With the right advice, you can have a much better experience when it comes to buying cars. Everyone has had a less than stellar experience. Flip everything on the salesman, and learn to stand on your own two feet. You can take control, and you can get the deal that you’ve been looking for.

Take any car you plan to buy used from a private seller to a trusted mechanic. If the owners will not allow you to do this, consider it a red flag. There might be issues with the car that could be problematic and expensive to fix, all of which affects market value. You should always know about any preexisting conditions before buying the car.

Research trade-in prices before turning over your older vehicle. If you are planning on trading in your current vehicle to go towards the purchase price of your new one, be armed with the proper value ahead of time. Checking prices online or using the Kelley Blue Book. Just make sure you are checking the wholesale price, not retail.

Get a vehicle history report for any car you are seriously considering. All you need is the vehicle identification number (VIN). This report can tell you about the car’s accident and repair history, as well as whether the car has been in a flood or other disaster. Some sites allow you to pay for a one-month subscription, which is handy if you will be pulling reports on multiple vehicles.

Decide whether you want a used car or a new one. A new car has the obvious advantages, but used cars can be a pretty good deal as well. There are many certified used cars now that have been found to perform well, and cost substantially less than new cars do.

Never shop for a car based on what you want to pay monthly. Most car sellers will try to help you shop around a monthly payment. This means they can put you in a car that is not what you want by telling you it is what you can afford. The only one who wins is the dealership.

Check for dealer incentives. You might want to call ahead to a few different dealerships to find out which promotions; they are running that may benefit you. Do that before going out to a million different spots. Just use the phone and ask them personally, and you may be able to save more on your car.

Many of the perks a dealer offers are really expensive, including rust-proofing, paint sealant and anti-theft devices. Shop around before you even approach the lot to find out what local car shops are charging for these services, and then take the quotes you get with you to either get a deal from the dealer or skip those add-ons totally.

Research the laws in your state when it comes to purchasing a bad car. There are some states that have lemon laws. They will protect you from buying a car that isn’t in great condition and not being able to get a refund. Not every state has these laws, which is why it is important for you to do your research.

It is important to remember that salespeople are paid commission. This should be obvious, though good salespeople can mask this motivation. So watch out for the add-ons and extras that may find their way into your sale. Even a base model can become pricey if saddled down by these fees.

Never give your trade-in’s keys to the dealer before you’ve come to an agreement. The dealer could take your keys (and thus, your car) hostage and manipulate you into an unfair deal. Always hold on to your keys and if the dealer wants to take a look inside the car, open it up for them while you hold the keys.

There are many options other than going to a dealership to buy a car. For example, auto brokers or buyers’ agents are available to help you through the process. This lets you sit back and have them do the work, while it will cost you a bit extra for the service.

You should now know more about what to do when you visit a dealership. Whether you’re buying used or new cars, it’s time to saddle up and take care of business. No one is actually stopping you from that deal but yourself. Be well-informed, and take that information to the bank!