- Buying & Selling New & Used Cars
How to as Make the Best Deal When Buying Your Profile Dream Car! Do This!
What's your Favorite Car or Vehicle Choice
Are you smiling pretty in the car of your dream, keys in hand? I am! How do you like the new car I just bought? I made a great deal on it! It's the red one to the right. (Coughs excessively, as I avoid giving you eye contact). Ok. I'll come clean. This car is not mine, but I can dream, can't I?
I will not be discussing your car or vehicle choices, whether you prefer a sports, economy, luxury, foreign, convertible, truck, SUV, etc., -- the list goes on and on. I will be talking to you about how to make the best money, financial deal on the new or used car of your choice.
Ok. Let's get started!
Know How Much You Can Afford to Pay for Your Dream Car
That's right. As with most of the things you buy, you must be able to afford it. You must be sure you have the money to cover all the costs, including the insurance, maintenance, gas, upkeep for your car, and other expenses. Some states have personal property tax that you pay annually on cars, based on the car's value, that you must figure in also. Remember, when you buy your car, you are not just paying for the vehicle, but you are paying for all the other costs associated with driving a car. Don't forget to set aside money for emergency car repairs as well which could range from needing to replace your tires due to a flat or some other unexpected reason to cause you to shell out money for your car.
Research Cars Thoroughly!
Have you ever heard of location, location, location for houses? Well for cars, it's research, research, research! A website I use extensively when I'm in the market for a car is Edmunds.com. I recommend that you use it also. There are lots of information on car ratings, and almost anything car related on this site, including pricing. There is even a car cost calculator where you can estimate your monthly car payments. (After you've gotten your best price after negotiations).
One of my favorite features on Edmunds.com is the comparison between the asking price at the dealership and exactly what the car is worth. It's a neat little tool. Just list the options on the car you are researching, input the information, and the program gives you the price you should pay for the car.
Do Not Pay the Sticker Price of the Car
Sticker price is just that. A sticker. It is the suggested retail price the dealer is asking for the car. Take this price with a grain of salt. In fact, you may not even want to look at it, unless you want to see the car options listed on the sheet. Based on your research, you should already have a price in mind, as to how much you are willing to pay for the car before you get to the car lot or start searching for your car online. If you are financing the car, consider the total cost including finance charges -- which can add up! It goes without sayinig when financing the purchase of a car, try to get the lowest interest rate available to you.
Trading in a Car?
Don't trade your car in, if you do not have to. You may want to sell it on your own. One of the first questions I'm asked when I walk on a car lot is, "Do you have a trade in?" My answer is always a profound, "No." I guess you may already know that the underlying plan for the car dealer is to give you almost nothing for your trade in, and alternatively try to get full price for the car he or she is selling to you. How does that saying goes? "Buy low, Sell High?" This is done to a "T" at the car dealership which is not in your favor. They can buy low -- and sell high -- but not to you!
Are you Excited about the car you've just test driven?
Don't be. The only place to get excited about a car at a dealership is if you are in one of those TV car commercials where you are being paid to act! Your concern is with the mechanical soundness of the car, its safety, its resale value just in case you want to sell it later, and other technical details about the car. The car dealership is not a place to show excitement. You are making probably one of the biggest purchases in your budget, so this is serious business!
Oh, and please don't fall for the "What do you want your monthly payments to be?" question. Remember, you are looking at the overall cost of the car -- not just monthly payments. So beware -- The salesman's job is to sell cars period. Some even go so far as to put up imaginary family pictures on his or her desk to try to gain your trust!
Common Car Dialogue from a Car Saleman: "I Have to Check with My Manager."
Have you heard that one before? The car salesman never fails to say this, once the negotiations start and you are countering his high price with your own lower price. Sometimes I play along. When the salesman returns from talking to his imaginary manager, I ask him, "What did your manager have to say?"
I have to admit there was one time when he came back with an actual manager. This happened when I was languishing over a car purchase and the saleman brought out the manager to try to convince me to buy the car. The dealership was closing for the day and we were the only three left in the car showroom. I guess they wanted to make one last sale for the day. Did it work? In a word, "No!"
Oh, and try not to blurt out a price first. He who says the price first loses! Who knows? The salesman may give you a price lower than the one you had in mind, and you can negotiate down even further from that price.
Not Getting the Price You Want for the Car?
Then just walk away, self-confidently, with your head held high! --That is, if the salesman will let you walk off the lot. More than likely, he will concede in order to make the sale! The lesson here is to take a firm stand on the price you are willilng to pay for a car, whether the car is new or used. You will be the one making the car payments -- not the car salesman! If you are purchasing your car online, simply decline the offer and move on.
Car Price changed -- hyped up?
Yes, it happens. You've negotiated your best deal but when you get ready to sign the paperwork, you notice the numbers have mysteriously changed from what you had agreed upon! If this happens to you, bring this to the salesman's attention and request that the numbers be changed to the price you negotiated.
This happened to me recently. I had negotiated my best deal, and when I was told of the final hyped up price, I calmly informed the financial manager the figure stated was not the figure I agreed to. In this deal, the money handling transaction moved from the salesman to the person actually completing the paperwork for the price of the car.
The key is to stay calm and business-like. Do not rant, rave, and make accusations! Just be business-like, or as business-like as you can be under the circumstances, and request that the numbers be changed to what you agreed upon. Tip: It helps to have the numbers quoted to you in writing. Being this close to a sale, the salesman, (or his "manager", or the financial manager) will more than likely go ahead and make the change. If not, it's up to you to walk out! But like I said, I'm sure the change you requested will be made.
In my case the change was made back to the figures I had successfully negotiated.
The important thing to remember here is that once you've made your best deal, it isn't really a deal until you see it on paper!
Next Step -- Close the Deal on the Car
Get the car you want, at a price that you can afford (of course, negotiated downward). As you drive off the lot, look in the rear view mirror and give yourself a great big smile! You deserve it!
Safe Winter Driving for Your Dream Car!
- Winter Driving! Survive it Now!
Winter weather driving conditions will be here before you know it. Now is the time to prepare! Following a few simple steps will get you and your car ready for snow, ice, and other winter elements as well keep you ahead of the game!