First of all this is not something you do everyday, but it is something Car Sales professionals do everyday…that is why they are called professionals and you need to do your due diligence using the internet, family, friends, co-workers and anyone else you can ask before you buy. Have an idea of what you want before the process begins, it may also be a good idea to have several vehicles in mind.
- RULE NUMBER ONE – KNOW WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD! By the time you’ve done your research, you will know how much you can pay for a new vehicle and stay in budget!
- Trade-ins are not always worth what Kelley Blue Book or other sites state they are worth. It is a good source for you if you are trading-in your vehicle but keep in mind other factors such demand in your market and condition of the vehicle play a huge roll in what your car may be worth to the dealer. Find out what private parties are selling their cars for, a good source is WeeklyCarAds.com used car search and AutoTrader.com, you may even want to sell your car yourself before purchasing a new vehicle.
- Finance – You can be ahead of the game by comparing interest rates and getting pre-approved for a loan. Research BankRate.com which can be found on WeeklyCarAds.com, ELoan.com or any other online lending firm to see what typical interest rates are in your market. Also, ask your local bank or credit union.
- Your first trip to the dealership should be just one part of your research. Another good idea is to drop by the dealership when they are closed, go to WeeklyCarAds.com, window shop so to speak! Your teacher in school ever tell you to take notes? Well there is a reason why, so take NOTES!
- You’ve been to the dealership, have one or two vehicles on your list. Now is the time for some serious research. Look to your fiends and co-workers, do any of them drive one of the vehicles on your list and if so, ask them about their experience with the car and the dealership they purchased from and/or do service with.
- INTERNET, isn’t it great! You can get the actual invoice price (what the dealer bought the car for) from a number of web sites like Edmunds com, MSN Autos, etc…be sure you add in all the extras you want on your vehicle as well. You’ll want to start your negotiating from invoice price verses sticker price…you’ll be negotiating what profit your willing to pay the dealer for their service of selling you the car. Keep in mind, they are in business to make a profit!
- Get several online price quotes, most dealerships have dedicated online sales staff to almost instantly give you a quote over the internet and you can use this as a negotiating tool with other dealers.
- Make sure you have all your notes and paper work in order before your first official buying visit and test drive. Print the invoice with all the add-ons, also, research any manufacturer incentives and rebates that may apply to the car you are shopping for, and subtract this from the invoice price.
- Now for the buying visit – Be cool, collective and nice. Don’t go in all excited that you’re about to buy a new car. Ask questions about what the car can do for you and always keep a straight face, never let the salesman/women know you are hot on this car. If they ask what you think, be honest, name pros and cons and state they are about the same as some of the other vehicles you are looking at and that it all comes down to price at this point.
- Never drive the vehicle home until all the financial paperwork is completed.
- Always make sure your purchase is a happy one…Drive Safe and enjoy your new car!