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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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A better way to do a car loan

A better way to do a car loan

The #1 mistake that car buyers make is so simple to avoid...and knowing about it could save you 2.5% in interest points on a car loan!

The best car deals for fall 2014

The best car deals for fall 2014

Giant SUVs are back in demand again, but they are no bargain. Here's where the sweet deals are happening right now.

Why You Should Limit Car Loans to 42 Months

Auto loan financing is suddenly available to people with damaged credit who may have been turned down for car loans as recently as a few months ago. But is that "yes" to your credit app really a "yes" in your monthly budget? How to avoid buying too much car If ...

Buying a Car at Auction -- Life With a $5,000 Vehicle

As I reported a few weeks ago, I bought a 2005 Volvo wagon at public auction for under my budget of $5,000.  That’s a pretty darn good buy one would think, but I wasn't going to rely on my opinion only so the first stop was at a trusted mechanic. ...

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 ...

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