66 Ways to Save Money
7. Having selected a model and options you are
interested in, you can save hundreds of dollars by
comparison shopping. Get price quotes from sev-
eral dealers (over the phone or Internet) and let
each know you are contacting the others.
8. Remember there is no “cooling off” period on
new car sales. Once you have signed a contract,
you are obligated to buy the car.
9. Before buying any used car:
• Compare the seller’s asking price with the
average retail price in a “bluebook” or other
guide to car prices which can be found at
many libraries, banks, and credit unions.
• Have a mechanic you trust check the car,
especially if the car is sold “as is.”
10. Consider purchasing a used car from an individ-
ual you know and trust. They are more likely
than other sellers to charge a lower price and
point out any problems with the car.
11. Don’t decide to lease a car just because the pay-
ments are lower than on a traditional auto loan.
The leasing payments are lower because you
don’t actually own the car.
12. Leasing a car is very complicated. When shop-
ping, consider the price of the car (known as the
capitalized cost), your trade-in allowance, any
down payment, monthly payments, various fees
(excess mileage, excess “wear and tear,” end-of-
lease), and the cost of buying the car at the end
of the lease. A valuable source of information
about auto leasing can be found in Keys to
Vehicle Leasing: A Consumer Guide, which is
published by the Federal Reserve Board and
Federal Trade Commission.
13. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by
comparing prices at different stations, pumping
gas yourself, and using the lowest-octane called
for in your owner’s manual.
14. You can save up to $100 a year on gas by keep-
ing your engine tuned and your tires inflated to
their proper pressure.