Shopping for a new or used car can be very stressful. Fortunately, you can ease the pain by knowing what you need, what you want, and most importantly, how to get it without getting yourself into a mess.
It’s normal to second guess whether you’re making the right choice, especially when you’re working with a stranger during the process. But don’t worry; common sense is all you need to be stress-free while driving off the car lot.
Kick your car dealership knowledge into overdrive and avoid the pressures of car dealerships with these helpful tips:
Oops, an accident: A car dealer will be reluctant to mention the car you’re interested in has been in an accident. In many cases, it’s “don’t ask don’t tell,” so make sure you always ask. If you never ask but find out later through a series of expensive repairs, you can’t prove your vehicle was misrepresented. In addition, you can double check the history of the car through online car history reports. It’s not an end all solution, and sometimes accidents are never reported, but it’s another useful tool.
Low payments are more expensive: Focusing on a low monthly payment is a huge mistake. Low monthly payments usually accompany lengthy loan terms with high interest rates. This will put you upside down on your car, meaning you owe more on your car than it is worth.
You can probably get this car a lot cheaper: Lastly, the sticker price listed on the vehicle is just a starting point for haggling. But even if you buy a car at invoice, the dealer still makes a small profit with a “dealer holdback,” which allows them to pay up to 3% below invoice for their cars. Make sure to arm yourself with as much knowledge about the car as possible before making an offer.
Remember these tidbits of information while shopping, and know if you're not happy, you don't have to buy a car today. It's better to take the time to get what you want, then to make a decision based on convenience and be inconvenienced down the road.