Almost everyone must shop for a car sooner or later. Although it can be fun to shop for a car, the size of the investment can make the process stressful unless the shopper does some legwork ahead of time. Continue reading to get great advice on the whole process.

Always bring a mechanic along when shopping for a new vehicle. Car dealers are notorious for selling lemons and you do not want to be their next victim. If you can not get a mechanic to look at cars with you, at least be sure that you have him look at your final choice before you buy it.

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.

Rather than buying a brand-new car, purchase a lightly used one that is only a couple of years old. Many cars come with transferable warranties that last for three years or 36,000 miles. You will save a significant amount over buying new, and the warranty will give you peace of mind for the first year or so.

If you are wanting to buy a new car, you should ask your bank for financing before you go to the dealership. This ensures that you qualify for a loan. You can often get better financing from the dealer, but you should know what kind of interest rates you will be dealing with before you start shopping.

Due diligence should be exercised when planning your car budget. It is imperative that you take a full and realistic look at your budget. Not only must you consider a car payment, you must also consider insurance, gas and maintenance for the vehicle. There is nothing worse than having a vehicle that you cannot afford to drive.

Look online for incentives on the car you want. Many automotive manufacturers offer cash back or special financing on their vehicles. The dealership will not always tell you about these things up front. Take some time to educate yourself first so you can get the best deal once you are in the showroom.

Bring a spare set of keys with you to the dealership. When they ask for the keys to your trade in, give them the spare. Some dealerships will use your car keys to hold you hostage if a deal is not made. You want to avoid this, so make sure you have the ability to walk out of the dealership at any time without having to ask for your keys.

Do not let the idea of car shopping intimidate you. You will be glad to hear that with a little preliminary research, it can actually be fairly enjoyable to shop for a new car, and each family member can be involved. Hopefully this article has been able to provide you with some advice to make your car shopping more fun.