Retired late-night funnyman-slash-noted car guy Jay Leno has a piece of advice for anyone in the market for a new (or new to you) car: Be careful whose advice you listen to.
Leno, whose famed garage is the setting for his eponymous show “Jay Leno’s Garage,” spoke with CNBC about what he considers the number one mistake buyers make when car-shopping. His biggest pet peeve is the weight with which people consider opinions of non-experts.
“You could go to a million doctors and they'll give you advice based on years of Harvard medical training,” he said. “(People will say) ‘But my friend Larry (who) works at the Shell station says that stuff doesn't work.' Well, OK, don't listen to Larry at the Shell station. Listen to the guy who knows what he does.”
Leno’s advice is to first figure out what you need in a car, what you’ll use it for, and what features you absolutely don’t want to do without. Then, do your own research, and listen to the opinions of professionals and experts—the kind who actually know what they’re talking about.
He also recommends buying over leasing whenever feasible.
“I always think it's better to buy a car," he said. "Everyone seems to lease now. Everyone thinks you can write off this and write off that, and to a certain extent, you can. But at the end of the lease, you don't have anything.”