Some experts suggest that the best way to determine the actual value of your car is to do your own research. Check car magazines and newspaper classifieds in your area to see what similar cars are selling for.

9) Remember: Dealers Don’t Arrange Loans Just To Be Nice. Financing has become a big part of the car business. It is not unusual for a dealer to make more money on a car’s financing than on the actual sale of that car. That’s often why a salesman may push his financing plans even after you have told him that you’re going to pay with cash.

10) "No Haggle Pricing"—Another Way of Saying "It’s Our Way or the Highway." In the last several years there has been a trend by dealers to promote what they euphemistically call "no haggle pricing." Well, duh! That’s the way it has always been. As long as you were willing to walk in and pay the full sticker price — there never was any haggling. The only kind of "no haggle" policy that would interest me is if a dealer will let me come in and announce my own price with no haggling. So far, I’m unaware of any dealers who take that approach. So until they do, I want the right to haggle!

11) Research the Dealership. Chances are, you will bring your car back to the same dealer you bought it from for repair, maintenance, and warranty work. Ask around about the company’s reputation. Check with the Better Business Bureau or other reporting organizations. Beware of the dealer’s claims of great service or customer satisfaction awards. Some of these may be self-awarded or given by the manufacturer who sells cars to the dealership — hardly an unbiased source. (Do you remember the old story about the fox guarding the henhouse?)

Steve Diggs presents the No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminar at churches and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve on the Web at or call 615-834-3063. The author of several books, today Steve serves as a minister for the Antioch Church of Christ in Nashville. For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four children whom they have home schooled. The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.

A complete financial compendium, 19 chapters
• What you can do today to get out of debt and kill the Debt Monster
• A,B,C's of handling your money God's way
• How to save, invest, and retire wisely
• How mutual funds work
• How to stop fighting over money
• What to teach your kids about money
• Learn how home & car buying, college financing and insurance work.
• How to develop a budget that works -- forever!
• Features simple charts, graphs, and easy-to-use forms.

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