Dealership Tips on Purchasing a New Car or Truck
by Ian Nethercott
We interviewed some of the sharpest new car sales associates across the country to give you an insider guide to purchasing a new car or truck.
Here’s their insights based on real world experience that could save you money:
1) Trade-in value
If you are planning to trade in your car or truck, it's crucial to know what the real market value is for your vehicle. This homework can be done online at various auto value websites. It’s is very important to have a clear understanding of what the trade in car or truck is worth.
2) Understand the type of car you’re looking for
It is vital to research the kind of car you're looking for. Hopefully, you'll find that it's one that meets the demands of your life. If you keep it too vague you will have to rely on the salesperson to sell you. It’s better to have a clear understanding beforehand of what segment, model, and vehicle brand will likely meet your lifestyle.
3) Differentiating financing or leasing
After you have chosen the car you want, it is important to negotiate the price. It’s important to do this as if you were buying the car outright with cash. Negotiate the price and then look at financing or leasing options. Look for a cash purchase first. If you are looking for leasing, understand what leasing is about prior to coming into the dealership. Most manufacturer websites give you this information and provide easy tools for you to input a down payment and calculate a subsequent monthly payment.
4) What to look for in a sales associate
A good sales associate can lessen your anxiety about the price, brand and dealership. If the sales associate is low balling your trade, they may be looking to make a fast buck, or may not be taking you seriously. A low trade in value is a tactic to maintain a higher profit margin in the car they are selling you.
5) Tips on negotiating
Some customers may look for the actual cost of the car. Keep in mind the dealership has to make a certain amount of revenue on each car. Unless the car is in very high demand, most dealers should be able to sell you the car for $1,000 more than the invoice price. Let the MSRP and invoice price be your guide. Always negotiate down from the highest number.
6) How is the dealership after the sale?
If the dealership follows up with phone calls and wants to know how you and your new vehicle are doing it's usually a good sign they appreciate you as a customer. If you feel they don’t care, take the business of servicing your vehicle elsewhere.
It's important to know beforehand where you want to be with your monthly payments. Do the math on the manufacturer’s website so you know what the payment is going to be.
8) Don’t be fooled by incentives
Many dealerships may have end-of-year incentives you may or may not be aware of. Don’t be fooled. Stay on the thin and narrow to get the deal you want on your own terms — for the car you want!
9) The quality of the dealership
If you feel you are not being treated fairly, walk out of the dealership. There are plenty of dealers who are happy to earn your business and work hard to retain you as a repeat customer.
10) Bear in mind the dealership is going to make some profit
By doing your research prior to going to the dealer, you will be in a better place to negotiate a deal for a car you want and save money. Remember, the dealer has to make some money. It is costly to keep a car on the lot, and the dealer must recoup some of their expense.
Lastly, good luck! Good deals are out there to be found.