Checklist: How to Buy a Car

Record-high gas prices have car shoppers asking an extra question: What can I afford to fuel? First, check the EPA mileage ratings; then follow up with these tips to settle on a car that's kind to you. For more details, visit AAA.com/auto and click on "Buying a Car."

  • Know what you want It's easy to fall for a seductive set of wheels. Make sure the vehicle you choose fits your lifestyle. Long commute? Think hybrid. Got kids? Test a station wagon.
  • Hit the books At AAA.com/auto, you can compare vehicle safety ratings, get Kelley Blue Book pricing, and find a list of AAA-approved auto dealerships in your area.
  • Drive it Don't baby the model you want during a test drive; treat it as if you owned it. Better yet, rent one for a weekend.
  • Reject lemons Use Carfax through AAA.com/auto—where you'll save 20 percent of the fee—to track a used car's history.
  • Not interested in haggling? Look into our Vehicle Purchasing Service at AAA.com/auto, which pairs buyers with dealers who offer prenegotiated prices.

Now that you're breathing that new-car smell, check out our new low auto insurance rates at AAA.com/insurance.

This article was first published in September 2008. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

No votes yet