Whether you are looking for an affordable small car, fuel-efficient SUV, or a sporty convertible, Consumer Reports can help guide you through the new car buying experience. We give you the essential information you need to choose, buy, finance, and maintain a new car.

We're also introducing a new concierge service to help you buy your next car with confidence. (Check availability in your area.)

If you are in the market for a used car, see our advice in the used car buying guide.

Last Updated: Jan. 18, 2020

CR Expert Advice
What You Need to Know About Buying a New Car
Don't Be Influenced By Ads
Create your list of cars to test drive based on research, focusing on reliable cars, with high owner satisfaction, good safety marks, and strong road test performance.
Don't Scrimp on Safety
Advanced safety features can help avoid an accident or lessen the impact of a crash. They are becoming widely available, though they are still not standard on many models and trims.
No Thanks to Extras
Car dealers generally make most of their profit from financing and the sale of a wide variety of extra add-on products like theft protection, asset protection, prepaid maintenance, tire and key replacement plans, VIN etching, and extended warranties.
Pass on Special Events
Don't shop during special sales events solicited by direct mail. These are often run by contracted specialists trained in techniques that increase a dealer's profit.
Smart Financing
Resist the temptation to focus strictly on monthly payments to consider the long-term impact of your finance strategy, considering loan rate, interest paid, trade in, and even depreciation.
Fees to Avoid
If you see additional "pre-delivery inspection," "delivery," "destination," or "dealer prep" charges on a second window sticker, you should refuse to pay them.