The Savvy Car Buyer

Saturday, December 01, 2007
By Julie Wiegan
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Just because you’re a woman, that doesn’t mean you can’t be shopping saavy when it comes to buying a car. Author and car dealership owner Mark Marine of Kick the Dealer… Not the Tires shares his top five tips on how to be a smart consumer.


Check your credit report. Most credit reports contain inaccurate information. It’s up to you to find the inaccuracies and correct them. There’s no government agency that requires the credit report companies to amend mistakes to your report.

Good credit means you’re ripe for abuse. When you have good credit, banks place fewer restrictions on your loan. This allows dealers to charge you more for the car and inflate your interest rate. It’s crucial to know your lender’s conditions on your loan up-front.

Bad credit means the bank protects its money. When you have bad credit, the bank places more restrictions on the loan. That gives dealers less wiggle room to add on options or raise the interest rate. But bad credit still means you have fewer options when borrowing money.

Get pre-approved before you visit any car dealers. The dealer is forced to make a deal that fits the conditions outlined by the bank, eliminating that profit
wiggle room.

Have an exit strategy. Don’t let the lust for leather seats and a premium sound system melt your brain. When buying a car, keep in mind at some point you’ll sell that car. So you must be smart. You’ll pay much more for options than you’ll recoup when selling it down the road.

Kick the Dealer… Not the Tires is available on, $14.95.


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