Buying a car can be overwhelming. Once you decide on a make, model and year, you have to decide on options, and even then, you’re still not done. You have to negotiate for the best possible price and then decide on how to pay. With that in mind, here are some tips for making the car buying process as easy as possible.
Let us get you pre-approved.
Before you even start looking, call us and get pre-approved for your loan. Not only do we offer the lowest rates around, but this keeps the negotiations at the dealership simpler and removes some of the stress. It also ensures you don’t get taken in by 0% APR offers. Typically, dealers can offer 0% APR because manufacturers run factory-to-dealer cash incentive programs to encourage sales, so the dealership passes the savings along in the form of a 0% APR loan. Most times, however, a 0% financing offer may not be your best option, which is why it is always important to calculate which alternative is better. Additionally, as a result of slow auto sales, manufacturers have been offering larger than usual consumer rebates and secret factory-to-dealer cash incentives to sell cars.
Find your trade-in value.
It’s important to know how much your current car is worth. Many times dealers will give you extra discounts on your new car and then make up for it by giving you less for your trade-in. Knowing the value of your current car before you go shopping, helps avoid this. Web sites such as Kelly Blue Book (www.kbb.com) and NADA (www.nadaguides.com) will give you an idea of your car’s worth. The value will be based on different factors such as the age of the vehicle, mileage, condition and other options. On these sites, you’ll want to focus on the wholesale or trade-in value; the retail value is what you would pay for the car at a dealership.
Get competing price quotes before buying.
Once you find what you want, shop around to make sure you are getting the best possible price. Tell the dealer the exact make, model and options you want and ask for their lowest out-the-door price. Don’t discuss trade-in or financing terms at this point. It’s OK to let them know that you are shopping around and will go with the dealer who offers you the best price. Or we can do the work for you! Our free Carcierge Auto Buying Service can help you purchase a vehicle on your terms. We literally tackle the challenge of finding the ideal car on your behalf. This helps eliminate the high pressure of the negotiation process while getting you everything you want.
Final thoughts to keep in mind.
- Don’t negotiate around a monthly payment. This gives a salesperson too much room to manipulate figures to the dealer’s advantage, especially if you have a trade-in.
- Don’t buy unnecessary extras. This includes things like corrosion protection, paint sealant, fabric protection, and window etching of the VIN. You usually don’t need these services or can get them for less money later.
- Don’t drive the car home before the financial paperwork is completed. This can result in issues with the terms of the financing.
- Do be prepared to walk out if you don’t feel comfortable with the negotiations or treatment. Sometimes, your willingness to leave is your most effective negotiating tool.
Buying a car doesn’t need to be painful, especially when you follow these easy steps!