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Financing


• 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 Edmunds.com, kbb.com and autotrader.com. 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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How to find the best auto repair shops

When the chips are down and you need a car repair, where's the best place to get it done? Back in 1987, I bought an Acura Integra. When it needed service, a friend who also had an Integra recommended a dedicated shop that only worked on Hondas and Acuras. It's ...

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Should you lease a car right now?

Most manufacturers go on a blitz with their "End of the Year" sales events between Christmas and New Year's Eve. But is it a good idea to lease right now or should you wait? There are essentially 2 times in every calendar year when you can get a deal on ...

Cost of a new car is more than purchase price alone

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The cost of a new car is far more than the purchase price alone. Here's another important factor to consider.

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