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3 Ways to Save on Your Next Car

A small investment of time can result in big savings when buying a car.
Find the lowest-rate auto loan
Many people forget to shop for a loan, not just a car.
Don't buy the first car you find
An overeager buyer who hasn't shopped around is a prime target for a seller's overpriced car.
Get more than one car insurance quote
When buying a car, it's also a good time to get insurance quotes.

1. Find the lowest-rate auto loan

Auto dealers make money off of arranging auto loans. So, if you sign on the dotted line for a loan at the dealership without first shopping around for other lenders, you will most likely pay too much interest.

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2. Don't buy the first car you find

When you see a car you like, with the features you want, it's tempting to buy it. But an overeager buyer who hasn't shopped around is a prime target for a seller's overpriced car. Also, if you don't consider other vehicles, you won't know whether you could have found the same or a similar model for less.

Before you buy a car, check pricing guides like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book to see what other people are paying for the car you want. You can also use car-buying apps, like TrueCar, to browse new- and used-car listings from online retailers and local dealers for pricing and other information. Online research can also be a way to enter your must-have features and possibly find a similar make and model that sells for less.

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3. Get more than one car insurance quote

When buying a car, it's also a good time to get insurance quotes. Insurance companies have different ways of determining rates, so premiums for the same driver and vehicle can vary greatly. You will pay for full coverage car insurance (a combination of comprehensive, collision and liability coverage) at least until you pay off any loan, so shopping for the cheapest insurance upfront can result in significant savings.

NerdWallet can help you compare car insurance rates from some of the nation's biggest insurers based on factors such as age and driving history.