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How to find and buy the best car

There are few feelings that can compare to the one you get when pulling out of the driveway in a brand new set of wheels - even if those wheels happen to be attached to your mom's old sedan. Look, we didn't say the car needed to be the latest and greatest machine on the market to get that kind of excitement. When you can find a fantastic deal on a great new or used car, you'll be riding around with a smile no matter how cheesy you look.

If you don't believe us, take our advice for buying your own car, including how to manage financing offers and the dealership sales team.

Now might be a great time to buy

According to some people at Wallethub who know a lot about this stuff, the end of 2017 is shaping up to be a great time to buy a new or used vehicle, especially if you have good credit. Interest rates charged on auto loans are near their lowest point in years, meaning it should cost less to borrow money to pay for a car.

But don't forget that there are a few different ways to buy a car that might not even require taking on another loan. You always have the option of paying cash, or you might be able to lease the vehicle and make monthly payments while you drive.

Choosing the right ride

Mom and dad would probably prefer if you chose the station wagon over the hot rod, but no matter how good of a deal you can get, you need to make sure the car you buy is safe and reliable, since it will save you way more money in the future than any beater or sports car could.

The sad truth is that car crashes are the leading cause of death among U.S. teens and young adults. Buying a safe and reliable car will offer a better level of protection if you ever find yourself in an accident. At the same time, insurance premiums tend to be lower for cars with good safety ratings, and picking a reliable vehicle means less expensive trips to the mechanic.

So yeah, your parents are onto something here. Take a look at the IIHS list of best used cars for young drivers to get a more detailed look at what the experts recommend.

How to pay for it

Even if your parents are nice enough to help out, you still should do some research into the best ways to pay for your new car. Start by talking to someone at your local Trustmark branch to see what kind of loan you might qualify for. Keep in mind what your budget is and how that fits into the down payment and regular monthly payments you'll need to make. With an estimated pre-approved loan amount in mind, it's much easier to negotiate a fair price with the dealership.

There's a lot more to buying a new(ish) car that works for you, so make sure you check in with the pros at Trustmark before inking the deal.