auto

6 tips to save money as a frugal car buyer

Arm yourself with information
Arm yourself with information

Your best ammunition when you're car shopping is information. The more you know about the type of car you want and how much you're willing to pay, the stronger your bargaining position.

Most of that research can be done from your desk. The auto section of Bankrate.com has calculators and insurance information to help you with different payment scenarios. Consumer Reports offers details on most makes and models, including how much the dealer paid for the car -- a key fact for the consumer.

The federal government also has several sites that can help you hone your decision and save money. Fueleconomy.gov gives you the lowdown on gas guzzlers versus fuel sippers while Safercar.gov has safety ratings, recall alerts, and crash and rollover tests.

Print out the research, make a folder and take it with you to the dealerships.

The more you know, the more money you'll save. And be sure to get any offers they make in writing.

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