I was recently posed with the daunting task of purchasing a car. There were so many things I didn’t know about buying a car and I was completely unprepared. Lucky for me, my parents really helped me a lot and tried to give me a heads up about several things. From my experience, I learned a lot, and I feel like I can go in much more effectively next time.
Here are some tips/pointers I’ve learned:
1. Decide on at least 3 types of cars you would be happy with
This gives you the freedom to walk away from a car if it is not in your price range. Sometimes you have to be a little bit flexible in order to get a good deal, and something you can be proud of but also can still afford.
2. Don’t be afraid to walk away
Car dealers are going to push you to buy a car that day. Don’t let them pressure you. If they aren’t willing to come down on their price, be prepared to walk away. If they still don’t come down, then it’s probably not for you, but if they do, then you just extended the process a couple of days and saved yourself some serious money.
3. Don’t show all the cards in your hand
Don’t let the car salesman know your absolute highest price, because then they might match it, when in reality they would have gone a lot lower. I was told not to tell them any numbers, to let them come to me with numbers and then negotiate from there. This can help you get a better deal.
4. The sticker price is not the final price
There is an unspoken rule that when purchasing a car there is always some wiggle room in the price on the sticker. If they aren’t willing to negotiate with you, then they aren’t worth your time.
5. If you’re a girl, don’t go alone
I hate to say it, but car salesmen think women are ignorant when it comes to cars and they will try to pressure you. I ended up taking my boyfriend with me and the experience was much more smooth, just by having him sitting in the seat next to me.
6. Be aware that there will be tax, titles and fees
When calculating your final monthly payment, you need to factor in the fees that come with signing for a car.
7. Act like you’re not sold on the car
This will cause the salesman to try to earn your business by working harder. If you automatically love something, then they are going to think they can get top dollar out of you.
8. Know your limits
You need to make sure you can afford whatever car you are taking out for a test drive. You don’t want to fall in love with a car you’re driving, only to have to remind yourself that you can’t afford it.
9. Kelly Blue Book
This will be your life saver when trying to determine what the car is actually worth and how much you can get for your trade.
10. Have fun
Buying a new car is totally stressful and can often be completely not fun at all. But try to keep the end result in mind. You’re going to have a shiny new car! Just rememember: Don’t settle. What you’re looking for will come, you just have to be patient.