Car dealerships would like every one to think that the price on the sticker in the window of the cars on their lots is the price the consumer always pay, this is just not true! With a little effort and planning it is possible to get a great deal on a brand new car. If you follow these few simple rules when shopping for your next vehicle not only will you be happy but your wallet will too. These 5 tips will help you navigate the massive and often intimidating world of car buying.
First you must remember that knowledge is power. Long before you set foot in a car dealership it pays to do your research. Websites like consumer reports and auto trader can provide you with valuable reviews and information about the latest makes and models out there. If you are willing to be a little flexible you could save yourself hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars. It is good to have two or three choices in mind when you head to the dealership so you don’t get stuck paying the sticker price or even above sticker because you have your heart set on a particular color or feature.
Once you have an idea of what you can afford and have done your research to narrow down you options you may want to consider bringing a trusted friend or relative with you on your first trip to the dealership. A friend may help you spot a salesman trying to rip you off and also may be able to help you make decisions based on facts and figures instead of impulse. Some of the biggest dangers of car buying are allowing yourself to get swept up in the sales pitch and buying into the salesman’s talk of how “cool” or “pretty” you would look driving a particular car.
When you arrive at the dealership don’t be afraid to test drive several cars. The best way to know if you are going to enjoy the feel of a car is to actually drive it. No matter how many online reports or friends tell you how awesome a car drives their reviews are still no match for how you feel behind the wheel. Once you have test driven several cars and narrowed it down to the one you want, go home a sleep on it. If you go back to the dealership the next day and take a second test drive and still love the car, it’s probably the one for you!
Now that you have picked out the car that you know you want only tell the salesman the must haves and have him check around to see what other color options may be available at other dealerships near you. This will give you an idea of what kind of supply there is in your area. The more similar cars in your area the more negotiation power you will have. The dealership will not want you to leave and go somewhere else to buy your car so the will be more likely to bargain and give you a better deal.
Finally, be sure to read the fine print on the contract. Keep an eye out for line items like service fees and other questionable charges. You shouldn’t run into this at a large dealership but some smaller ones may try to slip them into the fine print.
Car buying should be fun and you should always be able to get what you want at a great price.