According to Courtney Hansen, host of Spike TV's "Powerblock" and author of "The Garage Girl's Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Your Car," shopping for a car can be a fun and rewarding experience, regardless of the buyer's automotive know-how.
"Long gone are the days when making car purchases is a man's role. In fact, women influence over 80 percent of all automotive sales," she says. "Doing your homework on sites like AutoTrader.com and arming yourself with a few simple tips will help anyone in the market for a new car feel more satisfied with the purchase in the end."
Developed by Hansen, the new AutoTrader.com Roadmap to Car Shopping Success makes it easy for women to approach the car- shopping experience with certainty, regardless of how car savvy they are. It also provides them with tips and insights needed to find the right vehicle for them.
Some of these tips, available at www.AutoTrader.com/roadmap, include:
Researching and Planning
• Determine what vehicle features-passenger seating, storage capacity, fuel costs and part replacement-are essential to your lifestyle.
• Compare vehicles, research prices, look at videos and photos, find specials and access local inventory on sites like AutoTrader.com. Bring this research to the dealer or seller.
Visiting a Dealership or Private Seller
• Ask questions to show that you're prepared and knowledgeable.
• Get up and take a walk if you ever feel uncomfortable.
Test-Driving and Inspection
• Bring a friend to the test-drive and to help you fully examine the body, interior and engine.
• Conduct a thorough visual inspection after the test-drive.
Considerations and Precautions
• Get a CARFAX history report before buying any pre-owned vehicle, based on the vehicle's Vehicle Identification Number.
• Review government and insurance company crash test ratings for any vehicle you're considering.
• Go to the dealership armed with the best interest rate that you can locate on your own.
• When negotiating a monthly payment, focus on the actual price of the car.
• Ask the dealer or seller to explain how the cost breaks down and get it in writing.
For more information, visit www.AutoTrader.com/roadmap.