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      Buying a car: new or used?

      If you're in the market for a vehicle, you have a number of decisions to make. Step one is choosing between new and used.

      "Now there are factory program units, lease returns and rental returns, which usually have warranty and have low mileage. You'll find the prices quite a bit less and it's still a new car," said Rick Desalvo, Sales and Leasing Consultant for Riverside Auto Sales in Escanaba. If you go with a used car, you could save between $7,000 and $12,000. Desalvo added, "Most of the used cars today are certified. That means that you have a warranty, so you don't have the anxiety of not being covered if you have a service problem."

      So, what's the benefit of buying a new car?

      "New carries full warranty. And if you're a finance customer, you will usually pay a little less as far as interest rate goes. You can also finance at a longer term," Desalvo said.

      Roger Bridges of Bridges Auto Repair said, "I would go with a used car. For the price of a new car, you figure the payments on a few repairs, if you need them, is alot cheaper than buying new."

      No matter whether you choose a new or used vehicle, leasing is an alternative way to finance. With leasing, you pay only for the amount you use the vehicle. A lease typically runs three years.

      Whether you have a less than spectacular credit history or a lower than average salary, car dealers will generally work with you. Desalvo said he often gets buyers into cars they thought they couldn't afford.