Failure to do your homework will prove costly when you purchase your next new vehicle. The internet makes all of the essential information accessible for free, so fire up your computer and get ready to save money.
If you are unlucky enough to be trading in your old vehicle, brace yourself because it is going to be ugly. The price dealers offer to pay is always painfully low. Don't be fooled by minimum trade promotions, they will just charge you more for the new car to cover their losses. The only way to get a fair price for your trade is to sell it yourself. Here are a few good web sites to sell your automobile for a small fee.
If you must trade in your old car, you can always find an independent appraisal online for free. I recommend looking up a few so that you can estimate a price range before you head out to make the trade. In addition to appraising your trade in, these sites provide estimates of how much you could expect to receive if you were to end up selling it yourself.
A fairly new subject to address when preparing to purchase your next new automobile is the rebate, incentive, bonus cash, special offer or whatever they are calling the sale this week. The rebates are a popular tool used most frequently by American auto makers.
For the consumer, an advantage of the incentives can be that banks are willing to loan retail price and even a little more. The sale price often ends up thousands of dollars less than the retail price. So if you owe slightly more than your car is worth, you may be able to roll that negative equity over into a shiny new car. I have seen rebates as high as $7000 on GM trucks and $5500 on GM cars. Whether you are upside down in your current vehicle or not, the rebate can save you money.
Don't wait until you get to your local car dealer to ask about it. I found dealers reluctant to admit how big the rebate should have been on my last truck. The most accurate and up to date rebate information can be found on the manufacturer web sites.
After researching available rebates, find the difference between the retail and invoice price. Unless you are trying to buy a limited production vehicle, you can usually negotiate a price of a few thousand dollars below the window sticker. The invoice price will give you an idea of how much the dealer paid for the car. I usually push for a price that is a couple hundred dollars over invoice, because I know the dealer will have expenses to cover. The difference between retail and invoice prices can be near $5000. You may have to visit a few different dealerships, but it is worth it. Information on invoice prices can be found at the following web sites.
Now that you know how much to pay for your new vehicle, it is time to address financing. Most buyers need to obtain a loan and if you are not careful, the dealer will squeeze a few thousand dollars out of you here as well. With good credit, the best deal can probably be found at your local bank. Stop in and talk to a loan officer before you go to the car dealer. If you leave it up to the dealership, they will try to push you into the loan that works out best for them. That usually means a higher interest rate and payment for the consumer.
If you have less than perfect credit and a current auto loan in good standing call them first and ask to get pre-approved for a new car. By using the internet, you can find banks that are a little more forgiving than your average local bank. Here are a few that I found during a recent search.
It's easy to fight the price and win when you know where to look. Good luck and enjoy your new car!
Jeremy Brubaker is a writer for http://FightThePrice.com , a website dedicated to helping consumers save money.
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