Buying a New Car

Keep your options open.
Don't get your heart set on one model or make. That gives you more room to negotiate on price.
Get a copy of Consumer Reports' New Car Issue.
It comes out every April. Study it, looking for past repair history and safety features on cars that interest you.
Be prepared to walk away.
Don't tell the salesperson how much you are willing to spend on a new car. Ask how much they are willing to sell it for. Most won't tell you, but press for the information. Walk away if you don't get it. Try to get several prices from different dealers.
Do some research first.
Decide on a price range. Decide on options you want. You can get a list of dealers cost through Consumer Reports for a small fee. This information could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Don't talk about trade-ins and down payments.
Until you have a firm price from the salesperson, don't discuss trade-ins or down payments.
Don't just accept dealer financing.
Check with your bank or credit union for better interest rates and terms. Do this before you start looking for a new car.
Don't buy the car the same day you look at it.
If the deals' good today, it'll be good tomorrow.