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Survey says most people use tax refunds to buy cars

On CarMax.com, you can search more than 35,000 vehicles nationwide based on your preferences.
On CarMax.com, you can search more than 35,000 vehicles nationwide based on your preferences.CarMax

Tax season is here again and millions of folks are salivating over the thought of that refund check gracing their mailboxes. But hold it! Instead of taking that much-anticipated IRS refund and putting it in the bank, one in six Americans will instead, purchase a car according to a new survey by CarMax, one of the nation's largest used car retailers.

The survey interestingly points out that the likeliest group to run to a dealership when they receive Uncle Sam's monetary gift are the younger set, those under age 35 (29 percent).

Not far behind the car buying, tax refund habits of the GenY'ers are their parents. According to the CarMax survey, Mom and Dad (26 percent) will also look to sink their tax refund into replacing a current car.

When it comes to the tax refund spending habits of the country, southerners (22 percent) are more apt to buy a car than folks living in any other region of the country.

According to Cliff Wood, executive vice president of stores at CarMax, even though tax season is a busy time of the year for many auto retailers, he advises consumers to always make informed decisions when it comes to car buying and offers these guidelines:

1. Before you test drive a vehicle, perform your due diligence by leaving no stone unturned, read industry expert reviews and scrutinize the financing terms, especially the small print. On CarMax.com, you can search more than 35,000 vehicles nationwide based on your preferences.

2. The price of a vehicle is important but even more crucial is the reliability of the car you have selected. When buying a used vehicle, deal only with a reputable auto retailer (check Better Business Bureau), and do make sure the car has gone through a rigorous, stem-to-stem quality inspection.

3. Whittle down your vehicle selections then visit a car retailer where you can test-drive a variety of makes and models all at one place.

4. Choose an auto retailer you trust, one that can provide a comfortable environment without heavy-handed sales pressure. The sales consultants at CarMax for example are paid a fixed commission (except in CA) no matter what car they sell, so their sole focus is to get you into a vehicle that is a right fit.

5. Don't be afraid to ask questions, so that you fully comprehend all of the ins and outs of a pending deal before you cement the sale with your signature.

--Car Chick®

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