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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

October 8, 2012
Time for a New Car?

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Learn which factors to consider before you hit the lots in search of a new car.


With proper maintenance, you can usually put well over 100,000 miles on most cars before they wear out. But if you need a new car, try these tips:

Before you start shopping, figure out how much you can afford to spend overall, factoring in down payment, insurance, tax, registration, maintenance and repairs. And don't forget gas mileage – assuming that you drive 15,000 miles a year, the difference between a car that gets 32 miles per gallon and one that gets 13 is $3,000 per year at current gas prices. If you'll need financing, learn what loan amount and interest rate you qualify for. And don't rule out a good used car. New cars depreciate when you drive off the lot.

Bottom line: Do your homework before setting foot in the showrooms.

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