Does your car conk out on the highway, leaving you stranded and open to an oncoming collision with another fast-pacing vehicle? Well, it’s time to trust your instincts into sparing yourself from the corny sales pitch into buying a used lemon!
Buying a car is a serious investment and should be considered as a top priority if your bank account isn’t overflowing in debt from your student loans already. It’s ironic to consider that apart from investing in education and property, purchasing a car, too, is non-refundable and risky. From loans and financial leases to consider, there is a lot of ‘green’ involved when deciding to purchase a new or used car.
To save you from the pitfalls that you might come across when stressfully negotiating with a clever car salesman, we have mentioned eight tips below that might keep the wheels turning!
Find your Dream Car?
The internet is a smorgasbord of resources and is the ideal place for you to start your ‘car hunt.’ First of all, decide which car is appropriate for your needs currently. Do you want to purchase an SUV, or would you settle for anything that has a working engine under its hood?
According to a survey by RepairPal, around 86% of consumers were ‘content’ with their car purchase only because they compared the different models with their prices online before buying. In contrast to the 80% of consumers who didn’t compare before buying their ‘dream car,’ it is advised to begin your research from Consumer Reports or Auto Trader to help you gain information regarding your favored car model.
Consider Shopping Online
After you’re done with your research and found out whether your dream car is stacked in any online inventory or not, consider tracing auto research sites for gaining leverage in your deal. Remember – the more choices you have to go through due to a greater inventory enlisted in your area, the higher will be your chances of negotiating with the car dealer and walking off with higher leverage.
Usually, a car seller enlists their inventory on multiple sites online, and alter their prices depending on the audience of the area. Even third parties post the same vehicle on different websites to increase their response rate. When you shop online for dealers who wish to sell a car, choose by considering the vehicle identification number (VIN) of your shortlisted one, and learning more about the worth of a new or used model in your vicinity.
You might get a good deal after recognizing the model’s actual market worth in contrast to the one posted by the car seller online. Consider taking the car out for a spin so that you can bring down the market price if you detect any faults warranting repairs.
Count your Finances Prior to Hitting Dealers
You simply cannot head to the car dealers without having a huge chunk of assets in your wallet. Buying a car is not as spontaneous as heading to the barbershop to get a haircut that’s been pending from the dark ages. If your car conked out suddenly, then surely it must be creating problems and costing you money in repairs to motivate you enough to purchase a new car.
Before you can even think of getting yourself a car, you have to do some groundwork and research the finances involved in your dream car purchase. If your bank doesn’t have a loan that best befits your requirements, then don’t just stop at one! Darken the pathways of various banks until you come across a financing plan that looks appealing to you.
It’s better to do your financing research within a two-week period so that you’d have a window to assess your credit in lieu of the inquiries. Bank’s policies keep on updating, and you’d never know when they’d decrease their financing or add more interest to the amount you’ve already agreed upon. Also, before signing the paperwork, try to negotiate with the sales staff regarding your current financing in the hopes if they can help you overcome your approved loan or not.
Tackle credit unions as well and compare their Annual Percentage Rate (APR) with that of banks. Most banks offer 5% rates as compared to credit unions that offer 2.9%! Even most dealerships offer APRs from as low to 0 to as high as 1.9% along with a 40% cash-back on your purchases!
Look for better Trade-In Options
It is not necessary for you to sell your car in the same lot from where you decide to replace it in the first place. The car dealer might make you a good deal regarding your trade-in, but do you think you can get a better offer from various dealerships? Consider doing your groundwork by hitting various dealerships and taking estimates for your used car.
When you finally go to the dealership to purchase a new car, don’t be too hasty to tell them about the offers you’ve acquired regarding your used car. Once you’ve come to terms for a good price on your car replacement, ask them about their starting and final price for your trade-in. Negotiate only if their offering price is lesser than the few trade-in offers you’ve already received.
Don’t pay any Conveyance Charges
Most dealerships include the cost of filling out paperwork as ‘conveyance charges or doc fees’ in the final itemized bill that might be as low as $75 or as high as $800 at times! Our advice is to declare foul on such inadvertent charges and insist on negotiating with your dealership to lower the mentioned fees. Your salesperson might call it ‘unnegotiable’ to which our advice will be to walk away until your demands are met.
Also, you have to count the overhead costs such as advertising fees or the car prep costs that are required for pepping up your new purchase for taking home.
Buy at the End of fall!
Consider buying a car when the new models are already in the pipeline for launch! In this way, car dealerships will have a lot of room to make for the new forthcoming models and would give anything to triple their sales as they’d have to sell the previous car models by the end of the fall.
Don’t Consider Your Car as a ‘Status Symbol.’
While many consider a car replacement as an investment, it is nothing more but a depreciating asset whose value diminishes the moment you take control behind the wheel. Sure, your neighbors might have a top-line model, but instead of looking at the bigger picture, consider the harsh aspects. Investing in a top-notch model warrants a majority of your savings, not to mention the premiums you’d have to spend on gas, repairs, and tune-ups for preserving its condition.
There is always room for upgrading your latest lemon to a model that tickles your fancy.
Buy Instead of Leasing your Car!
Leasing a new car seems pretty convenient, especially when you’re adamant about replacing your car every 10-15 years and don’t have to worry about having to pay periodically. With a lease, you can hand in your car at the end of the term to your dealer, and either walks away or upgrade your dingy dinky with a new one.
We do agree that leasing your car has its perks, especially when you don’t have to worry about taking a huge loan or spending your savings all at once. But here’s the deal that you don’t know about. When you hand your car to the dealer and ask for a replacement to enjoy another decade driving a new model, beware! Your dealer might ask you to pay the repair costs for any wear and tear caused during your ownership, even if you had purchased a protection package from the same dealership.
Buying a car without a lease allows you to enjoy a stress-free ride for as long as you wish to drive!
Pro-Tip: You can ask for an extended warranty from your dealer when the actual warranty ends. Try to pay extra attention to the exceptional paperwork, as most extended warranties have limited resources, allowing you to go for independent car insurance for inventory protection.
BIO: Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness, and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia