Purchasing a new car is a big deal, and it’s always good to have some tricks under your belt. Just as car salesmen have their own tricks to try to get you to buy the car they’re suggesting, you can come in armed with your own techniques. Here are some tips on how to get the very best deal on your next car.
1. Don’t discuss payment method until you’ve been offered a sales price.
Dealers stand to profit a lot from car financing, so if they know up front that you’re planning on paying cash, they’re not going to be nearly as quick to give you a good deal. You can negotiate a much lower price if the dealer thinks you’ll be financing, so make sure you get a price in writing before revealing how you’ll be paying for the vehicle.
2. Shop during the weekday.
Most people go car shopping over the weekends or at night, meaning the sales people feel less pressure to get you, personally, to buy a vehicle. If you go during the day when there are fewer shoppers looking for a popular car like the Toyota Corolla, your worth as a potential purchaser goes up — you may be the only sale they make that day. Enhancing your value like this means you could get a better deal.
3. Focus on total car price, not monthly payments.
With balloon payments or extra years added on, it’s easy to end up paying more for the car than you need to just to get away with a lower monthly payment. Frequently these “low” payments add up to a much higher total purchase price. You might save a little bit on your short-term payments, but make sure and look at the big picture.
4. “No haggle” pricing seldom is.
Negotiating is always on the table. Dealerships might try to lure you in by telling you they don’t haggle or negotiate prices, but you have nothing to lose if you make a fair offer, and sometimes they’ll agree to accept it. After all, they need you to buy their car — you don’t have to buy from them.
5. Don’t take the car home until you’ve bought it.
Salespeople sometimes make this offer in the hopes that you’ll get attached to the vehicle and start thinking of it as yours before you make your final decision. Making a decision on a car based on an emotional reaction can lead to you paying much more than you intended. Avoid any ploy to get you to fall in love with the vehicle before you’ve made your decision.