TOYOTA

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The 7 New Rules of Car Buying: How to Shop in Today’s World

There are few truly bad vehicles for sale today, but, when there are more models boasting more whistles and bells than ever before, that doesn’t make car shopping easy. Even if you’re car savvy, you can still make an uninformed choice or get a bad deal. And the wealth of resources for information …

Personal Finance

Dealing in Myths: Debunking Common Car-Buying Advice

Humility about one’s own knowledge and abilities is the key to finding success in life. With that profound fortune-cookie philosophy in mind, let’s deal with five myths that, should you naively accept them, will prevent you from scoring a great deal when buying a new car.<p>And the myths we’ve chosen …

Southern California

Why Do We Keep Buying Vehicles at Dealerships?

From the October 2015 issue<p>Two 20-somethings walked into a car dealership . . .<p>No, that really happened—this isn’t a setup for a joke. More than a quarter of the 16 million new-car purchases in the United States last year were made by that tech-savvy, marketing-averse group known as millennials, …

Customer Service

Online Car Sales Are Pitting Carmaker and Dealer Against the Middleman

From the December 2015 issue<p>It was just a crumb of news on the floor of the vast American car market: In July, AutoNation, the publicly traded megadealer that is the country’s largest new-car retailer, severed its ties to TrueCar, the third-party shopping service that referred prospective customers …

Automotive Industry

The Dealership of the Future May Resemble an Apple Store – Feature

Let's get you back to homebase.<p>Expert reviews, car-shopping advice, features and specs, free price quotes, and more—all in our Buyer's Guide.<p>Our unbiased take on the latest vehicles of all styles.<p>Up-to-the-minute scoops and car news. If you need to know it, you'll find it here.<p>Road trips, in-depth …

Car Reviews

Survey Says! What Our Car-Shopping Survey Revealed About Enthusiasts vs. Non-Enthusiasts

Lawyers never ask questions without knowing the answers. We as journalists subscribe to the opposite view, but conducting a reader ­survey falls in between. With this one, we sought to tease out some numbers regarding car buying. Here’s one: 80 percent of respondents were “very satisfied” or …

Mobile Devices

Lemon Aid: What You Need to Know About Vehicle Lemon Laws

Barely two months after buying their new Ford Edge, Rebecca and Josh McDonald made the first trip back to the dealer with electrical problems. And thus began a two-year odyssey.<p>“It was horrible,” said Rebecca. “There were different problems every time: the air conditioning, the radio, the backup …

Customer Service

Car-Buying Terms Glossary

Making sense of dealer-speak.<p>The spread of English as a global language has made international travel increasingly easy for Americans, but walk into any car dealership in the U.S. and you might swear the salespeople are speaking a foreign tongue. The volume of unfamiliar terminology is one of the …

Personal Finance

How to Test Drive a Car

Go beyond kicking the tires to see if that new ride is right for you.<p>You can’t put it off any longer—a trip to the car dealership is in your near future. But how can you be sure that hunk of metal, plastic, and rubber you’re eyeing is right for you? How can you best acquaint yourself with what will …

Acquainted

Car Shopping on the Offensive: 8 Aggressive Buying Tactics

Beat the hard sell and turn the tables on the dealer.<p>Our reviews, road tests, and Buying Guide will help you choose a single vehicle from the 430 or so on sale today, but how do you negotiate the often contentious dealer experience? It can be an intimidating and unpleasant process, and while most …

Automotive Industry

Extended Car Warranties: Peace of Mind or Something Else?

Uncovering the coverage offered by extended-warranty companies.<p>The TV commercials are slick and convincing: Buy a “service contract” for your out-of-factory-warranty vehicle—even if it has more than 200,000 miles on it—and never face repair bills again.<p>Too good to be true? Probably. Three principal …

Customer Service

Selling Yourself: How to Offload Your Car Online, The Right Way

We are programmed by nature to acquire, which is one reason selling is so much less fun than buying. But almost all automotive love affairs end, and selling a car online painlessly and for the highest price takes some planning and effort. Look at it this way: The extra hour you spend taking good …

Selling

Il Consignore: Sick of Selling Cars Via Trade-In or Craigslist? Try Your Local Consignor Instead

Selling your car has always seemed like a binary choice: Either trade it in to a dealer for a pittance or put it up for sale yourself and face ridiculous inquiries, insincere tire-kickers, and the risk of counterfeit checks. But there’s now a third possibility: consignment sales.<p>Consignment means …

Real Estate

Close With Confidence: Dealing With the Dreaded F&I (Finance and Insurance) Guys at Dealerships

The first rule in getting a great price on a new car is this: Always be ready to bail. The moment you’re not comfortable with a deal for any reason, the only power you have is to walk away, especially if you’ve found yourself abandoned by the salesman and in the office of the F&I (finance and …

Finance

Ten Mistakes People Make at the Car Dealership

Personal Finance

Your Car, Sir: How Ultra-High-End Car Buying Is Different

Visit an ultra-luxury brand’s showroom, and you’ll find the espresso machine is always on, the sales representative likely knows your social media profile, and a complementary bouquet—with blooms to match your new car’s paintwork—is going home with you at delivery time.<p>Yes, mass-market brands …

Customer Service

What Your Car Lease Really Costs: Five Points to Know

According to IHS Automotive, a quarter of all new-car buyers lease their vehicles, and the number goes up for luxury shoppers. For example, more than half of all retail buyers chasing a new BMW, Mercedes-Benz, or Lexus drive off in a leased vehicle. And while financing is a relatively …

Personal Finance