With the add-on options, the financing and interest rates, and the overall cost of the vehicle itself, buying a new car can put quite a dent in your bank account. Reduce the size of that dent by checking out the following steps to become a smart car shopper.
Use this handy checklist to stay on your toes when the dealer tries to throw you a curveball:
- Research the invoice price of any vehicle you may consider. A simple search online can bring you the figures you are seeking. When you arrive at the dealership, be sure your salesman knows that you know the invoice rate.
- Look into all your financing options prior to your intended day of sale. Knowing the different rates you are eligible for will assist you in making the financing decision.
- Figure out if your financing is better with the bank or a dealer. Oftentimes dealers get as much as a 10% commission on the loans they sell you on so be wary of the plans they try to sell to you. Also, remember you can always refinance if you find out after the fact that your dealership is charging you an arm and a leg.
- Once you do figure out your financing, do not let on that you have the financing in place. It will play to your advantage in the later stages of the sale.
Take Your Time:
- Get price quotes from all the dealerships around and compare to the invoice rate you find online. Then consider their special promotions and rebates.
- Try not to be impulsive if you want to save money on your transaction.
- Get a free credit report.
- Get new car extended warranty quotes, too, because most dealerships charge a small fortune for these as well.
Keeping a Poker Face:
Buying a new car is a very exciting event, but the first rule of getting a good deal is not to let the dealer read your emotions! Even if you know exactly what brand and model of the car you would like to purchase, it is generally best to check out and test drive a few so that the dealer cannot read all of your cards.
- Even if you are absolutely in love with the car and ready to buy, DO NOT let your dealer know this. If you do, you lose most or all bargaining power because he or she already knows the sale is in the bag.
- But be polite and friendly so that your dealer wants to give you a decent deal if nothing else.
Play the Dealer’s Game:
Dealers offer all kinds of incentives to potential car buyers in order to secure a sale. Realize that these incentives often neutralize each other when combined. Be smart and negotiate a purchase price prior to mentioning rebates, trade-ins or other special offers.
- If your dealer asks you if you intend to offer a trade-in before you negotiate a price, do not admit that you will be doing so (if you plan to). It is okay to â€śchange your mindâ€ť later on in the sale, even though your salesperson may not appreciate that tactic. The smarter you are about negotiating the price, the less money you will have to fork out for car loans. Be sure you know what you are willing to accept for the trade-in. By doing it this way, you know exactly what you are getting for your vehicle. – Avoid discussing the rebate until after you have agreed upon a purchase price. Then, after you and the dealer have negotiated a figure, bring up the topic of the rebate that should be EXTRA cash off of the price you negotiated! Do not let him or her tell you otherwise.
- Often the rebate is revoked for the great financing rates. If you do your homework prior to reaching that decision process, you should already know which works better for you based on loan terms and rates.
- Get up and start to leave if you get a bad feeling or if you are simply not getting what you want. If the salesperson attempts to stop you, hear him or her out, but realize you do not owe them anything.
- Shop around. Test-drive a few different cars and do some research on the Internet.
- Know the invoice price.
- Figure out your financing options before you get to the dealership. Do as much research as necessary, and even make yourself a cheat-sheet if you think it will help you make the wisest decision.
- Consider buying a previous model that has not been moved off of the lot yet.
- Go at the end of the month, which is when dealers are trying to make all their quotas. Also, a trip to the dealership at the end of the calendar year could also be lucrative due to newer models arriving at the lot. Dealers may be more than happy to cut you a great deal, but still keep your wits about you to avoid any potential scams. Everybody’s after the big bucks.
- Do not show too much emotion.
- If anything is holding you back, consider taking a few days to make up your mind. Dealers may even hold the vehicle for you.
- Do not fall for add-ons such as rustproofing, fabric protector, paint sealant and so forth. These often get lumped into the price for unsuspecting car buyers.
- Be prepared, be educated and be resolute. Make up your mind and stick to your guns. Do not settle for anything more than what you are willing to pay.