Q: I want to buy my first car, but don’t know how to tell which car is best.

Do you have any advice for me?

A: First you have to figure out what kind of car you want.

Do you want something new or used? Do you want a flashy car or are looks not that important? Do you want something reliable? Do you need a big car to haul around your family or other stuff or do you just need a small car for yourself? Finally, do you want something that gets great mileage or is a gas guzzler?

Start by reading up on various car manufacturers and models. You can get rankings of different cars at www.consumerreports.com. Other good places to go is www.edmunds.com and www.bluebook.com.

Used cars will typically be less expensive than new cars. And you should test drive a few models once you start to figure out what you like. Finally, no matter whether you go with a used or new car, be sure to line up your financing ahead of time.

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