Your dream car – sleek, awe-inspiring and undoubtedly worth a pretty penny (or two). Before you sadly sign away the idea of ever owning the kind of vehicle that makes you dizzy with delight, read our suggestions on how to save money without sacrificing quality or safety.
For example, before visiting your local dealership, be sure to search online. Car dealership and manufacturer websites provide a lot of valuable information about specific vehicles along with additional savings typically not advertised on television or radio. Armed with the information you learn online, you should be able to negotiate a better deal. Here are some other tips that can give you an edge and not break the bank:
Buy During the Week/End of the Month
Visit dealerships during the week, not on the weekend. You will receive exclusive attention from your salesperson and be in a better position to negotiate.
The same applies to car shopping at the end of the month. Visit the car lot during the last week of the month when salespeople have one last chance to meet/exceed quotas. They will be able to bend more on price because they need to get the sale.
Buy at the End of Summer/End of the Year
Vehicle manufacturers like Dodge or Chrysler typically ship new models at the end of summer. Grab a deal on older models by shopping after Labor Day, or waiting until the last week of December as salespeople must make room for new models by the beginning of the New Year.
Avoid buying a car during holidays, tax season, or in warmer weather as most people typically buy cars during these times. Beware of deals offering steep discounts or lower monthly payments, as these may trick you into getting a more expensive car once you get to the dealership. With increased interest in vehicles during this time, dealers are less willing to negotiate with you because they simply don’t have to.
Shop Online First
Hit the Internet to compare costs before test driving any vehicles. If you spot a difference in price for the same model offered by different dealerships, contact the dealership advertising the higher amount and ask to speak to someone in their Internet sales department (you can also send an inquiry email) to negotiate a better deal. Most dealers will match, or come close to the price offered by their competitors because they want the sale.
If you are considering financing for your vehicle, visiting places like Auto Credit Express will allow you to calculate a monthly payment that is right for you. Make sure that this is done before you visit the dealership, as they usually have their own payment plan that may cost more.
Pre-approval for a car reduces the amount of paperwork the dealership has to complete. After finding the car you want, let the sales person know how much you are pre-approved for. You may receive a discount in processing fees or a price reduction if the vehicle costs more than this amount.
No Special Features, Please
If you like a certain model but the dealership doesn’t have it in stock with the features you want, the salesperson will have to order it from the manufacturer. Use this as a way to negotiate the price. Explain which features you want and which you don’t. In some cases, the dealer may throw in additional features for free or at a deep discount.
Also, if you like a car that’s on the lot, but don’t want to pay for special features like parking assist, sports tires, or upgraded sound system, you may get these extras for free by simply stating that you do not need them.
Always remember, there’s no harm in asking for a discount, special deal, or price reduction when shopping for a car. There is always room for negotiation – in fact, salespeople expect you to try to get the best deal possible – so get out there and get a great deal on your new dream car!