Great information about car buying, savings, safety including safety recalls,

After you have passed your driving test with flying colors and saved some money, you may be ready to start looking to buy a car. Take your time! There is no shortage of new or used cars judging from the number of dealerships around and nearly all car dealers are
doing a brisk business. Decide whether you want to buy from a dealer or private owner. You can negotiate price with either one. The best time to negotiate on price with a dealer is at the end of a quarter or at year-end when dealers need to report their auto sales and commission figures.

The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration's website has a lot of great information about car safety including any safety recalls, laws and regulations and many other topics. Their website also has the data on their own 5-star crash test ratings on new
cars so if you want a safe car, review the data on this website before deciding on which car you want to buy. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website:

Additional customer review ratings on all types of cars are available in the Consumer Reports annual car-buying guide. If you subscribe to this magazine, you will get the issue each year and it is invaluable because it includes both new and used car reliability ratings. You can also subscribe on-line to Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports website:

Kelley Blue Book

Kelley Blue Book data reflects the value of all new and used cars on the market today. You can search this resource on-line to find out what the make and model car you want to buy is really worth. You can also find out what the car you own is worth so you can I price it for sale or trade-in purposes. Dealers will try to give you the wholesale value of your own car if you trade it in. You'll get a better price for your old car if you sell it yourself. Kelley Blue Book website:

Some credit unions and your area's auto mobile club offer used cars for sale several ties each year in locations around the state. If you're a member of your local auto mobile club, you'll get a flyer in the mail letting you know when these sales take place. Next you might want to check out the AutoTrader on-line which has a huge inventory of used cars for sale. You will get an idea of the price range in your area for all sorts of vehicles. Both dealers and private parties advertise on this website. AutoTrader website:

Before you set foot on any dealer's lot, you can get pre-approved by your bank or credit union for the amount you want to spend on a car. It is best to pay cash for a car because that gives you more room to negotiate. However, if you cannot pay cash and need a car
to get or keep a job, the next best thing is to show up at the dealer with your "pre-approval letter" from your bank or credit union.

Ask the dealer or private party for a CarFax report on the vehicle you want to buy. The CarFax report should tell you if the car has ever been in an accident, how many times it changed owners, what the mileage was each time it did change owners, etc. You'll be able to tell from this report if someone rolled back the odometer, which is illegal. You probably don't want to buy a car that has a salvage title or was involved in a serious accident. Some dealers will provide this report free to you and you can certainly ask for the report from any seller. You can also buy it yourself; all you need is the car's VIN number. CarFax website:

Of course, you'll want to test drive the car you're going to buy and it is highly recommended that you take the car, PRIOR to buying it, to your best mechanic or to a different dealer for a pre-buy inspection. Offer to pay for this yourself. The typical cost is around $50-80. Make sure you do this because you may not be able to return the vehicle and cancel the deal if there is no 3-day cancellation clause in your contract.

Here are some additional websites that have tips on buying used cars: