Getting behind the wheel of your brand-new car is an exhilarating experience. Navigating the sales process and negotiating a good deal, on the other hand, is something that most people dread.
There are a lot of unscrupulous car dealerships that prey on people’s emotions and lack of knowledge for the sake of making a buck. Understanding the car buying process and knowing how to play the game can turn an anxiety-filled experience into a sound business transaction.
There are several things you do can do to ensure you get the best possible deal. Avoiding the most common mistakes starts with a little research and preparation.
Getting the best deal on a car
The most important step in the process is to determine exactly which vehicle you want. Understanding how you are going to finance the deal, and knowing whether you are going to buy or lease, is equally important. Sales staff and finance managers are trained to make as much money as possible for their car dealerships. The only one negotiating on your behalf is you. Many people get caught in the sales tactics and miss out on getting a good deal.
One of the most common mistakes people make when buying a new car is focusing on the monthly payment. Car dealerships will manipulate the numbers to meet the demands of your wallet. What most consumers don’t understand is that this can lead to a horrible deal. To determine the actual cost of the vehicle, U.S. News suggests multiplying the monthly payment by the number of months of the loan. Add in the value of your trade and down payment, plus the cost of any additional taxes or fees. Not having this information in advance can prove to be detrimental to your deal.
Another mistake car buyers often make is not being aware of the special offers, deals, or discounts that are being offered by auto manufacturers. Car dealerships don’t always disclose this information, so knowing in advance what is available to lower the cost of your vehicle is crucial.
Car dealerships make their money through financing and selling over-priced extended warranties and service add-ons. They will try every trick in the book to make as much as they can off your deal. Having your own financing in place, and declining unnecessary options, will give you the upper hand.
Knowledge is power for negotiating car sales
Now more than ever, consumers have countless resources available to them when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle. Taking advantage of online information that includes pricing, features, and financing options is invaluable. One of the biggest reasons that people end up with a bad deal in the car-buying process is because they don’t prepare ahead of time. Being armed with as much information as possible can help you save thousands of dollars.
Car dealerships focus on the trade-in value, price of the new vehicle, amount of down payment, and monthly payment terms to negotiate a deal that benefits them. Before making a purchase, it’s imperative to understand how each of these areas affects your bottom line.
Knowing your credit score and financing options in advance will make all the difference in saving money in the long run. To get the lowest price possible, stay calm and focused, and remember that this is only a business transaction.
Be prepared to walk away
Sometimes the biggest problem in the whole experience is that you aren’t truly prepared to walk away.
There are plenty of car dealerships willing to take your money. If the offer doesn’t seem fair, walk away. There is no shame in leaving and getting out of a situation that can affect your finances for years to come.
Remembering that the whole process is a business transaction and not a personal relationship will help you negotiate the best deal possible.