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Buying from a car dealer can be intimidating, whether you’re buying a new or used vehicle. However, it’s important to remember that you’re the one who should remain in control.  After all, buying a car is a huge purchase and responsibility. Be sure to ask as many questions as you can in regards to financing options, fuel efficiency, and more. If you’re buying a used car, you’ll want to ask for a vehicle history report, too.

Be sure to ask the following questions to ensure a successful deal.

What are my financing options?

It’s important to consider all of your financing options when purchasing a new car. First, you must estimate your current monthly expenses so you can look for cars that are within your budget. When you buy a new car, you have the option to either lease or buy it. Have the car dealer go through all of your financing options with you, as well as the pros and cons to all of them.

What is the fuel efficiency of this vehicle?

Fuel efficiency is important. While the vehicle you’re looking at may have a low price tag, the reality might be that the car is a gas-guzzler and with today’s gas prices, you may not be able to afford to fill up your tank weekly. Therefore, it’s important to ask this question right away in order to eliminate any cars that eat up too much gas from your list.

Is there a vehicle history report provided before purchase?

This is an important question to ask if you are buying a used car in order to avoid the question later, “Is my car a lemon?” While lemon laws vary from state to state, most dealerships provide you with a vehicle history report (also known as Carfax) upon request. A vehicle history report will show you whether or not the car has been in any accidents and what repairs it’s had done, as well as other details that could be important.  While Lemon laws normally cover new cars, there are Federal laws that may apply if your car is continuously problematic while under an original or extended manufacturers’ warranty.

Do you take trade-ins?

In most cases, it’s easier to trade in your old car to the dealership where you’re buying your new car and to have them simply subtract the price from your total than to sell it yourself. This can end up saving you time, money, and a long hassle trying to show and sell the vehicle on your own. Most dealerships will take trade-ins, though it’s important to find out ahead of time if your car will be accepted as such.  You don’t want to go through the entire purchase process only to find out at the end that your vehicle doesn’t qualify.  You may also want to check websites such as to figure out the ideal trade in value of your car before you head to the dealer.  If they offer you less, they may be taking you for a ride.

By asking these questions and being clear on what you are looking for in a vehicle, you should be able to get through the car buying process like a pro.


Hailey Andersen likes to share auto trends and safe driving tips that she finds useful. Follow her on Twitter at: @HaileyWrites.