Buying a car is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make. But because you don’t buy a car very often, you may not be familiar with trends or how the industry works. You may often think that a salesperson has the upper hand. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are six things your auto dealer doesn’t want you to know.
Doing research pays off.
One of the first things you should do when searching for a car is email the dealers within a 60-mile radius for quotes. This way, you can start negotiations before speaking to anyone. Also, be sure to check out the deals available at different dealerships and online car merchants.
Knowing what you can spend gives you the upper hand.
Talk to your lender and know what you can afford before you begin your search. Even better, get pre-approved for a loan so you have the paperwork ready to go once you find the perfect car. At the very least, know what you have available before you see what the car dealership can offer.
Planning your visit at the right time gives you an edge.
When’s the best time to visit a dealership?
• Summer because there is new inventory coming.
• The week between Christmas and New Year for end-of-year quotas.
• Middle of the week as salespeople will have more time to spend with you.
• Last 5 days of the month for end-of-month quotas.
Being prepared prevents emotional purchases.
Establish your budget before going to the dealership by focusing on the car’s total cost. This way, you can negotiate the price based on its value and not what you’re able to spend. And, if you’re paying in cash, don’t say anything until after you agree on the price. Sometimes, the commission from a sale lies within a financing plan – you don’t want your bargaining power diminished because the salesperson feels there won’t be as much commission.
Trade-ins aren’t always necessary.
Before you begin the buying process, check Kelly Blue Book and National Auto Dealers Association for pricing options on your existing car. If the dealership can meet that price, by all means, go with them. However, it’s usually best to sell your car on your own.
You have the power to walk out at any time.
Most people know to skip the add-ons and ignore the sticker price, but many feel compelled to stay and negotiate with a salesperson. If you aren’t clicking with the salesperson, or it’s becoming too overwhelming, leave. You can always return at a different time or day. And, if something isn’t working your way, you don’t have to stay – take advantage of that power.
To learn more about the vehicle loan options available at City National Bank, click here, or call us at 866-385-3444.
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