Monthly Archives: December 2010

10 Steps to Buying a New Car: Finding the exact car you want to buy

You should now have a very specific idea of the car you want to buy. This means you know the make, model, trim level, options and colors. The more flexible you can be about these specifics, the wider the range of the cars you’ll find available for sale. Ultimately, the ability to consider several versions of the same model can give you additional bargaining power. For example, a shopper might be very firm about the make, model and trim level, but could accept a variety of options and colors. If you’re a shopper who definitely wants hard-to-find options and a specific color, it will be more difficult to make a great deal. Why? You have no leverage as a negotiator. You have to pay the dealer’s price or try to locate another identical vehicle. Obviously, if you do find the exact car you’re looking for, there’s no need to volunteer this information to the salesperson.

In any case, locate the exact car you want by sending e-mails to the Internet managers of dealers in your area. Using’s Dealer Locator feature, you can simultaneously solicit quotes from multiple dealers. In many cases, you will have to follow up with a phone call. Say something like: “I’m looking for a 2003 Matsura Accell.I’m not too fussy about the color but I don’t want black or white. I want ABS and side airbags. What do you have on your lot?” Often the salesperson will have to check his inventory and call you back. After a few phone calls, you will have a good idea of how widely available the car is. If there are several dealerships offering the same car, you will be in a better position to make a good deal.

As you make phone calls and exchange e-mails, take careful notes. You should record information about each car you locate, including the color and options, and the dealership name. This will save time as you continue through the shopping process.

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” GM Dealer”

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10 Steps to Buying a New Car: Pricing the Car

Car salesmen will usually point to a car’s “sticker price” as the correct amount to pay. However, the price the dealership is willing to sell a car is often well below the sticker price. How do you know what to pay? has created a valuable tool for car buyers called True Market Value (TMV) pricing. Based on actual sales figures, TMV is the average price buyers are paying (also known as the “transaction price“) for a certain type of car in your area. The TMV figures, found on, are adjusted for many factors including options, color and geographic region.

To calculate TMV, begin by looking up the car you want to buy in the new vehicles section. Follow the prompts to arrive at a final TMV price for the exact car you are buying. Keep in mind that this price includes the destination charge, which is levied by all manufacturers. (However, the invoice price might vary in certain regions where advertising costs and other fees are included. Edmunds recommends paying the fees listed on the invoice, but questioning any advertising fees that appear on the purchase contract.)

Now it’s time to factor in the incentives you researched and wrote down in the previous step. Take the final TMV price and deduct the amount of the cash rebate. In other words, you create your best deal based on TMV, and then lower it by whatever the rebate is. If you are going to use low-interest financing, calculate your final buying price, then use the payment calculator on to find your monthly payment.

Write down these figures – the TMV, the incentives and the monthly payment – and carry them with you for reference as you continue the car buying process.

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” Chevrolet Dealer”

10 Steps to Buying a New Car: Using incentives and rebates

Today’s new car market is crowded and competitive. Many new cars are offered for sale with attractive incentives to make you choose a particular model. In some cases, the cars with the best incentives are those that aren’t selling very well on their own.

An incentive is anything that gives you an added reason to buy a particular car. Often, however, it comes in the form of a cash rebate or low-interest financing. A car might be selling for $22,000 but the manufacturer is offering $3,000 in customer cash for a final price of $19,000. In another example, a $22,000 car financed for five years at six percent would have a monthly payment of about $550. But with zero-percent financing, the payment is roughly $480. That’s a huge savings to you.

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Auto Service

Winnipeg Mainstay Hotels

10 Steps to Buying a New Car: Starting Out

The following steps will tell you how to locate, price and negotiate to buy the car you want. Remember to consult our glossary if you find words here you don’t understand.

These steps will help you to find the exact car you want, and at a price that is fair to both you and the dealer. In the previous steps, you did plenty of research to find the best car for your needs, and you got a good idea of what you should expect to pay for it. Now you need to narrow the search even more. You will soon be finding the exact car you want to buy – with the options you have chosen – and you will be setting a target price to pay. If you have done your homework, this will be a fairly easy process with no unexpected surprises. Buying a car is a big investment, but it can be exciting and rewarding, especially if you feel like you got the right car at a fair price.

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St. Albert 

Should you buy a new or used car?

