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Helpful Car Buying Tips
Purchasing a new vehicle is a stressful chore for many people. Ask the average person what they dread most and they will tell you that “price haggling” is the worst aspect of negotiating a price. Few people come away from the deal believing that they got a fair shake; a significant minority will admit that they got ripped off if you press the issue with them. Besides shopping at a “no haggle” dealer – Saturn, for example – how can you avoid an unpleasant experience? Better put, can you? Let’s take a look at some ways you can gain better control over the car buying experience so that you can save yourself some time, money, and a whole lot of aggravation.
Stay away from the hot sellers. Many Japanese brands are sold at full price and bargains are hard to come by. Still, if you do a little bit of research you should be able to shave several hundred dollars off of the sticker price or secure a very low loan rate should you choose to finance your vehicle. If your dealer doesn’t want to deal with you, go to another Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc. dealer to find a better deal.
Buy a left over. On the other hand, not all cars are hot sellers and many models do not sell out when the model year ends. If there is a particular car that you want, you should be able to realize significant savings off of the sticker price. Don’t be “wowed” by an already reduced price touted by the dealership. Likely, they are getting a secret rebate from the manufacturer; learn what that rebate is and get as much of it as you can. Remember: you are already buying a car that is a year old. If it is a discontinued model or the latest version of that model is significantly changed, you have additional leverage.
Arrange your own financing. When purchasing a car, negotiate the lowest possible price before financing is discussed. If you come into the negotiation with your financing already covered, then you have additional leverage. If you are paying cash for the vehicle, demand an even greater discount.
Go in equipped. Consumer Reports will sell to you a print out of exactly how much a car should sell for. Purchase a report on the model you want to find out what the dealer likely paid for your car. The price you pay should be much closer to that amount than to the sticker price.
Buy through a car club. Car clubs, including those through warehouse clubs such as BJ’s, can be an alternative way to buying a car at a discounted rate without paying full price. Each club has their own way operating, but in all cases you should be able to pay less and leave the haggling out of the equation.
If you are the type of person who enjoys haggling, then your experience is not likely to be as bad. You know how to play the game and winning for you is simply securing the lowest possible price. For everyone else, a little outside help can save you money. Do not let your emotions tell you, “I must have this car,” or you are likely to pay much more than you should. Remember: dealer sob stories are just that; if they can’t figure out a way to make money off of a sale, then they shouldn’t be in business.
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