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Buying a New Car Worksheet

For most people, a new car is second only to a home as the most expensive purchase they'll ever make, so it's important to do your research before you even consider making an offer on a vehicle. Give some careful consideration to the car model and options you want, as well as how much you're willing to spend. Prior to discussing price with any dealer, shop around to compare prices, models, and options-in ads, on Websites, and at competitive dealer showrooms-so you're educated about the vehicle you're looking to purchase.

Make sure you know both the invoice price and the sticker price for the vehicle and all the options you're considering, and plan to negotiate on price. In most cases, dealers will be willing to reduce their profit margin between 10 and 20 percent. Usually this is the difference between the invoice price and the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). When negotiating, always negotiate up from the invoice price. For an estimate of the invoice price, you'll need to do some research on the Internet. Two great resources are ( and Kelly Blue Books ( Links to both of these Websites are provided on the Protection Portfolio CD-ROM.Use the "Buying a New Car"worksheet below to keep track of your findings and compare the various options and pricing. By being an informed shopper, you'll be less likely to feel pressured into making a hasty or expensive decision at the showroom, and more likely to get a better deal.

Base Price

Feature Invoice Price Sticker Price Difference
Two Wheel Drive
Four Wheel Drive
All Wheel Drive
Automatic Transmission
Manual Transmission
Engine Size
Two door
Four door
Two Wheel Antilock Brakes
Four Wheel Antilock Brakes
Power-assisted Brakes
Power Locks
Power Windows
Doors (Van)
Power Seats
Heated Seats
Leather Seats
Alloy Wheels
All Season Tires
Illuminated Dual Lights
Vanity Mirrors
Map Lights
Exterior Power Mirrors
AM/FM Audio
Cassette Single CD Audio
Multiple CD Audio
Alarm System
Remote keyless entry
Sunroof/moon roof

*You can get the Invoice Price by looking at the dealer's invoice, reviewing our car publications, or visitinig websites or