Buying a new car can be an exciting experience, especially if you're buying for the first time. But it's also a process that is filled with things to trip up first-time buyers, and if you're not careful, you could walk out of the dealership having paid far more than you should have. So take a look at just three tips below that you should keep in mind during the car buying process -- doing so will save you a bundle of cash and peace of mind knowing that you got the best possible deal.

Compare Interest Rates

One of the first things you'll want to do before signing your name on loan paperwork is focus on lowering the interest rate. First consult a reputable website that offers pre-approved loans to find out what the average interest rate for an auto loan is in your area. Then seek out similar rates at banks and dealerships, and keep an eye out for shorter-term loans. You can save thousands of dollars by shaving off just a percentage point or two off the loan on your new car, so don't think that extensive number crunching efforts are in vain.  

Look for Good Value

When people talk about a new car being a good value, they are often referring to things such as gas mileage and overall reliability relative to a vehicle's price. But many reliable models also depreciate quickly as well. All new cars lose some value the second they're purchased and driven off the lot, but if you look for a brand that holds its value over several years and doesn't depreciate dramatically, you'll save yourself thousands of dollars when you sell it down the line. 

Timing is Everything

Timing is an under-appreciated tactic when it comes to purchasing a new car. Remember that dealerships are businesses just like any other -- they have quarterly targets to meet and quotas to reach. Keep this in mind when you're thinking about buying a new car, because holding off for another month or so until the end of a fiscal quarter may give you just the leverage you need to make a great deal with a salesperson. Also try to manage visiting a dealership during the week instead of on a weekend -- it will be much quieter, and you won't feel nearly as overwhelmed or rushed as you would if you visited during peak hours.