Recap - Step Five:
Buying Your Car Like An Expert

Before you buy:

  • Ignore offers from "auto brokers" unless you are willing to pay someone to buy the car for you.
  • Ignore splashy advertisements for dealership "clearance sales."

Planning your car buying trip:

  • Buy at the largest dealership that has - in stock - the vehicle you plan on buying.
  • Buy on the last weekend of the month.
  • Bring your co-signer, spouse or friend with you.
  • Bring your loan papers and other necessary items.
  • Dress neat and comfortably.
  • Eat before you go.
Your car buying goal:
  • To buy the vehicle you want at a pre-set amount over the dealer's invoice price (new cars) or over the wholesale price (used cars).
Buying without negotiating:
  • Get free price quotes from TrueCar.
  • Compare the prices you receive and choose the lowest one.
  • Visit that dealership's Internet Department and buy the car at the quoted price.
  • Or call a dealership's Fleet Department, set up an appointment, and buy the vehicle at the non-negotiable price they offer.
Negotiating the price:
  • Make an offer that is lower than your pre-set buying buying goal.
  • Make it clear to the salesman that you are ready and willing to drive that car home now.
  • Make it clear to him that, if there is a rebate, it is yours to keep.
  • Don't raise your offer until he makes a counteroffer.
  • Raise your bid in small increments.
  • Be friendly and casual, but firm and focused.
  • Keep the negotiations on track.
  • Don't fall for their dramatic ploys and lines.
  • Threaten to leave if they give you a hard time.
  • When you've reached your spending limit, freeze.
Surviving the Business Office:
  • Read the paperwork carefully.
  • If you don't understand something, ask.
  • If you have pre-arranged financing, ask the Business Manager if she can beat your interest rate.
  • If you have dealership financing, ask them to lower your interest rate if you feel it is too high.
  • Think twice before you purchase any "extras" or "add-ons."
Taking delivery of your vehicle:
  • Be sure that you receive the Owner's Manual, Factory Warranty Book and an extra set of keys.
  • Be sure that the salesman demonstrates the vehicle's features for you.
  • If you don't understand something, ask.

Be a smart car buyer. Get a free price quote. Click here.

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