The 2024 Vehicle Buyer’s Guide

Looking for a new or used car and wondering where to start? This guide will go over the basics and get you started on your car shopping adventure.

Which Vehicle is Right for Me?

SUV or pickup truck? Sedan or coupe? Whether you’re looking for something with the best gas mileage or you need to get four kids to soccer practice, the first step in buying a new car is figuring out which vehicle is right for you.

With so many options out there doing a quick self assessment can help narrow down the options and get you thinking about which vehicle is right for you.

    Things to Consider

  1. Will more than two people ride in the car at least twice per week?

  2. Would you ever use this vehicle to move, do projects or haul things?

  3. Do you drive more than 40 miles per day?

  4. Are you in unpaved or snow covered areas more than once per month?

  5. Lenders will typically require your permission to check your credit report to assess your creditworthiness.

  6. Do you plan on your life situation changing in the next three years?

Cash, Lease, or Loan?


Pay Cash

If you have the cash on hand you can buy the vehicle outright. No lending institution is involved.


If you have some money for a down payment and are interested in owning the vehicle you can take out a loan to cover the cost.


Leasing is a way to get a new vehicle without paying large amounts of cash or taking out a loan.

We’re here to redefine the way you buy a car, putting you in control and making the process enjoyable from start to finish.

Tips and Tricks - How to Lease A Car

A Little on Leasing

Leasing a car lets you drive a new vehicle without paying a large down payment or taking out a loan. You’ll make a small down payment (less than the usual 20% when buying) and have monthly payments for the term of the lease. When the term expires, you return the car, and sometimes you have the option of buying it for its residual value. Leasing can be a good option if you don’t have a large down payment and want a new vehicle, or you want the ability to easily upgrade in a few years.



  1. Lower down payment

  2. Covered by factory warranty

  3. Factory warranty coverage

  4. Ability to upgrade to a new car sooner


  1. Mileage and term limits

  2. Limited miles

  3. Responsible for excess depreciation

  4. Limited customization

How Does Financing Work?

When you finance a vehicle you take out a loan to buy the car and pay it down every month. After the loan is paid the vehicle is yours. Financing a vehicle requires a larger down payment than leasing, usually at least 20% of the vehicle price. You might want to finance a vehicle if you don’t want the mileage restrictions of a lease, want to own the vehicle outright and have money saved for a larger down payment.


Applying for financing has never been easier. Take the first step toward your dream vehicle today: Apply for financing here.


  1. You own the vehicle

  2. Unlimited miles

  3. Build equity in the vehicle


  1. Usually locked into keeping the vehicle longer

  2. Higher monthly payment

  3. Limited warranty coverage

Can I still finance a car even if I have bad credit?

Don’t let the financing process hold you back. With so many factors going into financing a new vehicle, you can still get an auto loan even with bad credit. Before you visit the dealership, determine your financial situation and budget. Get a copy of your credit report so you know what to expect in terms of financing. Find a vehicle that fits your budget and go to a reputable dealer.


Find the vehicle that fits your needs. Explore personalized options, plan your budget, and compare with ease – start calculating your car loan payments with our Auto Loan & Car Payment Calculator now!

    Somethings to think about

  1. Make a wise vehicle selection. Aim for the newest, lowest mileage vehicle within your means.

  2. Put money down to decrease the size of the loan.

  3. Having a strong cosigner can help you qualify for the loan.

  4. Keep the loan with good payment history for at least 12 months.

  5. Don't shop your credit.

Finding the Right Place to Shop

Private Party

You can buy a car from a private party. This is done through a person-to-person transactions rather than through a dealership or business. Click here to see the risks and benefits.


  1. Could find the 'gem'

  2. May get a lower price



  1. Less than truthful disclosures

  2. Limited miles

  3. No inspection

  4. As-is sale

  5. No finance options

Private Lot

You can buy a car from a private lot. This is a location where individuals sell their vehicles independently, outside of traditional dealerships, offering a variety of vehicles for sale. Click here to see the risks and benefits.


  1. Potential to negotiate a good deal

  2. May have unique inventory

  3. May purchase your trade



  1. Negotiation is often involved

  2. Minimal inspection/reconditioning

  3. Limited ability to back the product

  4. Often older and less desireable inventory


Dealerships are licensed businesses that sell both new and used vehicles, offering buyers the assurance of warranties and guarantees. Click here to see the risks and benefits.


  1. Larger selection

  2. More likely to stand behind the product

  3. Service and parts are readily available

  4. More likely to recondition the vehicle

  5. Financing and protection options

  6. More likely to buy your trade



  1. May require negotiation

  2. Salespeople may be commission-based which can lead to up-selling

Why Should You Lease A Car

The Right Questions, the Right Car: Your Roadmap to a Smart Purchase

Find the Right Vehicle for You

SUV or pickup truck? Sedan or coupe? Whether you’re looking for something with the best gas mileage or you need to get four kids to soccer practice, the first step in buying a new car is figuring out which vehicle is right for you.

Don’t be Shy! Ask Questions

If they can’t answer or you don’t understand, it’s probably not a wise investment or the right place for you to buy from. Trust your instincts; a reputable dealership values your questions and provides clear, honest answers, ensuring confidence in your purchase.

Here to Help Throughout the Process

When you’re making a significant purchase like a car, it’s essential to remember that the dealership or salesperson should be there to support you. If you ever feel pressured or uncomfortable during the process, it’s a red flag and you should consider looking somewhere else.

Walser Automotive Group , .