leasing is at an all-time high among new car shoppers. But Clark has an alternative that will save you even more money in the long run.

Gas prices to drop this summer?

Gas prices to drop this summer?

Experts are claiming the price of a barrel of oil will drop significantly over the next 60 months. Here's why.

Cars with the lowest cost of 5-year ownership

When you go and look for a car, what do you look for? A lot of times, it's an emotional connection, you get excited about a particular brand. They call that "getting into your funnel." But what really matters with a car? Certainly reliability is a big factor. But how ...

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