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Over 80% of consumers use the Internet to shop for cars. It’s a fast and convenient way to compare prices, models, reviews, and dealerships. If you’re in the market for a new car, we have a few tips for you:

* Explore your choices. If you have an idea of what you want–a small SUV or a mid-size sedan, for example–start by clicking on a category at Edmunds.com for choices and their list prices.

* Check safety records. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives crash test results on its website at nhtsa.gov. See how vehicles fared in 40-mile-per-hour crashes at iihs.org.

* Find out the real price. Automotive manufacturer and dealer sites give the list price or manufacturer’s suggested retail price, which they may work down from in your dealings. Instead, you want to know the dealer’s invoice price and negotiate up from there. Any manufacturer’s rebate comes off your agreed price. For invoice pricing and current rebates, go to Edmunds.comkbb.comcars.com, or carsdirect.com. Combine a rebate with low credit union rates and you have the best of both worlds.

* Locate that vehicle near you. Find a local dealer’s website by using a search engine like Google.com or Bing.com. Most dealers post their inventories on their websites.

Visit Ascentra to get pre-approved before you shop. Having a pre-approved loan is the same as shopping with cash.

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