There are people who like to shop for cars, but others feel quite uncomfortable. If you are one who does not enjoy the process, take some time to study and prepare yourself for it. Check out this invaluable advice, then keep it in mind as you approach the dealership in search of your next vehicle.
Do a bit of online browsing prior to visiting a car dealership. Don’t bother with a dealership unless you know exactly what you want. You should do a little Internet research first to see what brand might work for you, which cars are the safest and other things that a dealership won’t tell you.
Get your loan lined up before visiting the dealership. Getting a car from a dealership takes a long time because your dealer needs to find you a loan. If you already have a loan, the process will take a lot less time.
Before going to a dealership, you should know what you want. Check online to find out more about the vehicles available. This can help you see the price range of the car you want so that you won’t get tricked by a slick salesman.
When negotiating, concentrate on the final price rather than the monthly payments. Dealers are able to get any car into a particular monthly payment level, but the terms of the financing end up making the overall cost quite a bit higher than you may have thought. Instead, negotiate for the best overall deal on the price and financing of your vehicle. Then figure out what that works out to on a monthly basis.
When negotiating, focus on the price of the car overall, not just the monthly payment. Though the dealer can negotiate a monthly price for you, keep in mind that these monthly payments add up, and in the end, the cost of your car could be through the roof. Focus on negotiating a great price first. Use that number, then calculate the optimal monthly payment amount.
Look at a vehicle’s fuel efficiency and how it will work with your budget when buying a car. For example, it may seem like a good idea to purchase a V-8 with towing capability. However, you must think about when you’d actually use the feature. If you don’t use it much, it’s not worth the extra running costs.
Before buying a used car from a dealership, ask to have it looked over by a third-party mechanic. You should go somewhere else if the dealer refuses to let that happen. A good, impartial mechanic can discover problems with the car such as possible water damage or previous collision damage.
Call the bank to see if you can get the financing you need for the vehicle you are interested in. This ensures that you qualify for a loan. Usually the finance department at the dealership can find you a better rate than your bank, but it is a good idea to know what interest rate you are looking at before shopping.
Take someone along to help you car shop. This individual can be another pair of eyes and ears, and they just might save you from a bad deal by nudging you to walk away when you should. This person can be anyone, from a family member to a close friend.
Never commit yourself to buying only from dealerships. You may find out that the car you like is available on a small lot, or through a private seller. Take advantage of classified ads and websites intended to help you identify sources for the car you want.
Get recommendations from people you trust. How satisfied are they with their vehicles? How well would they say the car has held its value? What do they know about other cars out on the market? Asking questions of others is a simple, effective way to start choosing your next vehicle.
Look on the Internet for deals. You’ll find a plethora of options there. Get all the information you can regarding the vehicles you’re thinking about purchasing before you visit the car lot. Researching online can tell you everything from features to miles per gallon to resell values.
Think about whether the fuel economy of your car will make it more or less affordable for you. It may look like it’s great to get a V-8 that can tow, for example. Think about when you would actually use this and then factor in all that extra gas.
Most salespeople have monthly quotas they need to meet. If you go car shopping at the end of the month, you will be able to get some interesting deals. Salespeople that want to make the sale want to sell you that car! This will let you have more control over price negotiations.
Try to avoid showing up at the dealership in an expensive car. The sales staff will see that car and decline your rock bottom offers, unless the car is one you plan to use as a trade-in.
Before purchasing a car from a dealership, ask if you can bring in a mechanic to look over things. Choose an honest mechanic with a good reputation. You should not use one that the dealer employs. Your mechanic can tell you if it is safe and if the car is worth your dollar.
You should not mention trade-ins, incentives or down payments until you have negotiated and received the price you wanted on your ideal vehicle. These should come off the base price. You will get a better price by negotiating the deal first, and then discussing these “extras”.
Spend time doing your homework on used cars before you commit. There are many online sources that will inform you of what a certain car is worth. You can find out what a vehicle is worth by using the NADA or the Kelly Blue Book. If a place is trying to sell the vehicle for more than it’s actually worth, then it’s in your best interest to go somewhere else.
The majority of the salespeople have sales quotas to meet every month. Take advantage of car shopping at the end of a month. If a salesperson is behind on their monthly quota, they will be ready to lower prices to get you to buy a car. This will let you have more control over price negotiations.
Review a car you want very well. Look for any scratches or dented areas around the car’s exterior. Find any stains or tears on the carpet and the upholstery. Keep in mind that the car is yours once you’ve bought it. This includes all the stains, rips, dents and scratches.
If you are interested in a particular car, rent it first. This will help you get a good idea of what it is like to drive. Bring the whole family along for a test drive. This is a great way to get comfortable with a car before making the huge commitment of a purchase.
AS-is warranties should always be avoided. Doing so is a recipe for disaster. At the very least a dealer should offer you a 30-90 day warranty when you purchase any car. If the vehicle needs a major repair a day or two after you buy it, you will have to pay for the repair.
Car shopping with a loved one is a great idea. A friend there with no interest in the automobile will provide an honest, impartial assessment about the decision. Don’t only settle for having them there in the showroom. Take them along for the test drive as well.
Buying a new vehicle is an adventure that some people look forward to, while others believe it is a necessary evil. To keep the process from becoming too overwhelming and negative, a little knowledge goes a long way. Keep the information above nearby during the entire event, and you’ll be able to shop for a new vehicle with confidence.
Don’t divulge your trade-in car immediately. Never tell the salesperson right away what you have for a trade in. If you tell them right way, they will be working deals in their head.