BBB Advises Taking Time to Car Shop

Shopping for a new vehicle is not the time to speed through the buying process. Instead, Better Business Bureau® Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming advises taking time to do your research to find a dependable vehicle at an agreeable price.

To help you do just that, your BBB offers these tips:

Create a Budget. Factor in the cost of the car, down payment, any loans, taxes and fees. This will provide an idea of the maximum price to spend when negotiating with the dealer. Determine whether buying or leasing the car provides the best value for your money. A lease offers lower monthly payments, little money upfront and restricted mileage. At the end of the lease the car is returned and the process is repeated. Buying a car requires monthly payments and more money upfront, but once the loan is paid off you own the car.

Choose a Car Model. Know what type of vehicle you’re looking for – sedan, crossover, truck – before heading to the dealership. Do you want all-wheel drive? How many passengers? What type of safety features are important to you?

Compare Prices Online. Look up prices of different cars online at Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds. By doing a side by side comparison of a few models, you can see what each car has to offer for what price. It is important to know the difference between the invoice price (the price the dealer paid for the car) and the sticker price of the car (the desired price the dealer wants you to pay).

Choose a Dealership.  Ask friends and family members for dealerships they trust that provided a pleasant experience. Check out a dealership at for its BBB Accreditation standing, ratings, reviews and complaints.

Take a Test Drive.  If possible, drive through traffic, on the highway and on backroads. Turn off the radio to listen to any sounds the engine makes and carefully evaluate its features. Don’t forget to test all controls and accessories.

Negotiate With the Dealer. Use the invoice price to bargain. This will get the dealer to sell the car for the lowest price they can while still making their needed profit. If another dealership has offered a lower price go to the original dealer and ask if they can make a better offer. Be patient when purchasing a new car. If the first or second offers are not desirable, you must be able to walk away.

Trade in the Old Car.  Only discuss trading in your old car after the price of the new car has been negotiated. Before trading in your car, research the value on Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.

Sign the Contract.  Understand all components of the contract. Know what the warranty will cover. The salesperson will try to sell extra items, it is best to turn these down or negotiate the price. Double check that all costs are correct and have the salesperson breakdown all of the items listed before signing the contract.

Start With Trust. For more consumer tips and information, visit


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