Are you thinking about buying a new or used car? With any new car purchase, it’s all about the price. But if you haven’t purchased a car in recent years, you may have forgotten how to strategize and get the best deal. This is a major purchase, and if you hurry the buying process, you could pay more than necessary for your automobile. Why live with buyer’s remorse or struggle with a bad loan deal? You don’t have to be an expert negotiator to get a good deal.
Get a deal on a new or used Cadillac at Williamson Cadillac if you’re in the market for a high end car, or you can go cheaper – see our earlier review of the 2014 Kia Forte. No matter your taste, we’ve collected the basic tips any car buyer needs to succeed. Here are five timeless car buying tips that will never fail you as you “walk onto the lot”.
1. Know your budget. Decide how much you can spend on a car. Going to the dealership without a price point in mind is dangerous and there’s the risk of overspending. With a clearly defined price, you know which vehicles fit into your budget and which cars to avoid. An online auto loan calculator can help you determine an affordable make and model. Provide a purchase price, a down payment amount and an interest rate, and the calculator will estimate your monthly payment. If the payment is too rich for your blood, decrease the purchase price until you have a comfortable payment.
2. Get pre-approved for financing. It’s customary to apply for financing at the dealership, but this is not required. You can secure your own financing with an outside bank. This is an extra step, however, there are benefits to this approach. Getting pre-approved lets you know exactly what you can afford before you make an offer. And since securing your own financing cuts out the middleman – the dealership – you can often find better rates at your bank.
3. Learn the invoice price. Most car buyers know that the sticker price isn’t the final price. But knowing where to start negotiating can prove challenging. Start too low and the salesman won’t take you seriously, and if you start too high, you can miss out on an amazing deal. Visit a third-party vehicle information website to learn the invoice price for the car. This provides a fair and reasonable point to begin negotiating. Additionally, manufacturer websites have information on rebates and personal discounts, which can reduce the price of the car. Dealerships don’t advertise these specials. You have to do your own homework.
4. Be willing to walk away. There is nothing fun about turning your back on an automobile you want, and need. But if the dealership isn’t willing to bend on the price, and you don’t want to pay the higher amount, walk away. Give it a few days and the dealership may call with a better offer. If not, wait a few months – perhaps until the end of the year – and purchase during a vehicle sale.
5. Know the car’s history. Don’t assume that every car at the dealership is in good condition. Always check the vehicle history of a used car. All you need is the car’s vehicle identification number. You’ll learn about serious accidents, flood damage, recalls, as well as the maintenance history.
Buying a new or used car is exciting, and most people can’t wait to drive off with their new set of wheels. Don’t let this excitement cloud your judgment. Educate yourself on car buying strategies to ensure the best deal on a new or used car.