People hold many preconceived notions regarding the process of buying a new car from a dealership. The overriding concern is that it is extremely painful. Picking the make, model, color and options sound like fun, but the financial nuts and bolts of the operation are supposedly scary. Salesmen, managers and lenders are waiting to take your money, right? Wouldn’t it be much easier to walk, bike, bus or grab a horse?
Don’t let that kind of thinking go to your head. Having access to a car is nearly a necessity. And if you’re prepared for the car buying experience, there’s nothing frightening about it.
Keep this in mind when you’re shopping
1) Have a plan before you go
You have to appear as if you’ve done some research into not only what you want, but just how much it should cost. You’ll also want to know your credit score before you seek financing for said vehicle. Annual Credit Report is the best place to do this. If you are relatively new to credit, you will likely need a co-signer, so choose someone you know is responsible. For young people, this will generally be mom and/or dad.
If you appear somewhat knowledgeable when you show up at the dealership, salesmen are more likely to offer some price flexibility. And just as a salesman will have to periodically go to their manager to obtain approval for a price adjustment, don’t simply say yes to their first counter-proposal. Work for the terms you want, but be willing to flex somewhat. If there’s a give and take, you’re more likely to put them in the frame of mind to deal.
2) Use the Web to research your favorite vehicles
Google your make and model and look for dealer invoice pricing. That is the anchor you should have in mind when you’re negotiating price with the dealer. Know the dealer price, and have a target price of your own in mind – how much you are prepared to spend. That target price should be with the options that you want included.
3) Don’t be the fish that bites too early
The dance of price negotiation never results in the best numbers being given up front. Don’t be afraid to say no to a price that’s too high. Buying a car is a large expense and a big responsibility. A seasoned salesman expects you to say no.
4) Loan pre-approval saves you time and gives you bargaining power
Here at Car Deal Expert, we offer you the opportunity to pre-qualify for a car loan. Click the link and it takes you to a simple application. Why do you want to be pre-approved for financing? That way, all you have to negotiate is the final cost of your car when you get to the dealer. Just make sure ahead of time that the dealer will work with online lending. You’ll know your monthly payment and will have no need to waste time negotiating it with the dealer. Be prepared for them to offer to beat the terms on your pre-approved loan, but if you’re a first-time car buyer and dealing with lenders through Car Deal Expert, you’re already receiving a great deal. But it doesn’t hurt to test the dealer out on this, does it?
5) Shop around for sales
Holidays, end-of-year and other times during the year offer buyers the opportunity to save thousands below regular price. Just do your homework to discover when special promotions occur in your neighborhood. One more idea that sometimes works is to show up at the dealership near the end of the day. They may be more likely to negotiate if it means getting you out the door so they can go home.
With a little bit of information, save lots of money
For a first-time car buyer, being prepared also takes some of the Boogey out of the Boogeyman, so to speak. Car Deal Expert wishes you happy hunting and urges you not to settle too easily when it comes to negotiation!