When you want to buy a car, do your research online. You can find out about all the makes and models available on the car brand’s website. You can even find the dealer’s site and peruse the cars on the lot. Some dealers even offer specials through their site, so check those out too.

Find out how much your bank is offering for car loans, and then take their offer to other financial institutions. Next, take all of those offers to the dealership. Sometimes you can use a lower offer from another institution to get a better offer from the institution you actually want to borrow from.

Avoid the warranty options offered by car dealers on used cars. They are almost always overpriced and usually do not cover the more expensive repairs that you would want to be warrantied. Instead, purchase your warranty separately from a trusted warranty company that you find on your own. If you do not know of any, ask a friend or family member for advice.

Fuel economy is one of the most important things to look for when buying a car. Try test driving it on the highway and in the city too. See if it takes a lot of gas. You could also find lists of cars and their fuel economies online if you need to.

Research the laws in your state when it comes to purchasing a bad car. There are some states that have lemon laws. They will protect you from buying a car that isn’t in great condition and not being able to get a refund. Not every state has these laws, which is why it is important for you to do your research.

If you will be trading in your old car, don’t let the salesperson have your keys. When you hand over your keys, the salesperson may use this as a way to get you to sign the contract for a new car before you are ready. If your keys in up in the hand of a salesperson, tell them that the negotiation is off until your keys are returned.

Demand a safety report and vehicle history report from the dealer. Any good car dealer will have these items available for any vehicle on the lot. This is information that will tell you how safe the vehicle is as well as any major accidents or work that has been needed on the car.

In this type of an economy, you are provided with much better options when purchasing a vehicle. Still, beware because the dealership will not just hand this information to you. Know what your options are, and know that this economy puts the ball in your hands when it comes to purchasing a vehicle.

Always ask the seller if they are willing to let you do a test drive. While some private sellers may not offer you the chance to do a test drive, there are many that will. You should try to do your deal with someone that will allow you to see how the car runs.

Find out if you are going to need a co-signer for your loan. If you don’t make that much money or have poor credit, you might be able to get that great car you want. However, you might need a co-signer. Keep in mind that a co-signer is responsible for your loan if you do not pay, and choose accordingly.

Be aggressive and assertive. You will inevitably end up negotiating the price of your vehicle, so don’t be afraid to push a little. Be prepared to walk away from the dealership if you aren’t making progress. Leave the offer alone for a day or two, and then contact the salesman again. If they know that you are willing to walk away, they will be more likely to accept your offer or to counter-offer with a more reasonable price.

Take your newly purchased car to a mechanic right away. Almost every state allows you to return a vehicle within 24 hours of purchasing it, so you want to make sure the vehicle does not have major problems that you did not notice yourself. Almost any mechanic is happy to take a look at a car for a customer.

Now that you’ve taken all of this knowledge in, you know what you have to do next. Approach that car lot with confidence as you know you have the advice needed to be successful. Once you arrive, you’ll take charge of the situation and come out on top in the best car ever.

Monroe Hannig has a column regarding auto repair spruce