Car Buying – A Consumer Guide
This car-buying article will help you be prepared before you buy a car. Follow the four suggestions below and you stand a greater chance of getting exactly the car you want at a price that is within your budget.
Ask lots of questions
Never feel uncomfortable asking your dealer questions. And always remember that you are always free to walk away from the deal. So keep asking questions until you are comfortable that all of your concerns have been addressed. If that doesn’t work, ask for all the numbers in writing, and let them know you are going review everything and call the next day with your decision.
Many salespeople will do almost anything to prevent your from walking. That’s because statistically, only one out of every 50 people will actually come back to the dealership. Do not fall for “this deal is only good today”. Unless there is a factory program ending that day (rebates, special financing or dealer incentives) and they can prove it in writing, there is no reason they won’t offer you the same deal tomorrow.
If it is a new car and the one you are considering gets sold, the dealer can almost always find you another. Be careful however on used cars, since no two such vehicles are the same. So if you found your perfect used car, make your decision or risk it being sold to someone else.
Leave emotions out of the transaction
It’s easier said then done, but try not to fall in love with a car. If you are not willing to walk away from it, you stand a very good chance of paying too much. Be honest with your sales representative. Let him know up front if you find the right automobile and what you are willing to pay. This will give the dealer the incentive to give you the best possible deal or risk losing your business. The better prepared you are the easier and more pleasant your car buying experience should be.
Know what you want
The key to this car buying guide: Come prepared. Know what you want before you walk on the lot. You don’t need to know exactly what make, model, and color, but you should have a basic idea. It is also a good idea to know whether you would like a new car or a used car. Would you rather have a slightly used car that is exactly what you want or a new car that might be a little less than what you want, but its brand new? Often the payments for a used car can end up the same as a new car. That’s because banks usually charge higher interest rates used a used car.
Talk price not payments – Never talk payments with the dealer.
Negotiate on the price of the car only. If a dealer talks only payment with you, it usually means they are avoiding the real issue -price. On the other hand, many people finance their cars and all that really matters is getting what they want for a payment they could afford.
Many sales representatives are taught to get you thinking payment rather then price. If you do your homework you will know what price automobile fits your monthly budget. All car loans and lease contracts will fully disclose the cars price. In the case of a loan, it will usually be listed as the “cash price” for vehicle. In a lease, the price will usually be marked as the “cap cost”. The base price for the automobile (before tax, license, documentation fee, any other state or local fees and any dealer added options) should be exactly what you and the sales people agreed on. If you have questions about this car buying guide, check out our helpful resources.