@GreenWeaver -I wanted to say that sometimes buying a car with no money down might not be a bad idea. My husband recently obtained a no money down car loan and he is thrilled. The loan is for five years and it gets drafted from our bank account.
He did not have to put money down on the car and was able to make the car payments with no problem because it was not too high. I think that this is important because if the car payment were too high then it might become more of a burden than a blessing.
The dealership tried to convince him to get gap insurance which basically was insurance that would cover the difference in the price paid for the car and the actual appraisal value. The only time this is a factor is if you get into a car accident, but the odds of that happening are slim.
He always declines the insurance, but it is something that they try to sell you in these situations.