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How to Decide Which Car to Buy

If you follow my flexibility advice, you will narrow your choice of cars down to 2 or 3 models.

Assuming the prices are all similar, the problem now becomes: How do you choose one over the other?

There's a simple solution: Rent the cars for a day or two and see how you like them. Test driving a car is a good chance to get an overall feel, but you don't really get to know what it feels like to own one until you drive it around for a full day (and night).

Car rental companies and short-term rental apps like Turo keep just about every popular car in their inventory. You may need to research a bit before finding the cars you're interested in, but they're most likely available.

Some car dealers will even let you rent their cars for a day - and some will even let you do it for free (it's actually a selling tactic called "taking the puppy home", once you bring it home, it's hard to bring back) - you just need to call the dealership and ask.

Renting a couple of cars will set you back a couple hundred dollars, but it's worth the peace of mind if you're really having difficulty deciding. It's much better to spend a little money and know for sure whether you like a car, than to buy one and regret it later.

Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...

  • Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
  • Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
  • The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
  • Which Cars You Should Avoid

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About The Author

Gregg Fidan Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.
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