Guide Banner Image

Buying a New Car

Tips to get you through every step of buying a new car, whatever “new” means to you.

In the Market for a New Car?

In the Market for a New Car?

This guide will help you through every step of the process, from searching for the perfect vehicle to insuring, financing and more.

A new car is an exciting – and large – purchase. Getting a safe, reliable car is a big investment that requires a lot of research. And if you’ve never done it before, or haven’t done it in a while, the car buying process can certainly be intimidating. Fortunately, AAA is here to help.

Download the free guide, “Buying a New Car”!

Here’s the Deal

The “Buying a New Car” guide is here for you every step of the way – whatever “new” means to you – whether you’re getting the latest model on the market, a used car or a lease. From searching for the perfect vehicle to insuring, financing and more, this guide has all the information you need to confidently drive off in your fresh set of wheels.

Research

  • Do your homework. Which type of car is right for you? Should get new or used? Buy or lease? Learn the right questions to ask yourself, and your dealer.
  • Thoroughly modern car buying. These days you can order a car online and have it delivered right to your door. Discover the new ways to buy a car, from digital showrooms to subscription ownership (it’s like Netflix, but a car).
  • Taking it out for a spin. How to make the most of the all-important test drive.
  • Plus, keeping up with the latest car tech, a look at hybrid and electric options and how to buy a car for a teen driver.
In the Market for a New Car?

In the Market for a New Car?

Please note that if you are a Primary member of AAA Northeast, you will no longer receive a printed copy of Your AAA. We understand your email address is private. You will receive email and newsletters from Your AAA Network, and we will only share your email with approved sponsors. Any information we capture is subject to the AAA Privacy Policy as amended from time to time. You may view the current version of the AAA Privacy Policy at any time online at AAA.com. And remember you can unsubscribe at any time.

Insurance

  • Understanding the ins and outs of your car insurance policy. Brush up on insurance jargon and get to know different coverage options.
  • How to save. There’s likely an insurance discount or two that you can (and should!) take advantage of.
  • 10 things your insurance agent want to know about you. The information you need to provide to get the most of out of your coverage.

Financing

  • Financing outside of the dealership. Buying directly from the dealer is convenient, but there are perks ($$$) to shopping around.
  • Tips for negotiating a new car price of lease. Don’t overpay for your car!
  • Pre-qualifying for an auto loan. It’s the first step to securing an auto loan.
  • Try our auto loan payment calculator!

Download the “Buying a New Car” guide for access to all this information and more. Be sure to share if you know someone else that can use it, too.

Save driving!

The Editors of Your AAA

In the Market for a New Car?

In the Market for a New Car?

Please note that if you are a Primary member of AAA Northeast, you will no longer receive a printed copy of Your AAA. We understand your email address is private. You will receive email and newsletters from Your AAA Network, and we will only share your email with approved sponsors. Any information we capture is subject to the AAA Privacy Policy as amended from time to time. You may view the current version of the AAA Privacy Policy at any time online at AAA.com. And remember you can unsubscribe at any time.

35 Thoughts on “Buying a New Car

  1. I agree with Keith Walters. It was a great service for AAA members when you made the dealer invoice available. Can AAA tell us why it discontinued providing that service? That would be a great tool for us when negotiating to buy a car. The guide provides some interesting information, but is also self serving, in many ways, like with the auto insurance.

  2. I bought a year old 4Runner a few years back with a car I traded in. The sales guy only had one key fob (but told me I could buy another for $800!). I purchased it outright with cash and am still waiting for the title, and to afford a replacement key fob. Can you offer any advice? The Toyota dealership won’t take my calls or respond to my emails. I own the car, but have no title.

    1. Start with the DMV/Registry for your state. Because you paid cash and there is no lien holder as long as the dealer filed the original paperwork with the DMV/Registry you will be able to buy a duplicate title outright from the DMV/Registry.
      You can also file a Dealer Complaint with the DMV/Registry for your state if the dealer you bought from is located in the state you registered in. There is paper work that you will need to fill out and file with the DMV/Registry. They will investigate and can pull the dealer license depending on history and issues.

  3. I buy my Suv out at end of lease but really not enjoying it now. Can I get assistance from AAA in returning it for another Suv of my choice?

    1. Hi Ian, thank you for reaching out! I have forwarded your information to our Financial Services team. Someone will reach out shortly. Thank you!

  4. Remember when AAA offered, for a small fee, invoice pricing on new cars? Now we’re stuck with TrueCar who is more connected to dealerships than they are with customers.

  5. I’m Looking to do the buyback on our lease. can I get information on a loan for the buyback?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Barry, thank you for your question! We have forwarded this to our Financial Services team, and someone will contact you directly soon. Thank you – Aleshi

  6. You can order a chip key online that is fairly cheap and then bring it to the dealer to have it synced. Much cheaper. I will say that I have gotten into the wrong car by mistake and accidentally opened a car passing by while clicking my key.

  7. How about help from AAA finding the right car to buy?

    For instance, if I buy a car, it must be something with a *normal*, old-fashioned, key. No chips, batteries, or satellites. Duplicate keys cost $10, not hundreds.
    Please help me get a list of cars like this.

    Also, as little other tech as possible. (No built-in satellite radio, GPS, etc. If I want these, I’ll buy them separately. I do not want them interacting with the rest of the car’s workings.)

