It’s that time again. Either your car needs to be replaced as it has come to the end of its life, or you’re just ready for a change and have your eye on something newer and shinier. When it comes to getting a good deal on a car there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Whether it’s getting a brand new car or a pre-owned deal, there are a few tips and tricks to follow to ensure that you get the best deal you can.
1. Equip Yourself with the Necessary Knowledge
The old saying “knowledge is power” rings true in almost every situation when it comes to cars. Arriving at a dealership without first doing a little bit of research on a few cars that you’re interested in can be a big mistake. You have almost unlimited access to information in the palm of your hand, so use it. If a salesman mentions something you are unsure about or doesn’t know an answer to your question, give it a quick google search on your phone. When you buy a pre-owned car, it is important to take note of the distinction between “Certified Pre-Owned” and “Pre-Owned” as they are quite different. Certified pre-owned cars, according to this dealer, have to meet strict criteria in terms of quality and care. These cars are the best to go for, as they essentially have a certificate of excellent health from a dealer.
2. Know Your Pre-Financing Options
It has become common practice to obtain financing from the car dealership you are purchasing a car from, but this is more often than not fiscally irresponsible. Interest rates provided by dealerships are often a lot higher than those of bank loans and credit unions. Banks and credit unions are the best places to start researching car loan rates. You can use an online comparison service to compare multiple quotes at once. Once you have a quote that you like, be sure to get it in writing from the financial institution in order to avoid confusion and to use it as leverage at the dealership.
3. Don’t Just Shop At One Place
Unless you need it immediately, don’t stop shopping around after one or two dealerships. If you are not happy with the prices of the dealerships, or the cars they have in your area, definitely take a drive out of town to look at other options. A lot of the time, price is determined by location. You might be able to find a car that you like with better mileage at a lower price point if you look out of town. If you think a car is priced too high, use an online car price estimation tool. This takes into account the model, year, mileage, and many more variables that affect the price.
4. Use the Internet
If you aren’t having any luck in person, or don’t feel like driving from dealership to dealership, shop online. More often than not, shopping online for a car gives you a better price than if you went in and had to negotiate with a salesperson. Typically, a salesperson will be trying to negotiate a higher price so as to make a commission on the sale. Online the price is usually fixed by the dealership. Most dealerships have at the very least an online showroom of the cars they have on sale. If you are buying a pre-owned car, be sure to test drive it first. You even have the right to take it to a mechanic to have it checked out before you sign any paperwork.
5. Stick to Your Price Range
When buying a car, it is always important that you stick to your price range. If you are currently still paying off another car, it is unwise to purchase another one that you cannot afford. Don’t be caught by the flashing lights and spectacular features of the newest model on the market. If you don’t have the cash lying around, don’t spend it on a top-of-the-range car that will put you in debt. You might be caught out and unable to make the repayments, resulting in you losing the car completely.
6. Negotiate the Terms
Buying a car is a huge investment. You can spend anything from four to six years paying off your car. Do what you can to negotiate the purchase price down as well as negotiate a better deal on your car loan. Be bold. If a salesperson offers you a favorable monthly payment for 60 months, tell them that you want those rates but rather on something like a 48-month plan. Don’t feel bad about walking away from offers that are not favorable to you.
As you can see, there are quite a few important considerations you need to keep in mind when getting a new car. Noting that if you stick to your gut and come armed with the necessary information you will prevent any issues.