Whether you’re buying a used or brand new vehicle, many people opt to purchase their car at a dealership, which can offer many advantages over buying from a private seller. However, if you aren’t careful, you can end up overpaying. The following are some ways to shop smarter, which can help you get the best deal possible on your car purchase:
Do plenty of research
It can be hard to haggle the price of a vehicle you’re interested in purchasing if you don’t know much about that specific car’s value to begin with (don’t pay attention to the MSRP, because you should never pay the MSRP). Before you even go to the dealership, do plenty of research beforehand; Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book are two great sources for finding out average car sale prices. If you’re armed with this information ahead of time, you’ll know when you’re getting a fair deal or not.
Timing is important
If you can, try to be flexible with the timing of your car purchase and aim for the month’s end, which can help you save. Because many salespersons at car dealerships will still have monthly quotas to meet, they are more willing to accept a lower offer. When the month is just beginning, however, it can be a lot harder to get a good deal.
If you’re trying to save money on your car purchase, it’s very important to carefully consider the type of car you should get. Look beyond aesthetics and what type of car will be the best looking for your budget; instead, try to find a practical car that meets your needs and can also save you money along the way, and not just when you initially purchase it. For example, if you drive a lot, you may be better off with a car that’s fuel-efficient and not a gas guzzler.
Look beyond what your car payments would be
When it’s time to buy a car, many people focus just on the monthly car payments, rather than look at the big picture and focus on the sale price of the car. This is bad to do because you might end up paying a lot more for the car in the end than you even realize. When buyers disclose the maximum amount they’re looking to spend each month, dealerships have a way of crunching numbers to make it work in their favor, while giving you that monthly payment you’re looking for. For instance, if you’re financing through them, they might increase the sale price of the car and the term of the loan, which can make the payments work in the end. Although the monthly car payment is doable, overall, you’re paying way more for the car than you could have by just settling on a sale price first.
Avoid excessive add-ons
Once you pick a car and a sale price has been settled, the selling doesn’t usually end there, and the dealership will try to sell you a lot of bells and whistles so that you’ll spend even more. This includes all sorts of things, from extended warranties to costly navigation systems. Think carefully about what features and add-ons are essential, and also which ones you can just get on your own and not roll into the sale price of the vehicle. Not only will this add to the price of your car (and your car payments), but you’ll usually pay top dollar by getting these additions through the dealership.
Finalize a sale price before mentioning your trade-in
Before you tell the dealership that you have a vehicle you want to trade in, settle on the car sale price first. Once you have received a firm price in writing, then disclose that you have a car you want to trade in and work on negotiating a price for that car. You might not be their favorite customer, but you’re simply protecting yourself this way, because many customers will get the bad end of the deal when they reveal they have a trade-in from the get-go.
Do you need money to buy a car? Peachtree Financial Solutions may be able to help if you’re receiving structured settlement payments. Contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today to learn more about selling future payments for a lump sum of cash.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.