5 Car Buying Strategies

Here are 5 car buying strategies you can use to get the best deal possible the next time you’re in the market.

1. Show That You’re Considering Alternatives

You can do this by bringing auto listing part of the newspaper with you with several car models from different dealers circled. Make notes as if you’re comparing their car to one you looked at earlier or one you may look at next. Have a friend or family member who’s with you mention that dealer XYZ said that they could make a better deal or mention that a consumer review web site said that the price being discussed is too high. The idea is to get the salesperson to reduce their price to make the sale before you go elsewhere.

2. Shop Near the End of the Month or End of the Year

Dealers want to reduce their inventory and salespeople want to make their monthly/yearly quotas. Toward the end of the month they’re often more willing to cut a deal. Watch out for dealers who’ve figured this one out and pay their sales staff on a non-monthly schedule. They’ll be less willing to deal at these times.

3. Don’t Leave a Deposit or ‘Borrow’ the Vehicle Overnight

This is an old closing technique to get you to fall in love with the idea of owning the car. They’ll have you fill out all the paperwork for buying the car first. Plus may even charge you a rental or other fees if you back out. Avoid this scam.

4. Don’t Trade-in Your Old Vehicle If At All Possible

Most sales people try to get you to commit to a trade-in up front to help move the deal toward a close. Avoid this. Instead, take the trade-in off the table, at least at first, and negotiate the best price possible on the new car alone. Then, if you must trade, discuss the trade-in price, preferably with a finance person or manager, not the sales person.

If you can afford it and are willing to put up with the hassle, selling the old vehicle yourself usually results in 2 to 3 times as much money as you would get in a trade-in.

5. Watch Out For The Financing Flim-Flam

It’s best to have a pre-approved loan amount from your bank or credit union. This will give you a lot more flexibility although sales people and dealers hate it when you do this and may be less willing to negotiate on price when they discover they won’t get paid on the back end of the deal. If you’re doing this, don’t mention it until pricing has been worked out.

If you do arrange financing while at the dealer, watch out. Many finance persons will try to pull a fast one on you when it comes down to signing the papers. They’ll add in fees or useless warranties "by mistake", change the length of the loan, or do other things to maximize the profits of the dealership. Read over the documents and if you’re not happy with anything they’re doing, just walk away from the ‘deal’.

Do you have any buying strategies you would like to add? If so, please leave a comment.


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1 Comment »

Comment by car articles
2008-07-02 18:08:21

I would add to buy certified used cars as used car prices are historically low. Also stay away from SUVs considering gas prices.

Last week was a busy week for the dealership because of the deals the store has going on – 0 percent interest for 72 months vs. the typical 6.9 percent interest. These deals are just to get rid of SUVs.

BUT hybrids are in high demand and that is good for the new direction we need to take in respect to fuel efficiency

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