Now that you know how much you can spend, your finances will be pointing you toward a new or used car. It might not be clear if you should buy, lease or buy used yet. That’s OK. For example, you might have enough money to buy a new car but want to save money by getting a used car bargain. Or, you might find yourself deciding between an inexpensive new car or a high-end used car. How are you going to decide? Here are a few points to consider.

  • With a new car you can: Pay more, but save money on financing, get rebates and get a warranty
  • With a used car you can: Pay less, but spend time searching for a good deal and researching the history of the car

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Long Stay Hotel Winnipeg

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How Much Can You Afford?

Extended Stay Hotel Winnipeg

The 20-Percent Rule

If you want to avoid an IRS-caliber review of your finances, consider this alternative: Your car payment should be only 20 percent of your take-home pay. Same goes if you have two cars; the total monthly payments for both should still be 20 percent of your available household income.

This 20-percent rule may seem rather restrictive. You might be wailing in despair and saying, “I need a car, but 20 percent of my take-home pay won’t buy anything!” At least you are confronting that situation now, rather than sitting in a dealership with your pen poised over a contract that will drive you into bankruptcy. But don’t fret…there are many, many methods for stretching your car-buying dollar. Leasing is a popular way to make seemingly expensive cars more affordable. Better yet, used cars offer tremendous savings over new, often without sacrificing quality. We’ll cover all those options in later sections of this book.

Chandler Phillips Says:

The 20% rule tells you how much to spend on your next car. Remember to figure this out long before you are overwhelmed by new car smell on the test drive.

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Winnipeg Extended Stay Hotel

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How much can you afford?

This is a good place to start your car-shopping adventure. If you put a high priority on look and style, you might decide to allocate a larger portion of your paycheck toward a new car. If you think of a car as transportation only, you’ll want to spend as little as possible on your next set of wheels.

Financial experts recommend that, before you buy a car, you should review your budget because the cost of a car goes far beyond the monthly payment dealerships advertise. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much “take-home pay” do you bring in each month?
  • How much is your rent or mortgage payment?
  • What is the total of your other bills: food, utilities, debts and savings?
  • Will you have two cars and two car payments?
  • How much will insurance cost for a new car?
  • How much will the car cost to fuel and repair?

If you total all your expenses and deduct them from your take-home pay, you will have a clear view of how much wiggle room there is in your budget for a new car. If you can truly afford one, the figure should be more than enough to cover your car payment. We say “car payment” since most buyers will finance a new car, meaning they will take out a loan and pay it off over time. Still other people will lease their new car  and make smaller monthly payments. More to come on all that…but back to the finance questions for now.

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Begin your Car-buying Search

One day you are driving down the road when the thought suddenly jumps into your mind. For some people this thought comes when the “Check Engine” light pops on one too many times on the way to work. For others, it’s when a hot new car passes on the street or stars in a TV ad, just screaming to live in their garage. But the thought is usually phrased the same way:

“It’s time for me to buy a new car.”

Following hard on the heels of this first thought is a second. This new thought comes in the form of a question that will lead you in many different directions:

“What is the right car for me?”

Before you go car shopping, you need to decide what you are going to buy. The question if what car to buy should be answered long before you visit the car lot. Don’t make the mistake of wandering into a dealership and telling the first salesman who descends on you: “You know, I really need a new car – but I don’t know what to buy.” Next thing you know, the salesman will be making a huge profit and you’ll be driving home in a car you don’t want and can’t afford. But with our help, a little research on your part and some insider information and professional tools at, you’ll be set up with the perfect car for hundreds or thousands less than others have paid for the same vehicle. Plus, we’ll show you how you can use the Internet and the phone to get rock-bottom deals that salesman would never offer “walk-up” customers without hours of unnecessary and uncomfortable negotiation.

First, back to the basics. Need a car? Start by breaking the question into two pieces:

“What do I want?”


“What do I need?”

Wanting is pie-in-the-sky dreaming. If you are wealthy – as in “dropping $50,000 on a car won’t affect your bank account” wealthy – you can give this question a lot consideration. But needing is where most of us should probably focus.

There are lots of things you would like to have. But your car-buying decision will be a mix of what you can afford and what you really need. There is an old expression that addresses this sticky situation: don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish. In other words, you can make decisions now that look like they will save you money, but they may actually cost you big bucks a year or so down the road. For now, keep in mind that you should be balancing needs and wants as you move through the car-buying process.

Before we go any farther in that direction, there is a more pressing question you have to address. That is:

“How much should I spend on my new car?”

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