PHOENIX -- September has arrived, along with a new school year and new television shows. It’s also when many of the latest cars and trucks hit showrooms, and if you're in the market for a new car, there are a few things in mind to keep from overpaying.
Navigating the auto buying process can be tricky, particularly if you only do it once every few years. Consumer Reports recommends doing research before heading to the dealership:
Identify the model, trim level and options that you want and have a solid idea of what a good price is.
Round up quotes from a selection of dealers, and pinpoint the one that looks most promising
And get pre-approved for an auto loan, or if you'll finance through the dealer have a good idea of what interest rates are.
At the dealership, keep some do's and dont's in mind.
Don't buy unnecessary extras. Sometimes they'll be pre-printed on a sales contract, so read carefully.
Don't jump at the extended warranty. Know the vehicle's reliability record and weigh whether it's necessary. You might want to bring a calculator to do your own math and make sure the dealer's numbers match up.
And be prepared to walk out. Consumer Reports says showing a willingness to walk away can be effective in getting the deal and the wheels you really want.