Top 10 Things to Know Before Buying a Car in 2014

If you're thinking about buying a car in 2014, start planning and budgeting now. Car buying is costly -- typically the second most expensive purchase that most Americans make after their homes. To avoid making a bad decision, follow these 10 tips for car buying in 2014.

Decide what you can afford.

Having your eye on a specific car is no help if you can't afford it. Allocating no more than 20 percent of your monthly household income for all the cars in your household is a good rule of thumb for car buying. This figure should include not only the monthly car loan payment, but all the costs to operate them, including gasoline costs and car insurance. Use Bankrate's home budget cal