Car Shopping? Visit Your Local Auto Show First

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AUTO CENTRAL - January 11, 2012: With the 2012 North American International Auto Show (Detroit Auto Show) set to open to the public this weekend, new car shoppers are again urged to visit a show in their own town (if possible) before heading to a dealership for one-stop shopping.

Here are a few tips from for making the most of your car shopping experience:

Research: Check out the manufacturer buyers guides on Browse through the guides by make by just CLICKING HERE. You'll also find The Auto Channel's PERFECT MATCH really helpful in narrowing down choices.

Ask questions: Although the auto-show models just look like pretty faces, they are actually very knowledgable and trained representatives. They're there to help, and its always nice to talk to a pretty gal or guy.

Evaluate all aspects of the vehicle: Sit in the seats, front and back. Adjust things. Open the trunk and imagine those items you will be carying. Depending upon the arrangement, the car may even be supplied with electric power so you can inspect the gauges, stereo and switchgear. Test everything to make sure the model fits your requirements.

Have a great time: Make a day of it. If you're single, bring a date. If you have a family, bring the whole crew--children are often delighted to find they can clamber around the new cars, push buttons and slam doors. Even those who aren't traditional "car people" usually enjoy the glitz, glamour and shiny sheetmetal at car shows.

Collect information: Most car manufacturers are happy to provide you with a full-line catalogue, so take advantage of the opportunity. One pitfall: Some may ask for your contact information so a dealer can follow up--if it's in exchange for vehicle information, ask yourself if that's a company with which you want to do business.

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