    Please help me narrow down the cars to those.

    Thanks.

    1. Transponder keys have been in existence for 20 years and in nearly all cars for 10. They were designed for security reasons as well as for convenience features. I guess you could try to find an older car that still uses old non-transponder keys but I doubt that you will find a new or newish car that uses old technology that you’re describing. I’m wondering what the issue is that you might be having with these improvements over time. I’m a young 66 and embrace as much new tech as I can stand. I would respectfully suggest that you try to do the same. The future that we were promised as children is here for the taking!

      1. I believe the Subaru Impreza base model still uses a key. Plus it also keeps standard safety improvements. But there remains very few 2023 cars without the newer transponder “smart” keys.

      2. I have been driving safely for many years and the new technology distracts me. Although I have driven newer cars (lots of them), my personal vehicle is a 20 year old car with a manual transmission; no bells and whistles. It is FUN to drive. Your comment is disturbingly condescending.

    2. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH LOREN. I TOO WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO PURCHASE A NEW CAR WITHOUT ALL THE ADDITIONAL “IMPROVEMENTS” INCLUDING THE FOB. IT SEEMS TO ME ALL THESE “IMPROVEMENTS” ARE JUST WAYS TO INCREASE THE INITIAL PURCHASE PRICE AS WELL AS THE COST OF REPLACEMENTS/REPAIRS.

      1. While I do love most of the new technology, I do think that it increases the likelihood of obsolescence of vehicles bought now. In the past, I have tended to keep cars for 10 or more years. I very much doubt that manufacturers will continue to provide the needed software/firmware upgrades needed to just keep older cars working and safe from a security perspective. I also dislike the trend to display/touch based controls, which I find are much more distracting than traditional dials/pushbottons.

    3. Apparently car thieves have technology that can boost a signal from your fob if it is in the vicinity and thereby gain access to your car? Please comment someone?

  8. A lot of your suggestions are just common sense. When I buy a car & not often, I look up the so DEALER’S cost & offer something over that like maybe $300. IF the salesman says NO, I go visit the Sales Manager & tell him MY price, if NO, goodbye, they need me I don’t need them because I buy when I don’t need a car. I have Hartford Insurance through AARP & that Vanishing Deductible costs you more, not as they imply. I’ve been with them for over 20 years

      1. What do you mean by “ridiculous”? High or low? I recently signed up with Hartford AARP and haven’t found a lower rate elsewhere for auto insurance.

  9. Thinking of buying my car at end of lease term. Is there financing available through AAA for this type of purchase?

    1. Thanks for your interest and for reading Your AAA Network! AAA does indeed provide financing for that type of purchase. So, stay tuned, we will be in touch with more info via email soon!

        1. Hi, thanks for reaching out! Your request has been forwarded to our financial services department. Someone will be in contact with you soon.

    1. Hi Sue, thanks for reaching out. AAA members can save on a new car through the Auto Buying Program. More info can be found here. The guide also has tips on how to save in financing and insuring your new purchase.

  10. I do not oppose progress, but the chip key is more
    expensive, more error prone, and real theft
    is when the put the car on a flat bed and
    taken to a chop shop. True progress is a
    product that is more reliable, lower cost and
    has an improved main function. Please note that
    insurance companies wanted this more than the
    consumer and the government want electric cars
    not the consumer .
    I will drive my 1990 Jeep
    and be happy.

    1. Yes, Fob keys can be repaired. Mine would not open the car doors. First, try a new battery. They can be taken apart to replace the battery. Some auto parts stores will replace the battery free of charge if you buy the battery there. I tried this first. When the Fob key still didn’t work, I took it to an auto dealer for the make of my car. He sold me a new Fob and programmed it, for a cost of $285. I asked for the old key back. When I got home I carefully took the old one apart down to the bare bones. I noticed that a tiny metal disk had slide off it’s tiny post. I noticed the glue that held it in place was a non-drying glue. This is similar to the type used to hold mailers and credit cards on correspondence. Fortunately I happen to happen some on hand. I put a little dab on the tiny post and after it set for a little while, I then carefully pressed it back together. Tested it on the car and it worked fine. It’s still working after about two years. Now I have three keys.

    2. It really is ridiculous to have to have keys–by their nature, mechanical technology–fail because they need a new battery, not to mention having to pay hundreds of dollars to replace them. Talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water! Yeah, keys can break in cylinders, yeah cylinders can rust, yada yada. At least let the new technology rely on the old in case of a failure.

      1. I don’t know if most FOB owners realize there is an actual physical key that pops out of the device in case your battery dies. This recently happened to me. I have a 22 Hyundai.

Leave A Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and may or may not be published at the editor’s discretion. Only comments that are relevant to the article and add value to the Your AAA community will be considered. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED. REQUIRED FIELDS ARE MARKED *

Buying a New Car

Yes! I want my FREE Guide!

car buying

Please note that if you are a Primary member of AAA Northeast, you will no longer receive a printed copy of Your AAA. We understand your email address is private. You will receive email and newsletters from Your AAA Network, and we will only share your email with approved sponsors. Any information we capture is subject to the AAA Privacy Policy as amended from time to time. You may view the current version of the AAA Privacy Policy at any time online at AAA.com. And remember you can unsubscribe at any time.