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Most people find themselves in the position of having to buy a car at at least one point in their life. Some people consider buying a car a little overwhelming, particularly if it’s their first time doing so on their own. No matter if you’re buying something new or used, there are certain things you should always keep in mind when buying a car. Here are tips on how to use these factors to get the best price on a car possible.
Know What You Want
Before you start shopping for a car, know what you must have and what you are willing to take or leave. It’s highly likely you will have already determined the type of vehicle you’re looking for, such 2 or 4 door and car or suv. You may even have a specific make and model in mind. Some of the numerous other things to consider are the amount of space, type of engine, a certain type of stereo, heated or cooled seats, sunroof, etc. Before you leave the house have an idea of what other manufacturers have a model similar to what you want, should you be unable to find what you want or should you find a great deal on it while you’re shopping.
Getting quotes is easier now than ever, courtesy of the internet. Modern dealerships recognize today’s busy lifestyle and often list their inventory online, including main features and pricing. When getting your quotes, do not mention your monthly budget or if you have a trade-in. Do not inquire about rebates and cash-back offers. For practical purposes imagine you are paying cash, so you only need to know the best price and any taxes or fees. Know that some fees are not negotiable, such as tax, title and registration. Dealer fees are not a legal requirement, so you will want to watch for those. Before you sign any paperwork you should also check with your insurance company, to determine how the new car will impact your monthy insurance payments. You should get quotes from numerous places. I recommend getting pricing from a third-party site like Cars.com, their site can seee pricing within a region and it will give you a good idea of what a car should be selling for. Be open-minded when researching, if possible. I once saved over $8,000 by driving 300 miles to purchase a vehicle.
Determine what are you doing with your current vehicle, if you have one.
I personally believe that trading in a vehicle you own outright is rarely worth it. Financially you will almost always be better off trying to sell your current vehicle privately rather than trading it in. You can get a good idea of what you stand to gain either way by doing a few minutes of research online.
Know Your Finances
It’s very important you know what you can and cannot afford. Unless you actually have cash, you’re going to need to make monthly payments. With that in mind, you should know what your credit rating is. You can find this out online. If you have been a loyal customer of a specific bank or credit union, consider going in and discussing what a car loan with them would look like. It’s really helpful if you walk into a dealership with pre-approved financing, or know where you are getting your loan from. Having financing in place before you buy helps you avoid the dreaded long wait in the finance office, where the salesperson disappears to “check for the best deal with their manager” while in fact they are trying to run your credit to see how much of your money they can get you to spend. If the salesperson or finance person at a dealership tries to negotiate a deal with you based solely on the question “what monthly payment can you afford” you may want to leave. This is one tactic that’s been used for years that lets dealers actually make more money for themselves while costing you more money. I have seen salespeople sell based on this tactic, they change the price which lengthens the term of the loan and changes your interest rate.
Be Prepared to Leave Without The Car You Want To Buy
Some dealerships use high pressure tactics that are very unappealing. Some salespeople will keep trying to focus on things like monthly payments, because that’s where they make their money. Some dealerships will focus on add-ons like undercoating, another money-maker. If at any time you are not being heard, you’re being pressured, or you’re being given pricing that’s way out of line with the research you’ve done and other quotes you’ve gotten, just thank the salesperson for his or her time and leave. There are plenty of other places to buy a car.
Do you have any tips for getting the best price on a car?