Unless you have a very no-nonsense type of attitude, it can be intimidating to go to a dealership and buy a car. The salespeople use a lot of jargon that makes no sense to you, but they assure you that you need it. It is important to make sure that you are not being talked into something that you don’t really want or can’t really afford.
Here are some tips to be aware of when you head into the car dealership. It is your money, so be the boss!
Prepare yourself beforehand
If you head into a car dealership without doing any homework ahead of time, you are setting yourself up to get ripped off. You should have an idea of exactly the kind of car you are interested in and have your research done on that car. Have an idea of the mark up on the car’s sticker price. Websites such as Edmunds can help you with the pricing of cars. Just know ahead of time that the dealer is looking to make money off of you so you can cut off some money with your knowledge.
It is also a good idea to call and get a price ahead of time. For obvious reasons, dealers want to get you physically into a car before talking money. It is too easy to sit in a new car and be wowed by its features. It is in your best interest to call ahead of time and ask for a price. They may try to schedule an appointment with you, but if they don’t give you a price over the phone, you know they are up to something.
Shopping around online isn’t a bad idea either as it will give you a really good sense of what the price of similar cars is going for. There are also websites such as Hilton Car Supermarket that offer some luxurious cars at great prices. Being able to see what they are offering and using that to your advantage at a car dealership can help get you an even better deal.
Be patient and hide your cards
Don’t impulse shop. That is the worst thing that you can do. Show some patience because ultimately car dealers do not want to have a sale passed on. Dealers know that shoppers have plenty of options and they do not want to lose you.
How many times have you sat and waited while they “talked to their boss” about getting you the best price? This is certainly a trick they are using to make you wait and want the car that much more. Do the same to them. Don’t purchase the car that day and make them wait a few days. They will begin to wonder if you found a better deal and most likely will call you with a new offer. They want you in that car.
Have questions prepared ahead of time that you want to ask. You want to be leading the conversation, not simply listening to the sales pitch. Search online for questions that you need to ask when you want to purchase a car. The more educated questions that you ask, with proper follow-ups, will show the car salesman that you are not going to be pushed around.
It is also wise to hide your chips. Once they know you have a high paying job, they are going to sell you that way. They don’t need to know what you do for a living; they just need to know what you are looking at budget wise. Don’t get fooled into taking a higher priced car because you see smaller payments. You want to talk about the full price.
Know the rates
You want to be educated on what the going rates are ahead of time. It is in your best interest to try to get a pre-approval ahead of time with the bank or lender and be able to bring that in with you. There is a good chance that they may be able to get you a lower rate after seeing what you have already obtained. Between having that and knowledge of your credit score ahead of time, you will be a much smarter shopper.
Just know you are a sale to them, and they want to see you drive away in a new car. You hold the cards, not them. Be sure that you have exhausted all possible options and opportunities before signing on the dotted line. Next to the purchase of your house, a car is a major purchase that needs to be taken seriously.