Car shopping is something that some people look forward to with great anticipation, but that others tend to dread. But, by acquiring a bit of advance knowledge before you begin, the process can actually be enjoyable. Keep reading for some terrific advice about making the entire experience a positive, exciting and successful one.

Ask the car dealer to show you a vehicle history report. This can tell you if the vehicle has been in an accident or if it has been recalled. It can also show you what repairs have been done and when they were done so that you know exactly what you are buying.

Shop around before you even go to the dealership. If you spend some time on local dealer’s websites, you can learn about incentives that are offered. If you know what one dealership is offering, you can use it as a negotiating point and may be able to get a better deal.

Never buy any car without having a test drive. Although you may have already driven this make and model, you’ll want to ensure that this car works properly. No two cars are exactly the same. Give every car that you consider a test drive to prevent buying a lemon.

Before signing any contract take the time to read every line, including the fine print. If there is anything listed that you do not understand, do not sign until you get an answer that you understand. Unsavory salesmen can use a contract to insert many fees that were not discussed.

Make a wish list of cars that you are interested in. You have seen many cars in advertisements and on the road. It should be easy for you to build a solid list of vehicles that would suit your style. You can add a couple of dream cars that seem out of your range; however, be realistic about what you can afford.

Before you even walk out the door to go to the different dealerships to search for an automobile to purchase, do your homework. If you have a specific car make and model that you are considering buying, do some background research. Have there been numerous recalls for this vehicle. What do current and former owners of this make and model say about their automobile?

Ask the dealer to let you have the vehicle inspected by the mechanic you have. Choose an honest mechanic with a good reputation. Don’t use a dealer mechanic. Your mechanic should tell you both whether the car runs well and whether it’s priced appropriately.

Figure out how much you can afford on a car payment before you get there. If you wait, your eyes will be big, and you will be willing to pay anything to get what you want. Start out with a firm figure and do not allow yourself to be moved by anything the salesman says.

Talk to your friends and neighbors before buying your car. Ask what their experience was like with various dealerships, and visit only the dealerships that you are hearing positive things about. This can save you a lot of hassle while you are shopping and make your car buying experience that much more pleasant.

Many people who have bad credit end up at a buy-here pay-here dealership. Be very careful of these types of dealers. Usually they buy cars at auction for little money and the majority of the money they make is off of the high interest rates they charge. If you have any choice, always get a loan from a bank, not the dealership.

Don’t hand over the keys to your trade in until the deal is signed. If they have your car “hostage,” they can use it to pressure you to buy the new car. Wait until the deal is done to ensure you keep control of the situation at all times during the transaction.

It is hard to deny the fact that shopping for a new vehicle is something that can be a little bit scary. Before spending a great deal of money on a car, it makes sense to do some preliminary research ahead of time. By keeping the advice above in the forefront of your mind, you can enter the dealership feeling fully prepared for the experience.