Buying a car and want a deal? It's not rocket science, you just need to follow a few simple principles. These tips will guide you towards the best possible deal on any car no matter what its sticker says, saving hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle.
Determine Your Budget
Setting up a budget is the first step in buying a car, and it will make sure you get the best possible price. When you know your own budget you can set a price range before you start negotiating. This prevents you from over buying, or paying too much for a car you might want, but don't really need.
Know Your Trade-in Value
Get an exact, updated trade-in value from a respected source like Kelley Blue Book. Simply enter your vehicle information at their website and you'll get a real trade-in value (along with a personal sale value) for any car in just a few minutes. You can decide if you want to sell your car yourself. If you stick with trading it in, you can demand full-value from the dealer.
Get the Financing
Get financed at your own bank, or through the dealership. It's easier to negotiate once financed, because you'll know what your payments are at a certain price. Remember, some dealers will offer help with poor credit auto loans if your score is low.
Learn the Market
Research real prices on cars you like at different dealerships. Make sure you compare the same model, year, and similar mileage. Also, factor in different accessories like power windows, heated seats, enhanced engines, and custom parts like racing wheels, stereos and sun roofs. They can add thousands to a car's price.
Stick With To Your Price Point
All this preparation is worthless if you don't stick to your guns come negotiation time. If you thoroughly research your market, write down car prices, and the price you want for your car, plus the price you are willing to pay each month you're more likely to stick to your price.
Be rigid in your determination and don't be afraid to say no to the dealer's offers. Also, don't give away your target price or budget. Make the dealer think it is lower than it really is. Salesmen always try to bring you up off that number, and when they do, you'll get the car at the price you want.
Play the Pricing Game
For an incredible deal, play the dealer's pricing games. Get a firm understanding of the price first. Then start with a low-ball number the dealer will take seriously. Try a few thousand below the asking price.
Remember, negotiating is about two parties meeting somewhere in the middle. Also, dealers get incentives based on how many cars they sell, and they don't like seeing a potential sale walk off their lot over a few thousand dollars.
Take time to research the market and you really can get the best deal possible on your next car.