Car Buying Guide for New and Used Vehicles

Welcome to my 100% free online car buying guide. My name is Carlton Wolf and I've been in the retail car business for over 18 years. I created AutoCheatSheet.com to better educate buyers on how to navigate the deceptive car buying processes found in dealerships and how to save the most amount of money along the way.

family buying a car | AutoCheatSheet.com

Would you like to buy a new or used car, but worry about paying too much or being ripped off by a dealer? If you're like most people, you don't want to spend hours in a dealership haggling with a car salesman, but still want to get the best possible price and walk away confident you received the best possible deal. I'll show you how easy it is to accomplish that goal.

For almost two decades, my experience and insider secrets have helped thousands of people not only pay the absolute lowest price and get a great deal when buying a car, but also educate them on how to recognize and avoid costly car dealer scams.

New Car Buying Guide - My detailed new car buyers guide will guarantee you get the best price available while new car shopping. 95% of the new car buying process can be done online without haggling with a car salesman. I'll teach you how to get the best price, get pre-approved, and avoid car dealer scams without ever leaving your computer.

Used Car Buying Guide - Buying a used car is a little different than buying a new vehicle. I'll show you how to find the right vehicle, negotiate the lowest price, check the vehicle's history, acquire a used car loan, and even how to find the perfect extended warranty to protect your investment.

Why is Buying a Car Such a Hassle?

In reality, manufacturers would love to get rid of the middleman (car dealerships) and let you buy a new car directly from them. However, back in the day, manufacturers only wanted to make cars and not hassle with selling them. They needed dealers to sell and service the vehicles they made all across the country. Dealers banded together decades ago and protected themselves with franchise laws.

man haggling over car deal | AutoCheatSheet.com

With no internet available, it was very difficult to comparison shop or gather information. If you wanted to buy a new car you went to the nearest dealership and hoped you didn't get ripped off.

Since the birth of the Internet you can get all the pricing information you need. However, the franchise laws dealers put into place in the past is what still protects them today.

There have been several attempts to change the laws to benefit the consumer, but dealers are protected politically. The fact is, if you're going to buy a new car, you will always have to buy it from a franchise dealership. An example would be if you want a new Ford pickup you'll have to buy it from a licensed Ford dealership.

The Best Car Price May Not Be the Best Deal

Getting the best price on a vehicle is only one piece of the car buying process. There are several areas a dealer will attempt to make money on you. I cover all areas of the car buying process so you can have confidence when buying your next new or used car.

More Car Buying Topics I Cover:

Just one of the topics above may save you thousands of dollars on your next vehicle purchase. My advice is you read through all the above topics to guarantee you have a general knowledge of the entire car buying process. Make sure you send me your success story and let me know how you did.

How to Buy a New or Used Car Cheap

A dealer knows every car sale is different and they look at every deal separately. However, they look at the total profit made on all the vehicles sold for the month as a whole and then average it out per sale.

For example: Customer A buys a Honda Accord for $500 under dealer cost. Customer B bought the same car for a $1,600 profit and customer C bought the same car at a $5,400 profit. From the above three car deals the dealer grossed a total of $6,500 or $2,166.66 PVR (per vehicle retailed).

My tips will not show you how to steal a car from a dealership, but I will teach you how to not be customer C in the example above. The car buying secrets I share with you will NOT make a dealer a lot of money, but they will still sell you a vehicle.

Why, you ask? Because after you, there will be another person stumble into the dealership, trying to buy a car like their parents did, uneducated and uninformed. I guarantee the dealer will make up any lost profit from your car deal on the next guy. Learn more about the new car buying process here.

The Car Buying Game is Rigged

Car dealers have an unfair advantage when it comes to negotiating the price of a new or used car. The average person will buy a car every four to six years, in this same time period a car dealership will sell around 4,500 cars. As you can see, the dealer has a little more experience selling cars than you do buying them.

busy car dealership | AutoCheatSheet.com

As if this weren't enough, there's several different areas to the car buying process where a dealer can take advantage of you. Do you want new or used? Are you trading in a vehicle? Are you financing, leasing, or paying cash? How about protecting your investment with an extended warranty and insurance?

To make matters even worse, dealers are very good a wearing you down. They know if they drag out the car buying process long enough, you'll get tired and buy a car on their terms just to get out of there. It's a fact that some car purchases can take the entire day to complete. The sad thing is, even after taking all day to buy a vehicle you still won't know if you actually received a fair deal or not.

What is the Car Buying Secret Formula?

Car dealer's prey on the uninformed, just dropping in to buy a car without first doing your homework puts you at a severe disadvantage. I don't know how many times I'd hear a customer say, "When I came in, I wasn't planning on buying a car today," right before driving off in their new vehicle. The average gross profit made on these customers is much higher and is what makes if possible for a smart car buyer like yourself get such a great deal.

The secret formula to getting a great deal when buying a new or used car is "knowledge." The more you familiarize yourself with all aspects of the car buying process beforehand, the less chance you have of overpaying for your next vehicle.

Buying a Car in August


August is traditionally a slower car sales month for dealers. People rebuilding their finances from going on summer vacation and school starting are two major factors for this. However, if you're in the market to buy a car, you can find a great deal with a desperate dealer trying to keep their sales numbers up.

Dealer's will pull out all the stops with their media, internet and print advertising to get you out of the house and buy a car! Don't get caught up in all the hype, do your research online and use competition between dealers to guarantee you save money by paying the lowest price and getting the best deal possible.

How to Research New Cars Online >>

Visitor Comments

WOW, I actually felt good going to buy a car this time because of you and your info - DeeDee S.

I love your site, thanks for all the tips - Janice D.

Using your tips on getting competitive price quotes helped me save over $6500 on my beautiful new SUV - Ben J.

I didn't realize how easy it was to buy a car if you actually know what you're doing, thanks for shining a light and making it easy - Steve A.

Let me know what you think >>

Most Recent Article


The Top 15 Best Used Cars for First Time Drivers - A great option when buying your first car is to look at used cars. Normally, you can purchase a used car, with a lot more "bells-and-whistles" (better equipped) a lot less than what it would cost to buy a brand new vehicle.

Read the full article here >>

Dealer Scam of the Month

Bait and Switch Scam

The bait and switch advertising scam is used by dealers to lure a customer to the dealership by advertising very low prices or payments on a vehicle in their media advertisements.

When the customer arrives at the dealership, they're told the car has already been sold or is not available at the advertised price. However, the dealer does have several cars similar to the one advertised, at a higher price of course.

More about the Bait and Switch Scam >>

True or False?


If you buy a car and later decide you can't afford to make the payments, you can return the vehicle and it won't affect your credit score.

FALSE - When you buy a car from a dealership, you enter into a retail sales agreement. You are financially responsible for the vehicle and the terms set forth in the contract regardless of your situation.

If you break your agreement by not making the payments or returning the car, you will be in default and it will seriously impact your credit report and score.

Dealer Slang of the Month

"Buy or Die"

Car salesman slang term used to describe following up or keeping in contact with a customer until the customer either tells them to stop, buys a car somewhere else, or all other possibilities of them buying a car is exhausted.

Example: "Boss, I'm going to keep calling this guy until he buys or dies!"

More Car Salesman Slang Here >>