A little bit of knowledge goes a long way in all situations in life. Buying a car is no different! That means you need to read advice from experts, as detailed below, to ensure that when you shop for that car, you really know what you’re doing and how to get the best deal.

Before beginning your car shopping journey map out exactly how much of a payment you can afford. Take the time to write out a budget and see how much money is left over each month. By doing this one step, you can avoid getting into a situation where you put a financial strain on your budget.

Have a clear understanding of what those upgrades will cost you. Purchasing the fancy stereo, leather seats and DVD player might be appealing, but those options can add a significant amount to the price of your car. Take some time to think about how much you really need the upgrades, and only purchase the ones you will use the most.

Check out the maker’s site if you want to customize your car. While the cars on the dealership lot may be the kind of car, you want, a number of car manufacturers give you the opportunity to customize the car a bit with color and features. You may have to wait a few weeks more to get your car, but it might be worth it.

It’s very important to go for a test drive before making a purchase. Even if you’ve test driven something similar, make sure to test drive the car you’re looking at now. You may find something slightly off, or even a hidden defect.

Do not pay for lots of extras when you are buying a car. Sure, it would be nice to have a lot of fun features in your new car, but do you really need them? Every toy or gadget you add jacks up the price of the car considerably. Figure out what you really need, and just stick to that.

Check the BBB rating of your local car dealers before you visit them. As you likely already know, car dealers can be less than honest. Save yourself from a lot of stress and expense by investigating how others feel about the car dealer. The time it takes is nothing compared to the time you can waste at a sheisty dealer.

Never discuss down payments, incentives, or trade-ins until you’ve established an actual price on your desired car. These options should be subtracted from the lowest negotiated price. Also, you will typically end up with a better overall price if you negotiate the deal from the onset.

If you are trading your car in, take it to a detail shop and have the upholstery and carpets cleaned along with a wash and wax. Doing this one thing can usually net you several hundred dollars or more in trade-in value compared to a car that isn’t clean.

Whether you wanted to save money, buy a great car, avoid buying a lemon or just be able to take control of the situation, this article has the advice you needed. It just takes simple steps towards gaining the knowledge you need. When you use what you’ve learned here, you’ll truly get what you want.