1. Never make a car buying decision based on emotion. Take your time to find out the exact car you want and research the available options. Learn what other people are paying for that car before you go into the dealership. A great source for that is Edmunds.com.
2. Separate your negotiation on every profit center the dealer has. You should negotiate these items separately. Price, rebates, trade-in value, interest rate, lease rate, bank fee, alarms, maintenance, warranties, and any other products the dealer is offering.
3. Prepare yourself to walk out of the dealership if you are being pressured by the sales staff and you are feeling uncomfortable. Never fall for the potential “FALSE URGENCY” a dealer may create. Nine times out of ten, a deal the dealer quotes you will be available the next day unless it’s the last day of a special program. Which leads me to my next tip….
4. The end of the month is not the only time to get a great deal. Dealerships are always motivated to sell cars. If you want to wait until the last day of the month to take advantage of the dealer’s urgency to meet his goals or quota, start your negotiation with the dealer a few days before. Give yourself time to prepare so you can negotiate with some level of intelligence.
5. Before you enter into a negotiation with a dealership, make sure it has the car you want in stock. If the dealer doesn’t have it on his lot, he usually can trade with another dealer to get the car for you. It can take up to a few days for the dealer to get it. However, the issue is that there is no guarantee that the dealer that can get the car for you. If you have gone through an entire negotiation and have agreed on a deal and then the dealer cannot get the car, your time has been wasted. You should also know that a dealer would typically offer you a better deal on a car he has in stock.
6. Never let a dealer switch you from a new car to a used car or vice versa without you taking down all the information on the second car. Then leave the dealership to research the market value for that new car that has come into play. Beware of the potential false urgency such as “this pre-owned car is a very special, rare, low-mileage car that may be impossible to replace.” There could be some validity to that statement, so if you feel that the car the dealer is showing you is special, leave the dealer briefly and gather your information quickly so you can return to the dealer promptly. You can always ask the dealer if he will hold the car for a while.
7. Beware of a dealer switching the term of a loan or lease to lower your monthly payment. This is a way the dealer can present a more comfortable payment for you without possibly having to lower his price and profit.
8. Stay away from getting a newly designed model or new model year when it first comes out, unless your desire for that car exceeds your need to get a good deal -- which is OK. Typically a dealer will charge retail or even over-retail for a new model when it first hits the showroom floor because of the hype, and the supply-and-demand factor. In most cases, if you can wait a few months for the inventory to arrive at the dealers, the price and demand will adjust more in your favor.
9. When you are planning to take out a loan on a car, it’s very important to set yourself up to be in a good position to get your next car. If you are going to purchase a car with little or no money down and you plan to replace it within 36 months, don’t do it. It would be much better for you to lease it for a 36-month term, providing you with a paid contract at the end of the lease. If you try to get out of a 5- or 6-year purchase in 36 months, you will most likely owe more money on the car than it’s worth. Doing this could create a horrible cycle of taking negative equity from one car to another, further burying yourself in a negative trade cycle.
10. A great timesaving tip is to call the dealership before going there to test drive a car. Ask the salesman to have the car you want to drive ready for you when you arrive. This will eliminate potential aggravation of having to wait for the dealer to pull around the car you want to drive. Here are some examples of what could happen if you don’t: The car you want to drive could have a dead battery. The car you want to drive can be buried behind a few cars which could take time to pull out. One of those cars could have a dead battery!!! Many dealers have their cars stored off site and it could take quite some time to retrieve it for you to test drive. It’s never fun to hang around on the lot, in the sun, waiting for all of this.
The most important tip of all. Never buy or lease a car without consulting Authority Auto. We guarantee to beat any deal you present us. If we can’t, there is no service fee and you will walk away with our approval of the great deal you achieved for yourself. If you are the type of person that doesn’t like haggling with dealers and/or would rather spend your free time doing something more fun, our Full Service will guarantee a great car-buying experience and a great result on the deal we will negotiate for you. Visit our testimonials page to hear what the clients who have used our service have to say about us.