Buying a car can be quite an experience.
We have purchased one used and one new car in the past year. The used car purchase was a breeze. We knew the approximate blue book value and were able to get the vehicle way below that value. The salesman was fair and never tried to lie to us. The dealership was easy to work with. It was the best transaction I've ever had in purchasing a vehicle. That's what works. I'll buy my next one from them.
The second purchase was of a large pickup truck (which the first dealer didn't sell). It seemed to all be too smooth. We were led to believe we were being treated above that of a normal customer (we had purchased three trucks from them, one every two years). It was almost too much of a show - which makes you start to wonder. It wasn't that pleasant of an experience. And though we say we won't go back, they are the only dealer in the state that carries exactly what we are looking for.
So what do you do?
Remember, you are buying the vehicle from the dealer. They aren't doing you favors or cutting you a deal. You are buying something from them. You are the one doing them a favor. You are giving them money for something.
You need to have some basic knowledge before you even step onto the lot. Know how much the vehicle is worth, how much the dealer paid for it and how car transactions work. Read up on how salespeople use tactics to influence your decisions. Know about the financing - run the numbers yourself. Know what fees should and shouldn't be included.
Above all - know that you can walk away if your requirements aren't met. Know that you can ask for an even better price. Know what price you want to pay and put it on the table for negotiation.
The internet is a valuable source of information about new and used cars. You can also ask the help of someone who has purchased several vehicles successfully.
Remember, you are the one in control of the purchase. You have the power. You have the money. When you start negotiating, remember, you should say “no". Say it often. The first offer should always receive a “no. " Ask them to do better. The second offer should be “no, " as well. Say it until you get the price you want.
It takes time. I've heard of people spending 10 hours negotiating a vehicle. But they got the price they wanted.
One of the biggest tips is to not shop and buy on the same day. I know that is hard. My husband and I tend to wander on a lot and drive off in a new vehicle. You should take your time. Drive several vehicles on the lot. Hey, drive three or four vehicles. You may only want one, but the salesperson will probably play with you, so enjoy yourself. This makes the dealer anxious to close a deal with you.
On a side note: there are great salespeople out there. If you find one that is willing to make the sale work for you and is honest, great for you. They are out there. But after a run-in with three salespeople in the same day who flat out lied to me about vehicles I had thoroughly researched, I have little hope that all are good.
So don't feel bad about giving back to the salesperson what you are getting.
Leave and think it over. You may need to do some more research. The dealer may want to keep you there. Come up with a very dirty errand, like picking up manure for the garden - so they won't try to talk you into takng the vehicle home or on your errand.
If they try to tell you that someone else just looked at the car, simply take that as a ploy. They have plenty of vehicles and if you are looking at a new car, they can order you one just like it.
Keep the ball in your court. Don't let them pull a credit check before you completely settle on the price. Don't tell them you want to trade-in a vehicle before they give you their bottom price. We had a dealer try to smudge the numbers, saying it didn't matter if the trade in was less, they made the rebate larger. In reality, they just set things to fit their price. Get the bottom price first.
Then get your trade-in value.
Then let them run your credit report. If they want to run your credit first, walk out. Just leave. There are plenty of other dealers to buy a car from.
Don't take prices based on the monthly payments. Look at the bottom line. Often, the dealer will move things around to make the monthly payments look attractive, but they actually cost you more. The interest rate, the repayment term and the fees and overall cost can all be manipulated. You could end up paying more through this method.
Read the contract thoroughly. If there is something there that you don't want or didn't ask for, tell them no. Walk away. They will fix it or lose your business. If you feel uncertain of the contract in any way, don't sign it.
Remember, you should feel confident in your purchase. Take your time and have the knowledge to support your decision. It is a big one that will cost you a lot of money. Think it over, practice saying “no, " and know what you are looking for. Good luck.
Martin Lukac represents http://www.RateEmpire.com and http://www.1AmericanFinancial.com , a finance web-company specializing in real estate and mortgage rates. We specialize in daily updates, mortgage news, rate predictions, mortgage rates and more. Find low home loan mortgage interest rates from hundreds of mortgage companies!