Shopping for a car can be exciting and frustrating at the same time, especially if you know what you want but can’t afford it. Everyone wants a good deal, but not everyone follows the right steps to get one. Some consumers cave in to sales pressure.
But if you develop a strategy around your needs and avoid the emotions at car dealerships, then you will have a better chance at driving home the car that keeps you happy.
Research Your Dream Car
Learn specific information about the car that you have decided to buy. You can learn a lot about the quality and market reaction to the latest cars by reading Consumer Reports and visiting the Kelly Blue Book Website (KBB.com).
Searching Online First
Before visiting any car dealership, you should at least see what cars are available to buy online, which will help give you better estimates on pricing. There are many sites to check to get ballpark figures for the car you want. Some sites such as AutoTrader and CarMax specialize in the vehicle marketplace while sites like Craigslist, eBay, Amazon and Facebook can extend your search.
As a consumer, you should always try to negotiate price when buying from a car dealer. Their job is to sell the car not at a set sticker price, but at the highest price possible that is still profitable. Use haggling as a technique to get a better price. Avoid talking about incentives and down payments before negotiating, since they can further lower the price. Do not agree to financing until monthly payments meet your budget and keep your credit checks limited.
Understand that the process at the dealership takes hours. Make sure you test drive the car first and ask if a trusted mechanic can check the car.