Along with buying a house, buying a car is one of the largest purchases many consumers make. It's a significant investment that requires some planning, to account for a down payment, monthly payments, license fees, sales taxes and more. After choosing a car and agreeing on a price, it's important to be aware that while trying to close the sale, an auto dealership may try to convince you to buy extras at the last minute which increase the total cost. Those might include rustproofing, undercoating, fabric protector, paint sealant, and supplemental insurance policies, which experts say may be unnecessary.
As Consumer Reports outlines, another key area to research is financing. Most dealers offer financing through their own sources, but there may be better deals out there from your own bank or credit union, or other lenders. Do the math: It's possible that taking a cash rebate an applying it to your down payment may be the better deal. Consumer Reports also recommends against buying extended warranties, which can cost more in the long run than the repairs they're meant to cover.
To help your readers/listeners/viewers learn more about the lesser-known costs of car buying, talk with lenders in your area about the financing options that are available and what to look for when agreeing to a payment plan. You can also interview an independent mechanic about the extras car dealers offer to learn which ones make sense and which ones aren't worth the investment.
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