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12 Steps to Getting the Best Deal on a New Car

Step 4: Assess your needs.

(Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.)

(Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.)

Start the new-car shopping process in earnest by realistically identifying your vehicular needs and wants, relative to your financial situation. To get the most for your automotive dollars you’ll want to enter this process with an open mind, not an open wallet, and consider all your possible choices. This means looking at competing vehicles within a category, and what’s available in other segments, to determine what will work best for you at the lowest possible cost. For example, a compact hatchback car might meet a requirement for added cargo space and rear passenger room just as well as a costlier crossover SUV. Once you’ve gotten a general idea of what you like and how much you can afford, identify three or four models for closer examination.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]