A vehicle history report from services such as AutoCheck, Carfax or the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System is worth the money and could help tip the scales in favor of one car over another. Pro tip: Check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.gov) website to see if the vehicle you're considering is under an active safety recall.
Cons: While buying new might be the most satisfying way to buy a car, it's also the most expensive. Some cars depreciate faster than others, but no matter what you're buying, your new car is going to experience depreciation the minute you drive it off the lot. That's not to say buying a new car isn't a good value, but it's a financial hit you should keep in mind if you're shopping for a new car. Consider doing a little homework on the depreciation rate of the car you have your eye on before pulling the trigger.

When you take delivery, either at home or at the dealership, have the salesperson walk around the vehicle with you. Check that there are no scratches, dents or dings. Make sure you get the owner's manual, a spare key and the original window sticker. The window sticker shows you the price and a list of your vehicle's features, which is useful later when you sell or trade in. Most dealers include a full tank of gas and a detail with your new vehicle, so ensure you receive those. Now is also the time to ask any last-minute questions you may have about the vehicle. Ask the salesperson anything you want to know, from how to pair your phone to how to use all the latest advanced safety features.
To determine our top picks, we started by comparing 17 popular online car buying sites and narrowing the list down to only the sites that offer a wide selection of vehicles at different price points. We also considered average reviews and ratings from verified consumers on ConsumerAffairs, only including car buying sites that had at least 14 5-star reviews in the past 12 months. Finally, we excluded any companies that don’t provide financing and customer service that’s available at least five days a week.
A vehicle history report from services such as AutoCheck, Carfax or the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System is worth the money and could help tip the scales in favor of one car over another. Pro tip: Check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.gov) website to see if the vehicle you're considering is under an active safety recall.

What is a substantially refreshed model? Substantially refreshed models are existing vehicles receiving significant engineering, design, or technology updates. Because complete redesigns cost a big pile of money, car companies sometimes take what is a fundamentally sound design and give it a major makeover. Think of it as the difference between rebuilding your home or remodeling it. Examples for 2021 include the the Lexus IS.
TrueCar offers new and used cars online. With TrueCar’s new-car shopping program, you choose the vehicle make and model that you want and, optionally, filter for specific details. TrueCar then outputs a market average price estimate, the MRSP, your estimated savings and any vehicles for sale in your area that match your description. TrueCar’s used-car shopping program is similar, allowing you to choose the car make and model that you’re interested in before showing you local results.
If you want more context on the vehicle's selling price, Edmunds can help with its True Market Value tool. You'll get an idea of what people are paying for vehicles that are similarly equipped to the one you're considering, and it's a good reference point for negotiations. Edmunds also has a tool to help you appraise your potential trade-in to determine if you might trade it in or sell it on your own.
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