Buying a car is stressful! Between finding your perfect car, gasping at the price, possibly negotiating, and then talking to the finance department, it can be like going to work for a full day… on the day when the system breaks down and you have deadlines! In other words, it can be a long and unpleasant experience. Of course this depends on the dealership. Hopefullly, you encounter only the nicest reps during your purchasing process. But, if you can do something to speed the process along before you even get to the dealership, would you?


As previously mentioned, when I purchased my SUV back in 2014 I knew my credit was not the greatest. I was thankful to get a loan that was not outrageous, but it is not best.  I was at the dealership for HOURS while they negotiated, found the best loan, and did paperwork, etc. I just think of the time that I could have saved if I was able to do most of that myself… at home… in my pajamas!

The Capital One Auto Navigator tool allows you to do just that. As previously mentioned you can find a loan, find out your estimated payment, and even find a car.

However, here are a few of my own personal tips to help you find the fight car. And trust me, these are from experience!

  1. Know the type of car that you want: I’ve made it clear that I’m now an SUV girl. I’ve driven everything from a small car to a minivan, but now since I’m a mom that has to haul around 4 kids I have found what works best for our family. Ok… it works best for me because it’s cool. What you need may be different. Are you interested in a sedan? A minivan? A coupe? Trying to make your decision before you go.
  2. Visit the Capital One Auto Navigator: Use the tool to find out what payment you are comfortable with and exactly how much car you can afford. Get pre-qualified for your loan. Browse the available cars based on this information.
  3. Make a list of your top contenders: Once you decide on the type of car that you want, make a list of the different makes and models that you would consider buying. Try not to make this list too long. I recommend getting it down to less than 5.
  4. Read Reviews: Research reviews, ratings, and consumer thoughts on the car on your list. The last thing that you want to do is purchase a car that is reported to have a lot of problems.
  5. Head off to Your Local Car Dealership: Use the Capital One Auto Navigator to search for eligible dealers in your area. Take your pre-qualification and get ready to shop. If you have different makes and models on your contender list, check the dealer list for super stores that might allow you to look at and test driving multiple brands in the same place. This is a great way to look at the features of all of the cars on your list without driving all over town. Be sure to check that cargo space!
  6. Take a Buddy: Finding a new car can be stressful. It’s a great idea to take along a friend that can keep you company and offer opinions and advice on the different vehicles.
  7. Eat Before Going: Getting pre-qualified will cut some time off of your dealership visit, however it still might take a while. I made the mistake of not eating before going. I was starving! So, save yourself that hassle and eat first. 🙂


Using the Capital One Auto Navigator site can help you with your car buying process, but you still have to physically go and get the car. 🙂 However, go ready and informed! Use the site to test drive your financing options, get pre-qualified, browse over 12,000 dealerships, and find the perfect car.

And don’t forget to check your credit! Knowing the state of your credit is important before you start shopping. Need tips? Check out my post The Effect of Your Credit Score on Your Auto Financing.

How many cars have you purchased? What are your best purchasing tips?


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Capital One. All opinions are my own.

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