Between selecting the right model, picking a reputable dealership and finding the best deal, buying a car can be a stressful process - and that's before money even enters the equation. To help new car buyers navigate the notoriously difficult process, Kelley Blue Book's web site recently announced a list of ten tips for first-time car buyers, with helpful hints designed to make purchasing a car go smoothly for even the most inexperienced consumer.

Not surprisingly, four of KBB's top ten hints are related to financing and affordability. One tip implores buyers to establish a realistic budget, bearing in mind extra expenses like fuel, insurance and maintenance. Another encourages shoppers to determine monthly payments based on their assets and income levels. KBB also encourages buyers to determine a proper purchase price and to research financing options before arriving at the dealership.

Of course, buying a car isn't all about budgeting and affordability. Several of KBB's hints also involve choosing the right car, which can be difficult for first-time buyers who might be unsure of their needs. Most importantly, KBB suggests new buyers establish those needs, temporarily disregarding their enthusiasm and examining whether a slick sports car or cute new convertible would really serve as a practical choice.

Once that's settled, KBB recommends prioritizing desires, choosing which options are essential and which aren't worth the few extra bucks per month. KBB also says first-time buyers should take plenty of test drives, spending at least half an hour in each potential car to get fully comfortable behind the wheel.

While the majority of Kelley Blue Book's suggestions relate to costs and choosing the best car, the company also provides two other important tips which often go overlooked. One urges buyers to locate a convenient, friendly dealership that's fair during the buying process. Enthusiastic young buyers, who might forget they'll likely return to the dealer for service, parts or even their next new car purchase, often overlook this.

Car buying can be a complex ordeal, but following some of these tips from Kelley Blue Book can make it more enjoyable.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on

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