1. Assess your needs — not your wants — to determine the right car for you.
2. Set your budget. You can estimate your monthly payments with the Edmunds Car Affordability Calculator.
3. Decide if you want to buy a new or used car, or lease a new car.
4. Consider all vehicles in the class of cars you're considering.
5. Consider the costs of ownership with Edmunds' True Cost to Own.
6. Search for the car on Edmunds.com and look for Price Promise offers and TMV® to arrive at a fair price.
7. Set up a test-drive.
8. Test-drive the car as if it were yours. Try city streets, hills and highways. See if car seats fit. Check cargo space.
9. Decide on your new car. Sleep on the decision if you need to.
10. Move on to your purchase or lease with confidence.