Car News Articles 
 Alternative Fuel Vehicles
 Automotive Articles
 Car Buying Tips (198)
  Car Financing (29)
  Car Warranty (5)
 Car Insurance Articles
 Car Maintenance
 Car News
 Car Racing
 Car Repair
 Car Safety
 Driving Economically
 Environmental Issues
 Exterior Car Care
 Garage Know How
 How Car Stuff Works
 Motorcycle Articles
 Road Trips
 Traveling with Kids
 Younger - Older Drivers
 Amsoil Synthetic Oil
 Article Archives

Car Buying Tips

Five Tips To Find The Best Car For You

Picking the perfect ride: Five tips to find the best car for you can help you can decide what you want in a vehicle before you hit the car lots. Find out all you can about the different make and model vehicles and what they offer you before you start looking. Research car financing options to get the best deals!

(ARA) - "If my van doesn't start, I'm in trouble," says Leanne Kocsis, a working mom whose family of six relies on having a vehicle. It must run reliably, accommodate her family, keep them safe and be fuel efficient. And, the loan payments can't rob their savings.

Whether you're a soccer mom or a jet-setter, choosing the right vehicle isn't something to take lightly.

"Do your research before you buy," advises Kocsis. As a member of financial services provider USAA, she used car-buying tools on to find her match, a Toyota Sienna.

"The car-buying experience is unique to each person," says Steve Thompson, assistant vice president in charge of USAA's Car Buying Service. "We try to help people understand the cost and value of a vehicle - beyond the sticker price - so they can get the right car for their needs."

Savvy shoppers get the most for their money by weighing all options in advance. Start your search with these factors in mind.

1. Fuel Economy

Soaring gas prices increase demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. But, carefully consider whether you drive enough to make fuel economy important. Double-check your math for hybrid vehicles. Unless you're a road warrior, a hybrid's fuel savings may not offset the higher purchase price.

What about electric cars? The technology and infrastructure is still in its infancy, and Thompson and Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends for, agree that buying now is risky for cost-conscious consumers.

2. Safety

Safety should play a role in every car-buying decision. You can find most crash test ratings at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website at

Most new cars come with extensive safety features such as air bags, anti-lock brakes and crumple zones. You can decide whether additional precautions are worth the extra cost.

3. Reliability

Objective research tools such as Consumer Reports offer predictions of reliability based on their own road tests, consumer surveys and other data. Be sure to also check used-car listings. If the vehicle you're considering tends to sell for much less than similar models, that might indicate poor performance. For new cars, reliability reports are generally positive. If reliability is a concern, consider an extended warranty. Extended warranties come in all shapes and sizes, so do your homework.

4. Insurance Costs

Your age, where you live, and how you drive affect your insurance premiums. But your car makes a difference too. You might pay more to insure a vehicle that has been involved in more accidents, causes more damage, costs more to repair or is stolen more frequently than other models.

"If you're on the fence between two similar models, an insurance quote might help you decide," says Thompson.

5. Financing

Don't wait until you're at the dealership to discuss financing. A lower annual percentage rate could save hundreds of dollars over the life of the loan, even if it means passing up a dealership cash rebate.

"We got pre-approved for an auto loan from our bank and gave the dealer the chance to match it," says Kocsis. "They couldn't come close."

Eliminate The Guesswork

Choosing the right car can be time-consuming and confusing. To make it easier, some service providers do the research for you.

USAA's "Best Value" list, for example, uses quantitative data to recommend one vehicle in each of 16 categories, from SUVs to compacts, as the best overall buy. Vehicles are ranked by relating the purchase price to a litany of other factors affecting safety, power, reliability, fuel efficiency, insurance costs and more. The 2011 list is available at’s Note:

USAA Preferred “Best Value” vehicles are those vehicles ranked highest in each vehicle category AND obtain "Good/Acceptable" crash test ratings from IIHS and represent vehicles which are determined to be the best financial value using a USAA-developed proprietary statistical model. For more information visit

Related Articles:
Use Canadian Black Book For Reliable Trade-in Information
The Canadian Black Book Rates Vehicles With Best Trade-in Value
The Best Vehicles To Fit Your Needs
Eight Secrets To Safely Buying A Car Online
Buying A Car? Avoid These Wrong Turns
Price Versus Value: When Is It Worth The Upgrade?
Driving A Bargain
Car Shopping Protect Yourself From Online Fraud
Shop Smart For The Best Car Deals Online
Five Tips To Find The Best Car For You
How To Find The Right Car For The Teen Driver In Your Family
New Ways To Sell Or Trade A Vehicle Online
How To Read A Vehicle History Report
The Great Car Debate: To Buy or to Lease?
Buying A New Car Or Truck That Can Be Custom Fit

make image
model image
zip code

Stay Updated!

Car Buying Tips
Related Articles
Spring Car Shopping? Take Care
Five Must-haves For Your New
What You Need To Know
Taking A Test Drive: Do
Money Saving Checklist For Buying
Use Canadian Black Book For
The Canadian Black Book Rates
The Best Vehicles To Fit
Eight Secrets To Safely Buying
Buying A Car? Avoid These
Price Versus Value: When Is
Driving A Bargain
Car Shopping Protect Yourself From
Shop Smart For The Best
Five Tips To Find The
How To Find The Right
New Ways To Sell Or
How To Read A Vehicle
The Great Car Debate: To
Buying A New Car Or

Feed Button

Car Insurance Info | Newsletter | Car Classifieds | Online Car Rentals
Auto Pictures | Link To

Complete List of Article RSS News Feeds

Copyright © 1999 - . CarJunky® All Rights Reserved.