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Six ways to save on your next car

Nathaniel Sillin | 8/24/2016, 9 a.m.
Looking for an eco-friendly subcompact or the thrills that come with a sports car? Perhaps the practicality of a sedan ...

Looking for an eco-friendly subcompact or the thrills that come with a sports car?

Perhaps the practicality of a sedan or a spacious SUV better fits your needs? No

matter what type of vehicle is calling your name, planning your purchase can help

you save as much money as possible.

Consider these six savings tips while shopping for your next car. Whether you're

concerned about upfront, monthly or long-term costs, there's something here that can help you.

  1. Look for a fuel-efficient car. Buying a hybrid or all-electric vehicle rather

than a gas guzzler could help you save money on long-run fuel costs. Plus, state

and federal tax credits might give you some

additional upfront savings.

If you're sticking to a fully gas-powered car, you can still save money by choosing

a fuel-efficient model. Once you pick a class of car and determine your budget the Environmental Protection Agency's www.fueleconomy.gov miles-per-gallon rating for each vehicle to estimate and compare the monthly fuel costs.

  1. Compare the long-term costs of different cars. In addition to fuel, consider the

long-term costs of maintenance, repairs, insurance, taxes, depreciation, fees and

financing.

To help you with the calculations, Kelly Blue Book has a 5-Year Cost to Own tool

that lets you compare long-term costs for 2015 and 2016 models. Edmunds's True Cost to Own® Tool does a similar thing for 2010 and newer models.

  1. Buy a "new-to-you" car. Buying a used car rather than the equivalent brand-new model can usually save you money. However, you'll want to look at each used car on an individual basis. Consider how it feels during a test drive and its history if you can access it.

You may be able to buy a warranty for your used car, or you could purchase a

certified pre-owned (CPO) car from a dealership. Dealers inspect CPOs before selling

them with a manufacturer's warranty. If you're not buying a CPO, you could hire a

mechanic to perform a pre-purchase inspection. It's not a guarantee, but the

inspection can help ensure you won't get caught off guard by any unexpected issues.

With the right deal on a used car, you might be able to buy the car outright instead

of financing the purchase. By paying cash, you avoid accruing interest, making

monthly payments and worrying about loan-origination fees.

  1. Negotiate the purchase. Most people don't enjoy haggling with a car salesperson,

but even non-confrontational negotiating tactics can help you save money.

For example, once you pick a make and model, you could shop online for available

vehicles at nearby dealerships. Reach out to each dealer's internet sales team and

ask for their best total cost, inclusive of taxes and fees.

Take the lowest offer and ask the other dealers if they can beat it. If one of them

can, take your new lowest quote and again ask the rest of the dealers to go lower.

Keep going until you get a price that works best for you.