Buying a Car: Introduction
Buying a Car
Up to now, we bet, buying a car has not ranked near the top of your list of treasured moments. In fact, when you contemplate the prospect of wrangling with some cagey car dealer, you probably find your eczema flaring up. "I'd rather be sucking down stale air in a sealed plastic cubicle with a card-carrying member of the Halitosis Club of America," you muse, "listening to long-winded explanations of term insurance."
Next to a home or a diamond-studded cell phone for every member of your family, a car is one of the larger items a Fool will purchase. Unfortunately, it is also an item on which money often gets misspent and has been at the root of many a migraine headache.
One of the biggest car enthusiasts/experts we've ever met -- Paul Maghielse (DriversWay) -- put down every last morsel of car-iana (auto-thoritative, car-fully auto-thored) he has learned in his 15 years in the biz to aid you, Fool, in your hunt for a set of wheels. In this Foolish Car Buying area he lays out a step-by-step plan for coming up with a budget, finding the best fit, taking control of the test drive, arranging a trade-in, developing a Foolish Price, and, finally, striking the best possible deal and actually taking possession. He shows you how to turn the tables and take the high ground. Now it is you, the canny customer, who gets to rain volleys of arrows down upon the heads of the dealership personnel, rather than the other way round.
We don't expect you to click on every last glossary term and web link (although a shiny gold cyberstar goes to those who do). And whether you simply skip to Step 12, where we tell you a brilliantly simple way to negotiate the lowest price on a car without setting foot in a dealership, or hop straight to our leasing worksheets to find your way through a labyrinthine lease agreement, we won't look down our noses at you.
In any event, we hope you spend some time here, as well as on our How to Buy a Car message board, getting more tips from Fools who are motoring down the same road.