by Ella Patterson
The following steps will show you how to locate, price and negotiate to buy the new car you want. This information could save you thousands of dollars on a new car and make the process easier, quicker and more enjoyable.But first things first…
Step 1: Your Loan
Getting approved for a loan from a bank, credit union or online lender will show you what interest rate you qualify for. If the interest rate offered is unexpectedly high, you will know that there are problems with your credit history that need to be resolved before you move forward. Getting approved in advance will also mean you can negotiate at the dealership as a cash buyer, which is much easier. You can still accept dealership financing, but getting approved before you even walk into the dealership will be the bargaining chip to get you the best interest rate.
Step 2: Price Your Car and Your Trade-in
We know that the price of a new car is usually negotiable. But how much of a discount can you expect? Choose the make, model and year of the car you want to appraise and follow the prompts. True market value adjusts the new car price for the available incentives. TMV for your used car shows the current market value if you sell it to a private party or trade it in at the dealership. While TMV already factors in incentives, it is also possible to separately review the latest incentives and rebates available for all new cars. Perhaps you’ll find an even better bargain on a new car you had not considered.
Step 3 Remain Flexible
As you search for your car, keep in mind that the more flexible you can be about options and color, the wider the range of the vehicles you’ll find for sale. Being flexible will also give you more leverage to negotiate a better price, since you are not emotionally connected to one specific car. Make selections about options and color to get a more complete list of matching cars available for sale. Once you find the exact car you want, the next step will be to contact the dealership.
Step 4: Use Price Promise and Dealership Internet Departments
Look for Price Promise offers on the car of your choice, print out the certificate on the page and you are ready to go to the dealership to conclude the deal. It’s a good idea to call ahead and make sure the car is still available. Here are other tips on how to use Price Promise to buy your next car. If there’s no Price Promise offer on a car you want, shopping through a dealership’s Internet department will save you time and money. You can easily communicate with the Internet manager by phone or e-mail. We know that many people are drawn to the traditional way of car buying: visiting showrooms right off the bat. If you go this route, you should assess the car salesperson who is working with you before moving forward. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable and sense that you can trust this person. If you do feel comfortable, set up a time to test-drive the car if you haven’t already done so. Before you head to the dealership, review all your notes and bring them with you.
Step 5: Try Negotiating a Lower Price
Request Internet price quotes from at least three local dealers. Take the lowest price, call the other dealerships and say, “If you beat this price, I’ll buy it from you.” The dealer almost certainly will give you a better price.
Some shoppers find this time-consuming and stressful, so consider whether the potential savings are worth the time and effort. It’s good to remember that a good deal isn’t just the lowest selling price. It’s a combination of the most streamlined, enjoyable shopping experience and the lowest total out-the-door cost.
Step 6: Review New Car Fees and Check Dealer Financing.
Besides the cost of the car, you have to pay sales tax, registry fees and a documentation, or “doc” fee. You can estimate these extras using a monthly loan payment calculator. Now ask the Internet sales manager or the dealership’s Price Promise contact to supply a breakdown of all the fees, or a “worksheet,” which lists the purchase price, the vehicle’s invoice and all related fees. Review the figures carefully before signing the sales contract. Back in Step One, you were pre-approved for financing. But who knows? Maybe you can get an even better interest rate at the dealership. To see if that’s possible, you can let the dealership run a credit report and assess what interest rate you qualify for. If it is lower than your pre-approved loan, go for it. If not, you already have a good loan locked in. If the price, financing and fees look right, it’s nearly time to say yes to the deal. But before you do, consider making the sale contingent on having your new car delivered to your home or office. This is a great time saver and allows you to close the deal in a relaxed environment.
Step 7: Sign the Paperwork
This step will take place at your home if you have the dealership deliver the car, or at the dealership if you prefer to pick it up there. Either way, make sure there are no dents or scratches on the body or the wheels. Check that all the equipment is included, such as floor mats, owner’s manuals and rear-seat DVD headphones. Your new car should also come with a full tank of gas. If anything is missing or needs repair, ask for a due bill that puts this in writing. In cases of home delivery, the salesperson arrives with all the necessary paperwork. If you opt to pick up your car at the dealership, you will sign paperwork in the finance and insurance office, where the finance manager may try to sell you additional items. These typically include extended warranties, fabric protection or additional alarm systems. Review the contract carefully and make sure the numbers match the worksheet and that there are no additional charges or fees. A good finance manager will explain each form and what it means. Don’t hurry. Buying a car is a serious commitment. And remember, there is no cooling-off period. Once you sign the contract, the car is yours.
Step 8: Take Delivery of Your New Car
You are probably eager to begin driving your new car. But this is an important step: Let the salesperson give you a tour of your new car. This could include showing you how to connect your smartphone to the car’s Bluetooth system and learning how to use other important features and safety devices. Yes, you can review all this in the manual later, but it’s quite helpful to get a hands-on demonstration. If you don’t have time for a complete demonstration when you sign the contract, ask to visit the dealership a week later for this important step.
About The Author/Blogger
Ella, referred to as ‘Ms. Real’ by her fans is a published author, blogger, product reviewer, travel writer and automotive test driver. She is an awesome educator, radio call-in talk show host, TV personality, and lecturer. Ella’ offers wise advice about consumer products, human kind organizations and exhibiting good humor. For more than two decades, Ella has worked on the premise of spreading healthy messages about how to be smart, strong, sensible, sassy, seductive and sophisticated to women all over the world.
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