Are you shopping around for a new car? Get the best deal possible on your new ride with these crafty car buying strategies.
Buying a car is an exciting time. It’s like getting a brand new toy to play with, except this one is likely to have much more horsepower.
Yet, buying a car can be a pain because you don’t want to get taken advantage of at the dealership. There are plenty of horror stories of people feeling that they got ripped off at a car dealer.
There are things that you can do to make sure that you’re not one of them. Read on to discover the top car buying strategies to make sure you get the best deal possible.
1. Considered Used and New Cars
When you’re starting the process of buying a car, you’re likely to be thinking of a new car. That’s not a bad option, but don’t forget that there are plenty of used cars out there that need good homes.
Not only that, a used car tends to be less expensive. With cars lasting longer than ever, averaging 11.5 years, you’re likely to get a model that is reliable and dependable.
Used cars also cost less. With a new car, you’re going to lose a lot of value in depreciation the moment you drive it off the lot. Registration and insurance will also cost more.
2. Stay Within Budget
You may want an Audi A7, but you have a Honda Fit budget. You don’t want to waste your time looking at and test driving cars that you can’t afford.
It’s important to set your budget before you start. You want to know how much you can afford, whether you’re paying cash or financing, you don’t want to find yourself drowning in car debt.
If you’re financing your car, then you’ll need to know your credit score. That will be a determining factor in your interest rate and how much you can borrow.
3. Do Your Research in Advance
The more you know about the car you want, the better. You’ll need to research cars within your price range, the fuel mileage, and reviews of various models.
You may think that one car is amazing and would be a great fit, but if it turns out that the acceleration is awful, it wouldn’t work out for you.
You can do a lot of research online. You can check out this car dealership to start your research.
4. Don’t Go for the Extras
When you buy a car at a dealership, you’re going to be offered a lot of bells and whistles, such as extended warranties, floor mats, and upgraded features will add up. Next thing you know, you just added $2500 to the purchase price of the car.
You can always get add-ons for less on the aftermarket. You just need to shop around. It’s best to leave those offers for add-ons and upgrades on the table.
5. Get Pre-Approved for a Loan
Walking into a dealership with a preapproval letter from a lender is almost as good as walking in with a briefcase of cash.
You and the salesperson know that you’re serious about buying a car and you have a budget to spend. Not only that, you have more power to negotiate a better deal. You already worked out the financing, you just need to purchase the car.
6. Test Drive the Car
Test driving a car can be a pain because you may feel pressure to buy the car right then and there. Add the internet on to that feeling and you have more people not taking their cars out for a test drive.
About 16% don’t bother with a test drive and about a third only test drive one model before buying. That can get you into a bad deal.
Test drive several models of cars and try them out on different types of roads – highways, residential areas, and urban environments. Get a feel of what diving the car every day would feel like.
7. Know the Total Cost of the Car
Before you sign the paperwork for the purchase, you’ll want to take a few minutes to do some math. Take a look at the total cost of the car.
That includes the purchase price of the car, the interest you’ll pay if you finance the purchase, maintenance costs, insurance, and fuel costs.
Most people will only look at the monthly payment, and that doesn’t tell the whole story.
8. Buying Used? Get an Expert Opinion
Do you plan on getting a used car? Make sure that you have it inspected by a mechanic before you buy. You’ll want to make sure that they take a close look at the car so they can spot any potential issues that can cause major problems.
9. Leave Your Trade-In Out of the Negotiation
If you’re planning to use a trade-in as part of the deal, you’ll want to leave this part out of the conversation until you settle on a price.
Some salespeople like to structure deals that tie in the trade-in and you wind up paying more for the car. You’re better off negotiating a purchase price first and then adding your trade into the mix.
10. Timing is Everything
Car dealerships are businesses. They have sales goals and quotas to meet every month and every quarter. If you know how these quotas work, you can use that to your advantage.
A salesperson might be close to quota or on the cusp of earning a hefty bonus if they can get one more sale before the cutoff point.
If you know how their sales periods work (monthly or quarterly), then you can afford to wait until the end of that period to get the best deal.
Top Car Buying Strategies
Buying a car shouldn’t be a hassle. It should be an exciting time because you’re getting a new car. There are too many cases where people have a bad experience and spend more than they should.
With these car buying strategies, getting that new car can be a piece of cake. You want to make sure that you plan in advance. That means doing your research and knowing your budget early on in the process.
Are you ready for more car tips? Take a look at the car maintenance section to learn how to keep your new set of wheels shiny and new.