How to Buy a Car - 4 Tips to Get You on the Road with Ease

The interior of a car to illustrate an article on the car buying experience.

Follow these four steps to a less stressful auto buying experience.

Buying a car can be very exciting. And a little intimidating. Fortunately, Partner Colorado has you covered every step of the way, starting with these four important steps that make the car buying process easy.

  1. Get pre-approved for a car loan before heading to the auto dealership
    The benefits of doing your homework before heading out to buy a car are many, starting with how much you can afford. Simply apply online for a low-rate Partner Colorado auto loan to discover exactly how much car you can afford and establish your monthly payment, all while putting yourself in a better negotiating position as a cash buyer.
  2. Research the car you want to buy
    Undoubtedly, you’ve got your eye on a dream car, or two. Online sites like, Kelley Blue Book and offer great tools that allow you to compare different models including features, dealer pricing, safety ratings and more.
  3. Win the negotiating process — questions to ask a car dealership
    Good news. Once you’ve armed yourself with a pre-approval and car research, you’re fully prepared to negotiate the purchase of a new or used car. Here are a few questions to ask to help you get the best deal.
    • What is my “drive off the lot” price? The cost of buying a car includes far more than the MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price). Some fees are legitimate… sales tax, registration costs and a documentation (doc) fee (Colorado’s doc fee averages just over $500!), while “handling costs” and “advertising fees” are purely to inflate dealer profits and you are under no obligation to pay them when you buy a car.
    • Does the car you’ve selected include dealer “add-ons?” Dealer installed options (e.g., window tinting, paint protection, fabric treatments) can often be negotiated for less…particularly if you’re willing to walk away if an agreement cannot be reached.
    • What is the warranty coverage?
      New cars typically come with a bumper-to-bumper warranty of 3 years and 30,000 miles or more. Even used cars will often pick up the remainder of a manufacturer’s warranty if applicable. Each manufacturer varies, so make sure you know what you’re in for before you buy a car.
    • If buying a used car, ask for a CarFax report
      CarFax provides a third-party history of the used car you’re purchasing, including major accidents, mileage, multiple owners and more. Make sure the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) matches the report.
  4. Don’t want to haggle? Buy a car through Partner Colorado’s preferred auto buying partner, AutoTrek
    Our auto buying partner will help you find the new or used car model you want at a price you can afford. You can even buy your car online! With a 3-day exchange policy on all certified used vehicles, we’ve taken the hassle out of finding your dream car.