Car dealerships sit anxious and pensive as the calendar year comes to a close. Before you can even say “Happy New Year,” they’re in the midst of a marketing drive that is touting the newest cars on the lot, which bodes well for saving money on your next car purchase.
Buying a vehicle, new or used, is quite the financial endeavor, but only the most competent will employ tactics that take the entire buying scope into perspective and make a purchase that is deemed perfect.
Saving money on your next car doesn’t have to entail haggling sticker prices or getting into a back and forth argument with an overly aggressive salesperson. It just takes a little research and wherewithal to hold your own once you step on to the showroom floor.
At that point, you’re either the hunter or the hunted. The latter leaves you in quite the unenviable position and probably means you’re going to overpay for the car. You’d much rather rely on being in the former category and take control of your car buying situation.
The first step is understanding that the end of the year or the very beginning of the new year is an ideal time to buy a vehicle. Dealerships begin slashing prices on, for example, 2013 vehicles to make room for the 2014 ones. Even though 2013 has just ended, in the car business, those model year cars, trucks and SUVs are archaic in car years.
Once you’ve determined the year car you’d like to pursue, you’ve got to then comprehend the inner workings of how the salesperson skews the numbers, and tries to focus on the monthly payment, rather than the actual price of the car.
One big mistake a car consumer can make is answering this famed question: “How much are you looking to pay each month?” In car terms, this means if you tell them $300, then they’ll make the “numbers work” but truthfully that probably means they’ll extend the terms.
So that 60 month car payment simply gets rewritten as 66 months; not exactly a magic act of epic proportions.
Another huge misstep when you’re buying a car is divulging too much information about your own financial standing or being pushed into making a decision on the spot. It’s perfectly fine to walk away and continue shopping for a better price, and you should make sure to tell the dealership that’s why you’re leaving.
And don’t fall for techniques employed by the lesser known car salespersons and dealerships, such as letting you take the car home for the evening. That’s a huge red flag that you’re not dealing with a professional organization. In that same vein, be leery of giveaways or promotions that encourage you to spend $30,000 on a car and get a free cooler or barbeque grill.
Who wouldn’t love a new iPad Air, but not for the sake of overspending on a car?
It’s time for you, the consumer, to turn the tables on the dealership and do what you want when it comes to making a financial investment as paramount as a car.