6 Ways to Save Money When You Buy a Car

This is a guide on buying a car and saving money. Read this guide to learn six ways to get the best deal on your next car, including negotiation and setting a budget.
Written by Brady Klopfer
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
You cave buy a car and save money in the process by setting a budget, negotiating a fair price, and more.
Buying a car is one of the most exhilarating things you can do. Whether you’re getting a new car or a used car, a dream car, or a daily driver, it’s always exciting to get a set of wheels. But it can also be a little bit of a daunting process.
There are so many cars to choose from, each with different strengths, weaknesses, and features. And once you figure out what car you want, then you still have to go through the process of
buying the car
Buying a car can be a headache, and a bit scary, largely because it’s really easy to spend more money than you should. Far too often people leave the dealership in their new car, feeling uneasy because they realize they overspent.
The good news is it doesn't have to be this way. Here's how to get the best deal on your next car.
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How to buy a car and save money

Set a budget

One of the easiest ways to get a bad deal on a car is by purchasing a lot of options or warranties you don’t need, or worse yet, that you don’t even want. Even if you’re aware of that, it’s easy to accidentally sign up for extra options.
Once you're at a dealership, feeling excited, and the salesperson starts selling things up, it’s hard to say no. So set a firm budget for what you’re willing to spend. If you don’t let yourself go over the budget, you won’t end up spending money on things you didn’t want in the first place.

Do your research

Never buy a car without doing thorough research. If you’re not informed, then you’re giving all of the power to the salesperson, who can tell you whatever they want.
Know what you need, know what you want, and know what everything is worth. The more knowledge you bring to the table about the car you’re buying, the fewer ways the salesperson can find to trick you into a bad deal.

Get pre-approved

If you can, get pre-approved for financing before you go to the dealership.
Oftentimes, dealerships will offer you very bad financing packages. If you’re already pre-approved by a lender, then you’re providing a starting point that the dealership will want to match, which nets you a better deal.

Compare dealerships

A lot of times dealerships can be pretty flexible with prices. They want you to spend the most money, obviously, but they’re happy to take money off if it means keeping you as a customer. Remember: car salespeople get commissions, so the most important thing for them is getting you to buy a car, even if they have to give you a good deal.
One way to take advantage of that is by comparing dealerships. Call another dealership in the area, and ask if they’re willing to beat the price that the first dealership is offering. They’ll usually say yes. And then the original dealership might lower their price, too.
These deals often have to be completed quickly, so don’t try this trick unless you’re ready to buy a car that day.

Pay what you can

The more money you can pay upfront, in cash, the better. It’s as simple as that. Not everyone is in a situation to put a lot of money down, but if you are, you’ll get a better deal.
If you can pay the full price in cash, even better. You won't need to get a car loan or finance the vehicle.


Negotiating a car price can be intimidating, but it’s your best route towards getting a good deal. Remember that the salesperson benefits from selling you the car, even if they have to knock some money off, so hold your line, negotiate, and don’t be afraid to walk away if your needs aren’t met. Chances are if you
make a fair offer
, you'll drive away with a new car.
Buying a car doesn’t have to mean getting taken advantage of. Follow these steps and you’ll be in a new ride in no time, and smiling at the good deal you got.

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Keep in mind that you will need to get
car insurance
before you drive away from the dealership (and yes–
some dealerships check
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