Car Buying Guide for New and Used Vehicles

Welcome to my 100% free online car buying guide for new and used vehicles. My name is Carlton Wolf and I've been in the retail car business for over 20 years. I created AutoCheatSheet.com to better educate buyers on the deceptive sales practices found in many dealerships across the country and to help them save the most money along the way. I'm not saying all car dealers and their personel are dishonest. However, it's always better to be prepared because you never know who you're going to run into when you walk through the door.

family buying a car | AutoCheatSheet.com

Would you like to buy a 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.

Our detailed new car buyer's 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. We'll teach you how to get the best price, find low interest car loans and how to avoid car dealer scams without ever leaving your computer.

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 so you can 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:

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's the Secret Formula to Buying a Car?

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.

Car Buying in January

January is normally one of the slowest months in the car business. However, if you're in the market for a new or used car, January is a great month to buy and get a great deal.

Most consumers are recovering from the holidays and car shopping is the furthest thing on their mind. Dealer's lots will be scarce and they will be advertising heavily to kick off the new year.

Don't get pulled in with all the "incredible deals" and make a costly mistake. Do your homework online before visiting a dealership.

How to Research Cars Online >>

What People Think

Thank you for saving me over $4800 off my new car, your site is the best - Jason B.

So thankful I stumbled across this car buying site. I've shared it with everyone. - Sean P.

I would have never thought about having dealers compete online, worked like a charm. Thanks for all the help! - Julie T.

Used your tips to buy my fourth car over the past 7 years. No doubt the best car buying guide on the net. You've saved me and my family a ton of money over the years. - Samantha R.

Tell Us Your Success Story >>

How to Get the Best Price

Have local car dealers compete for your business. Start an online bidding war between dealers from the comfort of your computer.

Get local dealers to compete for your business by requesting free, no-obligation price quotes from the following online companies.

Best Pricing
CarClearanceDeals

Edmunds

MotorTrend

CarsDirect

Competition between dealers is the best way to ensure you get the best price. You win when dealers compete!

What's Your Trade-in Worth?

As the old saying goes, "knowledge is power." This certainly applies to knowing how much your vehicle is worth to a dealer.

Find your vehicle's trade-in value here.

See your cars value

Most Popular Article


5 Simple Car Buying Tips That Actually Work - Saving money when buying a new or used car involves looking at more than just the sticker price.

Do you like giving money away? Many of us donate to worthy causes, but newsflash! - car dealers aren't charities. There's no reason you should pay them any more than necessary for your next car. And you needn't feel sorry for them either.

Car dealers are smart business people, experts in their field. They won't do the deal unless it's somehow, right for them. It's in your best interest to adopt the same attitude when buying your next car.

Read full article here >>

Dealer Scam of the Month

Trade-in Payoff Scam

As you begin the trade-in process, the dealer will call your lender and get a 10 or 20 day payoff amount.

After the deal is complete the dealer is suppose to send that amount of money to your previous lender, before the due date, to pay off your old vehicle. This is where the, "we forgot to pay off your trade-in" scam comes into play.

You find out later the car dealer never paid off your trade-in as promised. Now you're left with the responsibility of your old car loan and your new one until your trade is officially paid off.

Read more about this scam here >>

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

"Sticker Shock"

Slang term used to describe a customer that has no idea what cars are currently selling for.

Example: "My customer has come down with a case of "sticker shock" looking at the higher line vehicles out on the lot. I need to switch him to a lower model vehicle if I want to sell him a car."

More Car Salesman Slang Here >>