Ways to avoid falling for the wrong car

Drivers with financial difficulties or bad credit history, families, or those that need their cars for a specific kind of travel may need to be more practical when choosing the perfect vehicle for their needs, but no buyer is immune to the emotional response generated by a glitzy vehicle or an attractive deal from a salesman.

However, it is important to remain clear-headed when spending thousands of dollars on any purchase, Consumer Reports suggests. Falling in love with a vehicle can make a potential buyer ignore more practical characteristics like safety, pricing, reliability and ratings.

An emotional response can also be picked up by salesmen and can make a potential buyer more vulnerable in the negotiation process. Dealers will often throw in offers like cash rebates or employee-discount pricing programs, but buyers may need to remember that all such offers are only as good as the vehicle the offers are attached to.

Drivers who need financing for their used or new vehicle purchase can use a car loan payment calculator to determine what they can afford, then fill out an auto loan application accordingly.