Archive for February, 2011

Avoid These Car Buying Mistakes

Everybody knows how to buy a car, or likes to think they do. There are as many car buying tips and tricks as there are car buyers. But in addition to whatever dear ol’ grandpa may have told you about how to handle car dealers, here are some solid commonsense tips that every car shopper should know.

  1. The biggest mistake people make is going to the dealership without any clear idea of what they want. The sales staff has been trained to get you to like whatever you see, so your only protection is to already know what you like before you get there.
  2. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, then find out the details in advance online. Car model reviews, prices and other information is easily available on the world wide web. Be sure to look up the dealer’s invoice price, which is valuable information for figuring out what constitutes a fair price.
  3. Don’t let everything get lumped together. The value of your old car for trade-in, the finance costs and the final purchase price are all separate issues and should be negotiated that way or else it will be too easy for the salesperson to confuse you.
  4. Try to secure your car loan ahead of time. That way you can focus on the cost issues themselves, rather than the means to pay for them, and best of all you can also challenge the dealer to beat the deal you already have!
  5. The best time to buy a car is just before the new models hit the showroom. Dealers at that time are anxious to get rid of the old to make room for the new. The end of the month can also be a good time, as the dealer may have a monthly sales quota to meet. The end of the day is also good, as you are dealing with a salesman who is probably anxious to get home.

The car salesman is not your friend, he is a businessperson trying to make a sale. Reminding yourself of the commercial nature of your relationship is a good way to avoid being schmoozed by the salesman into unwanted features and too high prices.

If you employ these simple tips, the chances of you getting the car you like at the price you want will be much enhanced.