Finding the best deal on your family car

American families spend a lot of time in their cars, whether it’s shuttling the kids from school to soccer practice or embarking on the family road trip. Since you rely on your family car for a lot, few purchasing decisions carry the importance as buying a new one.

If you happen to be shopping for a vehicle now you’re in luck, as the end of the year is the time when dealers and manufacturers are anxious to move inventory. Here are a few tips for getting the best price on your next family car:

* Browse manufacturer websites for current offers. Manufacturers like Kia Motors offer a number of helpful tools to help you compare prices for each of their models, and see how adding or subtracting certain special features might affect your purchase price. There you can customize vehicles such as the 2013 Kia Sorento and get a good idea of what their cars should cost when you add or subtract features like the UVO infotainment system or heated/cooled seats.

* Take to the Web. In the Internet age, it’s easier than ever to gather intelligence on the type of car you’re considering. For example, The Car Connection offers ratings on new cars, while also providing a way to get free price quotes to make your purchasing decision easier.

* See what different dealers have to offer. While manufacturer websites offer a good starting point, you can find the best deal on the model of your liking by visiting a number of different dealers. While there are certain discounts available straight from the manufacturers, dealers may also be willing to bend a bit on their prices to finalize a purchase.

* Pay close attention to the details. As you compare your best offers, be sure to factor interest over the life of your payment plan, as well as taxes and fees that often aren’t mentioned until later on in the sales process. The sticker price provides a good starting point, but you may not end up with the best deal if it’s the only thing you consider.

By shopping around for the best deal and doing your research on manufacturer sites like before you set foot in the dealership, you can help ensure that you’ll get the best price on your next family car. And if you’re shopping at the end of the year, you may just end up with a great deal that allows you to put some of that money you had in your new car budget toward your holiday shopping.

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