Scott Olson/Getty Images

This is a summary. To read the whole story subscribe to

Driving off a dealer’s lot in a shiny new car can be exhilarating, but the hours you might spend haggling to get to that point can be about as pleasant as a tax audit.

Consumer Reports offers these effective tricks and strategies:

Start Online. Before you head to dealerships, go to automaker websites. There you can check out prices, trim lines, and options. Also go to the websites of dealerships in your area. Dealer sites might list the actual cars on hand and advertise any consumer incentives.

Take test drives. Go to dealerships and drive any vehicle you’re considering with the options and powertrain you plan to get. Spend about a half-hour in each car and drive it in a variety of road conditions.

Full story for subscribers.

Get the full story with unlimited access to

Just 99 cents for four weeks.