Checking the sticker price is only part of the deal when it comes to car shopping. Knowing the value of your trade-in, ancillary products, sales tax and fees also are part of the overall cost. If you know what those numbers are before you walk into the showroom, you may be better able to negotiate a lower price before driving off the lot.
"People get focused on 'what am I paying for the car?' In their mind, they're thinking 'what price can I wind up at for negotiation?' But they're only thinking about the actual price of the car," said Carroll Lachnit, a consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com. "They may not be focused on sales tax or fees. We recommend people always discuss not only the price of the car, but the 'out of the door' price."