When you decide to purchase a new car, the worst possible thing you could do is head to a dealership unprepared. If you take the time to do a little research, you could easily save thousands.
A little preparation is well worth the time spent.
Try to avoid getting financed at the car dealership. You often won’t get the best rate, and you lose some of your bargaining power. It is best to find out your credit score, and see how much of a loan you could qualify for.
Sometimes you can get a much lower rate from a lender than at the dealership itself.
Compare Prices Online
The first thing you should do is visit multiple dealerships online to familiarize yourself with the going rate of the car you’re most interested in. Keep a list with the name of the dealership with the price alongside.
Keep note of any special offers.
Before you step foot on a dealer lot, send them an email through their contact information on their website. They have entire departments dedicated to this. Tell them that you’ve done your research, and that you’d like their lowest possible price, and let them know which cars you are interested in. Let them know that you’re asking the same question at several other local dealerships.
If they know you’re price matching, they may offer their lowest accepted prices right off the bat. Otherwise, keep true to your word.
Send the same email to several dealerships and see who offers the best price within your range. Ask them what your overall price will be with all extras included.
Meeting in Person
When you’re happy with an offered price, you can finally arrive on the lot to inspect your possible new car. Be careful of bait and switch – make the dealership stay true to their offered price, or be prepared to walk out.
You can also haggle additional options before stepping foot on the lot to ensure you aren’t surprised with any extra costs.
Inspect All Paperwork
Be careful of fine print, and what the final price will be after financing. Once you’ve signed everything, you’re stuck – so taking the extra time is crucial.
If you follow these steps, you will be much less likely to suffer from buyer’s remorse – and you might have a little extra left over to get a much better car model than you were originally expecting!