We have to take into consideration when we are going to be looking into buying a car, and the real fact is how much can we afford. Monthly car payment should not be more than 20 percent of your take-home pay. People will shop for cars with their hearts and not their head. For me the car of my dreams is a Mustang convertible and I know that's not going to happen. So I would really consider a better car.

To save money, consider buying a less popular car — but still reliable — manufacturers. Well-known vehicles like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry can cost thousands more than a comparable Chevrolet Malibu or Nissan Altima, even though these are good cars. Once you have figured out the list of cars you want then you can finally get started on shopping. Another choice is buying a certified pre-owned car, which greatly simplifies the buying process. This will cut down on all the stress of buying and looking down

To see if the cars you are looking at fit into your budget, check True Market Value (TMV)® pricing.. When you select a car through the Appraise a Used Car tool, it takes you to the gateway of all the information you need to make a good buying decision: pricing, reviews, specs, fuel economy and lists of standard features.

Begin searching for the cars on your target list using the used-car inventory page. You can filter the search by many factors including distance, mileage, price and features to find exactly the car you want. You should also use other online classified ads such as AutoTrader.com, eBay Motors.com, CarGurus.com and Craigslist.

There are, of course, many places to shop for a used car, such as independent used car lots, the used car section of a new car dealership and, more recently, used car superstores. One such store, CarMax, makes it easy to search its inventory to find a good used car to buy at a no-haggle price.

The best way for you to find a car is go a car dealership if you have trouble in trusting the classified ads, and there you can also get the history of the car, This is an essential first step: If the report is negative, you should not go any further with this car.

You can access vehicle history reports, which are sold by several different companies, by the vehicle identification number (VIN) and even by license plate. AutoCheck and Carfax are the two best-known sources for vehicle history reports. These reports can reveal vital information about the used car, including whether it has a salvage title, which means it has been declared a total loss by the insurance company, or if the odometer has been rolled back. The best tool in the world to make sure what your being told is the truth, and giving you an ease of mind.

Contact the SellerOnce you find a good prospective car, call the seller before you go to see the vehicle. This is a good way to establish a relationship with the seller and verify the information in the ad. Sometimes the seller will mention something that wasn't in the ad that might change your decision Although many people are tempted to negotiate even before they have seen the car, it's better to wait. Once you see the car, you can tie your offer to its condition level.

If, after talking to the seller, you are still interested in buying the car, set up an appointment for a test-drive. If possible, make this appointment during the daytime so you can see the car in natural lighting and more accurately determine its condition.

Test-driving a used car not only tells you if this is the right car for you but also if this particular car is in good condition. On the test-drive, simulate the conditions of your normal driving patterns. If you do a lot of highway driving, be sure to take the car up to at least 65 mph. If you regularly go into the mountains, test the car on a steep slope. For more on what details to look for, read “How to Test-Drive a Car.”

After the test-drive, ask the owner or dealer if you can see the service records to learn if the car has had the scheduled maintenance performed on time. Avoid buying a car that has been in a serious accident or has had major repairs such as transmission rebuilds, valve jobs or engine overhauls.

If you like the way the car drives, you should have it inspected before you negotiate to buy it. A pre-purchase inspection can save you thousands of dollars. You can take the car to a trusted mechanic for a thorough inspection or request a mobile inspection. A private party will probably allow you to do this without much resistance. But at a dealership, it might be more difficult. If it is a CPO car, there is no reason to take it to a mechanic.

Negotiating with a private-party seller can be a quick and fairly relaxed process. Negotiating with a used-car salesman will take longer and can be stressful. Here are some basics about negotiating.

Only enter into negotiations with a salesperson or private-party seller with whom you feel comfortable.

Make an opening offer that is low, but in the ballpark based on your TMV research in Step 3.

Decide ahead of time how high you will go and leave when you reach your limit.

Always be prepared to walk out: This is your strongest negotiating tool.

Be patient. Plan to spend an hour negotiating in a dealership, and less time for private parties.

Leave the dealership if you get tired or hungry.

Don't be distracted by dealer pitches for related items such as extended warranties or anti-theft devices.

Step 10: Close the Deal

If you are at a dealership, you'll conclude the deal in the finance and insurance (F&I) office. If you are buying a car from a private party, you just have to make sure that payment is final and that the seller properly transfers title and registration to you. In any case, it's important to close the deal so you avoid after-sale hassles.

When you buy a car from a private party, either pay cash or provide a cashier's check. But before money changes hands, request the title (sometimes called the pink slip) and have the seller sign it over to you. Rules governing vehicle registration and licensing vary from state to state. Check the registry's Web site in your state.

Once all of the paperwork is complete, it is finally time to relax and begin enjoying your new purchase: a good used car. For more information you can get it here.

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