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Learn... Plan... Buy a Vehicle!

Steps to Vehicle Purchase
  Step 1 - Review your budget
  Step 2 - Determine your down payment
  Step 3 - Price your trade-in
  Step 4 - Check loan rates
  Step 5 - Research your vehicle choices
  Step 6 - Check out your vehicle choices
  Step 7 - Get competitive bids
  Step 8 - Prepare for the purchase
Calculators
  How much will my monthly payments be? (State Farm)
Tools
  Check current lending rates at Bankrate
  Research your car (Autolist, Edmunds, MSNAutos, or USAToday)
  For a used car, check its history at CarFax.com
  Visit online lenders at E-Loan and Capital One Finance
New vs. used: Breaking down the costs

(Part of an article by Consumer Reports, October 2008)

Depreciation accounts for 45 percent of a new car's owner costs in the first five years, but only 25 percent for a three-year-old car. While maintenance and repair costs grow with age, they still make up a small part of overall costs for late-model cars.