Buying a new car can be fun and exciting, but it can also be very stressful. After all, it is a very big decision. If you are organized, armed with knowledge, and understand the game, you’ll find the experience a lot more enjoyable so here are some tips for buying a new car.

Start with the basics. Decide what type, size, and price range meets your needs; then move on to the details of the deal.

But first, check out the car’s value with Kelly Blue Book. This source is one of the most trusted when it comes to providing new or used car values. By entering certain information into the website, car shoppers can learn what that particular automobile should be sold for. This can help potential buyers realize whether or not they are getting a good deal.  

The invoice price is what the dealer paid for the car, not including any incentives from the vehicle manufacturer. The sticker price is the price the dealer wants you to pay for that car, including any optional packages that may be on that particular vehicle. 

Find out the invoice cost of the car. This is the key to what type of deal you can get. Once you know what the dealer paid, you can better negotiate with the dealer. The dealer typically isn’t going to give you this information, so you’ll have to play detective and round it up yourself.

You can easily get this information by spending less than $20 and calling the Consumer Reports New Car Price Service. It’s a good investment because it usually results in about a $1,200 savings.

Then keep searching, select a used car with as little mileage as possible. This should mean that the car has a longer life and hasn’t been used excessively.  Consider gas mileage. An SUV will typically use more gasoline than a compact car, which is important if the cost of fuel is a major deciding factor in your purchase.

Now it’s time to get ready to bargain. Ask the salesperson to deal on their base markup over cost. Never bargain off the sticker price. You’ve got the invoice price and that’s what you bargain off of. What type of deal you can get depends a lot on supply and demand. There no doubt that the price of gas will continue to go up. Therefore, it might be a good idea to consider how much you are willing to spend on gas. You want to find a good car with good gas mileage.

Be wary of the “for just a few” game. It’s a game of up-selling for services and items you often don’t need – undercoating, fabric protection, rust proofing, windshield etching, extra warranties, etc. Some of these services are nice; but most aren’t needed. Be careful because they can very quickly add a couple thousand dollars to your costs. So don’t get caught up in the “for just a few dollars more you can have…”  Once you decide what type of car you want. Look at different brands that has similar cars. For instance, if you are looking into the Lexus IS, also look into the Nissan G35, BMW 3 series, Acura TL, Cadillac CTS. You get the point. The reason why is because the price range from the same class can range from 30,000 to 45,000 which is a lot of money. Therefore, you should go test drive and find out exactly which car you want.

If you have a vehicle you are going to trade in, don’t disclose this information to the salesperson until the price of the new car has been established and agreed upon. That way the price you are given for your trade is the true amount that is being offered rather than some inflated figure on paper. Then you can decide if you really want to trade your vehicle in. Often, selling privately is a better choice.