Having your own car can provide you with the independence and freedom to go wherever you like. However, the car buying process can be an emotional journey. The following tips can help you save money and avoid unnecessary scams when purchasing a vehicle.
Be Leery of Good Prices
If a deal sounds too good to be true, it could be a scam. Before you begin the car buying process you want to do your homework ahead of time. This means researching the actual costs of a new or used car, what the dealer may have paid and any hidden expenses that they could hit you with later on. If you have a previous car that is damaged, you may be able to trade it in, turn it into your insurance company or dismantle the vehicle and sell the parts.
If you have a loan out on your vehicle, you can easily refinance your current auto loan through reputable companies such as carfinance.com. However, if you’re going through the process for the first time, the loan company will need important information such as your employment, credit reports and outstanding debt. Before you sign the paperwork on your loan, you should look over everything carefully. This includes items that are in small print.
Best Time to Purchase
Believe it or not, purchasing a vehicle during certain times of the month or year can garner you a better deal. December is an especially good time to go car shopping because everyone else is out buying gifts for the Christmas holiday. This can motivate dealerships to cut their prices and give you an outrageously good deal. Other months include July through September. As new makes and models come in, dealers are looking to ditch their current inventory.
Stay Away from the Most Popular Model
Unless you don’t mind paying for an overpriced vehicle, you want to stay away from the most popular makes and models. In addition to a lack of inventory, the most sought after cars will also be more difficult when it comes to negotiating a fair price.
Do the Prep Work Ahead of Time
The internet has allowed car buyers to now do their prep work from the comfort of their home or business. You’ll find a number of sites where you can research the cars that you’re planning on purchasing and actually get quotes. Once you’ve found the dealer who is offering the best price, you can take your information with you and prepare to negotiate the best deal for your purchase. Smartphones, tablets and laptops are handy when it comes to comparison shopping.
Use the Competition
When it comes to the car buying process, don’t be afraid to use the competition. As you walk into the dealership, arm yourself with your research. When they see that you’re prepared to do business, you can pretty much set the terms of your negotiation. Be prepared to walk if they won’t barter. Most dealerships have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to pricing.
Pricing, Rebates and Incentives
It pays to know ahead of time what the dealer actually paid for the vehicle and why they’ve set the price that they’re offering in the showroom. While many car dealerships will offer incentives and rebates to the customers, there are also secret terms between them, and the factory. These incentives can be as much as $7,000, in addition to other known rebates. You should be prepared to haggle over these types of factory to dealer incentives, as they may be able to pass the savings on just to get the sale. If you’re not seeing the results that you want with the sales clerk, ask to speak to a manager. If they know you’re a serious buyer, they may be able to provide added discounts to get you to leave with their car.