If you are in the market for a new car, there is a lot to think about before you hit the dealerships, and make a purchase. A bit of forethought can make a big difference in how much you pay, and how satisfied you are with the vehicle you acquire. Here are just a few tips to keep in mind.
What Do You Want?
This may sound like an obvious question, but a lot of people don’t give it too much thought. They simply want a car. But, the more carefully you consider this question, the better. If you have a hazy idea, it can be easy to fall pretty to the persuasive and/or aggressive tactics of very skilled salesmen who want to part you with as much of your money as possible. What are your needs? What are you wants? What are the things that don’t matter, and do not factor into the equation at all? The dealership is not the place you want to be pondering these questions.
What is Your Budget?
This is another important thing to figure out, whether you are paying for the car upfront or planning on financing. Crunch some numbers to determine what a reasonable price is for you. If you are financing, it is easy to simply focus on the monthly payment, since most of us think of our budget in terms of monthly pay and expenses. But this can lead you to paying a lot more for a car than you should. Make sure you know the total cost of any car, not just the monthly payment.
Best Times to Shop
There are certain times when you may be able to find better deal on a vehicle. In the fall, most dealerships are trying to get rid of inventory to make way for the newest models. Winter can also be a great time, not only because of this lingering inventory, but people are less likely to want to wander around dealerships in harsh weather, the busyness that comes with the holidays, and salesmen eager to pump up their sales figures for a fatter bonus.
Going to a dealership later in the day may work in your favor, as the salesmen will be more eager to close the deal so he can go home. The last half of the month may be more advantageous than the first half because salesmen may be feeling a bit more pressure to close some sales.
Consider Starting Off with Some Internet Negotiation
So, you researched some cars, and have a good idea of what you want, and what you want to pay. You may be able to snag a great car without having to shop around much at all. Dealerships have internet sales departments, and you can begin the negotiating right from the comfort of your own home. People that go this route are showing they are serious about getting a good price, and the sales reps are more likely to cut right to the chase, and make better offers off the bat than if you were browsing in person. Make sure you contact several dealers, and play them off each other.
Just remember to do your homework, and give some serious thought to the purchase.