A large segment of the population considers the haggling and back-and-forth of buying a new car to be a big hassle. But besides negotiating a home mortgage, buying a car is often the biggest purchase a person will make. So when you start searching for a car, it pays a lot of money to do your research and get the best deal. So here are things to keep in mind when searching for the best deal when buying a car.
- Sell The Old Car – Instead of trading in your old car, you might consider selling it instead. It might take a little while to sell your old car, but if it’s in good shape, you’re likely to get more for it. In the current car market, many people can’t procure car loans for buying brand new cars, so the market for reliable used cars should grow.
- Secure a Loan Beforehand – Shop around for car loans before you even walk onto a car lot. Go to your local bank and credit union and find the lowest interest rate you can find. This way, you won’t be taking whatever financing the car dealership offers you, and you can buy the car outright (from their perspective), giving you additional negotiating leverage.
Savings On A Leased Car Or Used Car
If you like to trade your car in after two or three years or if you want lower monthly payments (or both), you might consider leasing a car instead of buying it. A car lease means you won’t be buying a car, but renting it. After 4 or 5 years, you won’t own it. In fact, with balloon payments and other rising lease costs after a few years, you’ll need to trade in the leased car for another vehicle in at least three years.
But if that’s something you would consider doing anyway, by all means look into leasing a car. When buying a car, make sure you’re buying and not leasing it. I had a friend when he was younger whose father went with him to buy a car. He wanted to make certain the young man didn’t get cheated by the dealers, so he took his son to a dealer he knew. They signed the deal and this friend of mine thought he was buying the car, until he got a letter some three years later saying he was facing a balloon payment on a lease. I swear I’m not making that up, so double-check to make certain you are buying a car instead of leasing it.
Consider a Used Cars – Along the same lines, you can get into a car cheaper if you’re willing to buy a preowned vehicle. Used cars without too many miles on them can be viable options, especially in an bad economy. There are some people who like to buy new cars and who like to trade in new cars after a year or two. They will trade in a vehicle after a year for no reason except they enjoy it. “Certified pre-owned” cars have been given a full check by the dealers. Though you might get into it with 20,000 or 30,000 miles on it, just because it was traded in does not mean the used car had a problem.
Shopping For Car Deals
Here are some tips to help you next time you’re shopping for car deals.
- Shop Around and Get Bids – You can get bids from several dealers before you decide which car to buy. Shopping around just about always helps.
- Have a Target Price – Walk into the dealership with a target price that you have researched, you are comfortable with and you know is fair. If the car salesman won’t go to that price, be prepared to walk out of the dealer and find another car deal somewhere else.
- Avoid the Closer Deals – The finance guy is often the “closer”, a guy who comes in, sells you a few expensive add-ons or warranty details, and then gets you to sign the paperwork under the pretense of only handling the finances of the deal. When the finance guy comes into the room trying to sell you one last item or deal, tell them you’re at the limit of your price comfort and you’re ready to sign the deal.