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Shopping for your new car is an exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming. Before you get started, it helps to understand the basics of the process. For example, you may be wondering what happens if the car you buy doesn’t work like it should or breaks down as soon as you leave the lot. Fortunately, thanks to the NJ lemon law, you won’t have to worry about that. However, there are many other things to consider.

Deciding on a Price Range

Before you head to the car lot, think about how much you want to spend on your new car. If you don’t consider this ahead of time, you may find yourself agreeing to a purchase you cannot comfortably afford. Use a calculator to figure out the largest monthly car payment you would be willing to take on, and use this information to determine the maximum purchase price for your new car.

Do Some Research

Learn about the cars currently on the market before you talk to a dealer. The internet has plenty of information about every vehicle available, including typical costs, customer reviews and add-on options. Some websites will even allow you to compare the features of multiple vehicles. Use these resources to your advantage to get an idea about the type of car you want before you actually start shopping.

Shop Around

Don’t be tempted to buy the first car you test drive. Look around at several different dealerships before you make your final decision. Remember to compare potential purchases based on the features they offer as well as the price. Finally, don’t be afraid to negotiate with the dealer. Few dealers will refuse to come down from sticker price, and most will offer to throw in some extras if they can’t give you the price you want.

Make Use of Your Warranty

NJ lemon law requires the manufacturer to honor his warranty and repair or replace your vehicle for free if it shows signs of a problem. All new vehicles are required to offer at least a minimum amount of warranty protection, and many used vehicles come with a warranty as well. While your vehicle is under its warranty, make sure to report any problems and have them fixed. Before your warranty expires, ask a mechanic to inspect the vehicle for issues covered under the warranty. If issues are found, take the car to the dealer for repairs.

Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.