EDISON - Purchasing a new car can be a confusing and stressful time. Consumer advocates say there are several steps buyers can take to make sure everything goes smoothly.

According to consumer advocate Michael Sacks, car buyers should always take the vehicle they are thinking of purchasing for a thorough test drive. This is especially true of vehicles ordered with specific options.

"You need to try the exact car you plan to buy," he says.

Sacks also says to check the warranty to see exactly what it will cover. He says that if a consumer is considering an extended warranty, manufacturer's warranties typically cost more, but are usually better than third-party versions.

Another way to make sure the purchase goes well is to research a car's history to see if there are any recalls for it. That information can be found at the website safecar.gov.

Anyone who purchases a used car can check several websites to find out the vehicle's accident history. It may also be best to ask the dealer as well.

New Jersey has one of the toughest "lemon laws" in the Unites States. Anyone who notices problems with their car within the first 24 months may be entitled to getting their money back.