LendingTree.com Shares Top Car-Buying Mistakes

Released  March 20, 2007
By Megan Greuling

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 20, 2007 – Is it time to trade in that old clunker car? Thinking about upgrading to a luxury automobile? Buying a car comes with a mix of emotions. It’s an exciting experience but along with the thrill comes a certain level of anxiety. Before heading out to your local dealership, make sure to review the following most common car buying mistakes to ensure you don’t drive away in something more or less than what you want.

The following car buying mistakes are brought to you by LendingTree.com.

1. Not researching in advance

Even if you’ve narrowed your choice to a couple of different models, do your homework before setting foot on a dealer’s lot. After all, it’s easy to fall in love with something on the lot, only to have your hopes dashed when you later check the safety rating.

2. Not taking a test-drive.

You wouldn’t buy an expensive item of clothing without trying it on. Yet many people buy a car after only taking a quick spin around the block — or without test-driving at all. Test drives should last at least 30 minutes and should include both highway driving and stop-and-go driving.

3. Negotiating from the sticker price.

Ignore the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (also called the sticker price) of a new car and look at the invoice price instead. That is the amount the dealer paid to the manufacturer. Negotiate your price up from this, not from the sticker price.

4. Buying unnecessary extras.

Watch for “extras” that may cost you more. While you may not be able to avoid things like sales tax and licensing fees, you can avoid paying for extras like rust proofing or stain-proofing the seats. Even if you want these things done, you can likely arrange to have them installed for a less expensive cost elsewhere.

5. Not considering all your financing options.

Dealers offer incentives that sound tempting but are usually only able to do say because the “deal” includes paying a higher purchase price. Sometimes you can get a better financing deal with an outside lender, so explore your options before financing through the dealer. While it’s convenient to finance with the dealer, it’s not always your best option financially.

About LendingTree, LLC

LendingTree, LLC is the nation’s number one online lending exchange, providing a marketplace that connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business. Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 20 million loan requests and $152 billion in closed loan transactions. LendingTree provides access to mortgages and refinance loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, auto loans, personal loans, credit cards and high-yield savings accounts via www.lendingtree.com and 800-555-TREE.

Launched in 1998 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, LendingTree, LLC is part of IAC Financial Services and Real Estate, an operating company of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI), which also owns or operates LendingTree Loans sm, LendingTree Settlement Services, LLC, GetSmart®, RealEstate.comsm, Domania®, and iNest Realty, Inc.