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What You Need to Know Before Car Shopping Today: 7/22/17

If the allure of new-car smell has gotten too strong to resist — or even if it's just the allure of a new car, irrespective of the scent — we're here to help you make the right decision for your next ride. Before you go inhaling options at the dealership this weekend, take a deep breath and read through our guide to the auto-buying basics below.

What car should I buy? That depends on a lot of factors, but our reviews can help. Check out our recent additions: 

  • Pickup trucks: Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
  • SUVs: Mazda CX-5, Infiniti QX60, Subaru Crosstrek, Buick Encore, Volkswagen Atlas, Volkswagen Tiguan
  • Sedans: Hyundai Sonata, Lexus IS 200t, Lexus IS 350, Audi S3, Toyota Camry
  • Fuel sippers: Toyota Prius Prime
  • Minivans: Chrysler Pacifica versus Honda Odyssey
  • Hatchbacks: Audi A7
  • Sports cars: Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody, Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, Honda Civic Type R, Jaguar F-Type
  • Wagons: Volvo V60 Cross Country

Anything I should wait for? The redesigned 2018 Toyota Camry is currently hitting dealers, and Ford has some updates on the F-150 coming this fall.

Which cars have the best deals right now? Check out our top deals for July. As always, your discounts may vary, so check with your dealer for specifics.

Should I buy new or used? Read up on the pros and cons of each. If you go used, review our used-car buyers' checklist and consider whether you want a certified pre-owned car.

How much can I afford? Read our primer.

Should I finance, lease or pay cash? That depends, but this might help you decide.

How do I get the best lease rate? Bone up on common lease terminology, plus our tips.

How do I get the best financing rate? Our game plan lays out some advice. While you're at it, here's what you need to know about auto loans and what you'll need to get one.

Anything I shouldn't do when I'm at the dealer? Yep. Avoid these pitfalls.

Should I get an extended warranty? That depends. Here's what you need to know.

How do I sell or trade in my old car? Learn how to prep your car before you sell it to a dealer, how to trade it in and how to deal with taxes and other considerations. If you still owe money on your old car, read this. Finally, if you want to sell it private party, here's how to create the picture-perfect ad and how to seal the deal.

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