Well, it finally happened. That car you’ve been driving since you were in college finally died for good, and there’s no bringing it back to life this time around. Even if you wanted to try, the cost of repairs would be way more than what the car is worth. So it’s time to bid the old gal a fond farewell and start searching for a new ride. There’s no one way to buy a car, though, just like there’s no one way to drive a car (although the latter should always be done safely and without texting).
At a dealership
This is the most popular way to buy a car, because it’s a fairly straightforward process. We generally know what to expect once we walk through the doors. If you want to buy a Volkswagen, you should go to a dealership that primarily deals in Volkswagens. Looking for a Chevy? Head to your nearest GM dealership. Dealerships give you a ton of options in one space. If you find a car that looks like something you could be happy with, you’ll take it on a test drive and see how you feel behind the wheel. You’ll probably feel weird driving a different car; we’re creatures of comfort, and it can take a bit to adjust. But if you like the car enough, and if it’s in your budget, you can try to work out a deal with your salesperson. Some salespeople will be happier to haggle than others. A few may try to give you the hard sale, but if that’s not cool with you, you can give them your version of the hard sale by simply walking away. Ideally, though, you’ll be able to agree to something, including a payment plan that feels reasonable.
Via private seller
Buying through a private seller is risky, but it’s worth it to some people who believe that the rewards can also be higher. There may be something to that, since the guy who is selling you his used pickup truck doesn’t have to worry about adding things like dealership fees into the price of the car just to make a slight profit. However, that guy also doesn’t really have to answer to anyone except his customers. If you don’t hold your ground and ask the right questions, buying privately is a quick way to get scammed.
The market for hybrid cars has gone up and down as gas prices have gone up and down. When gas prices are low, fewer people are willing to buy a hybrid car. We get tunnel vision and think that cheap gas now means cheap gas forever, or at least for the life of our new car. You might not know this, but the choices aren’t just limited to gas and electricity. The biodiesel industry is on its way up right now, as more people are deciding to use to their diesel vehicles with repurposed cooking oil. Why biodiesel? It’s cleaner and non-toxic, for one. If you take this route, make sure you live in an area with biodiesel fueling stations first. But once you’ve got that sorted out, you may discover that a “frybrid” is just right for you.