If you have decided it is time to get a new vehicle, you may feel a mix of excitement and anxiety. It is a big purchase, and there is always the intimidation factor when it comes to dealing with highly trained salesmen. But, with a bit of homework, you can make this process go much more smoothly, and purchase your new vehicle with confidence.
What Do You Want and Need?
This is a question to which you may not have given sufficient thought, but you should to ensure you get the best car for your needs. When you just go into the showroom ‘blind,’ it is easy to get carried away by bells and whistles, or end up spending more than you can really afford to spend. By having a clearer picture of what you want and need in a vehicle, you will be able to conduct a focused search right from the start.
Money will probably factor in heavily when it comes to deciding on your car. Before you even start your search, crunch some numbers. What can you afford to spend? How are you going to pay? Many people recommend shopping around for third party financing so you can either make a cash payment right to the dealer, or to use that as leverage to secure a better rate from them.
Don’t just focus on a monthly payment, but what you feel comfortable spending overall. When you go to the dealership, don’t tell them what you are looking to spend monthly on a financing—being able to offer you a car that meets that number doesn’t mean you are getting a good deal.
Negotiating can seem intimidating to the average person. In many ways the salesmen has the upper hand. After all, he does this for a living. But, if you take some time to learn the basics, you can definitely secure a better price on your car. Knowledge is power. So, the first thing you want to do is find out what the dealer paid for the vehicle, known as the invoice price. Negotiating up from that price, rather than trying to go down from the retail will work better.
Be realistic. Know what factors may affect your success in purchasing an affordable vehicle. If you are shopping in Colorado Springs for an SUV in the heart of winter, for example, you might not have as much leeway as if you were looking for that same car in the summer. Don’t be afraid to walk away. Remain calm and don’t let on how much you want a particular car; that may weaken your position.