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Car Buying TipsEverything you need to know about buying a new car

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Car Buying Checklist

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Stay focused and organized with the NewCars.com Car Buying Checklist. Keep track of everything you need to know when buying your new car.

  • Get your current car's trade-in value with our Black Book widget.

  • If you opt to sell your old car yourself, find out its Private Party price and list it on Cars.com.

  • Check your credit report & score to know if you qualify for lower-interest financing.

  • Check with your bank or credit union for their best loan rates so you can compare them with the dealer's best rate.

  • Calculate the monthly payment you can afford — 20% of your monthly income or lower is a good starting point.

  • Figure out how much cash you can put into a down payment — remember, the larger the down payment, the lower your monthly payments will be.

  • Use our Affordability Calculator to determine the price range of new car you can afford, based on all of the above data.

  • Explore the vehicles in your price range using our fun and interactive Car Chooser.

  • Search our Rebate Center to discover available rebates or financing and leasing deals on the cars you like.

  • Check whether you'll save more money with a rebate or low finance offer using our Cash Back vs. Low APR Calculator.

  • Once you have settled on a car or two, go for a test drive to make sure they're right for you. But remember, DO NOT start negotiating yet.

  • Get dealers to compete for your business by requesting free Internet Price Quotes. Often, you can complete your negotiations from the comfort of your home without even stepping onto a lot.

  • Visit the dealership, sign the papers, and drive home in your new car!

 Download the Car Buying Checklist