This is a guest post by Sam Peters
Once you’ve made the decision to purchase a new car, you might excitedly visit a dealership and pick out your new ride. Maybe you don’t have a particular car in mind. No problem. If you are in the area, the Mini of Baltimore available inventory can point you in the right direction and help you locate a car that’s right for your family.
Although there are people buying cars every day, it isn’t something you do every day, so it is worth familiarising yourself with the buying process. There are plenty of scams around and because it can be an emotional decision, you can aslo end up paying too much for your car.
Ready to make your purchase? Here are four things that you should know before going to the dealership.
1. Invoice Price
Never pay the sticker price for a car, do some research beforehand and locate the invoice price. This is what the dealer paid for the vehicle. Do not expect to drive off paying the dealer’s cost, but knowing the invoice price provides a good starting point when you are ready to negotiate.
There are several ways to locate this information. A simple google search can provide information on invoice prices for any vehicle, plus you can find this information on specific websites, such as Kelley Blue Book.
Knowing the latest rebates can save you thousands when shopping for a car. But there is a catch. Dealerships and salespeople aren’t going to advertise these savings. You either know about them, or you don’t. Do not miss out on a good deal because you didn’t do your homework.
How do you get information on rebates? Visit the car manufacturer’s website and check for the most recent rebates and incentives.
3. Set an appointment with the sales manager
Salespeople work off commission and they are mostly interested in earning the highest profit. This is understandable. However, this can also result in a lot of back and forth negotiating. To avoid games, work with the sales manager. These individuals don’t typically work off commission, giving you more leeway to negotiate the best price for the automobile.
4. Get pre-approved
Once you decide to purchase a car, the dealership will usher you to the finance department to arrange financing. This is a common step in the process, and due to excitement, many people apply for financing on site. However, there are no rules that say you have to apply for financing at the dealership. In fact, it is almost always better to secure your own financing and get pre-approved with your bank. You can usually get a better interest rate on the vehicle loan, and with a pre-approval, you know how much you can spend in advance.
Saving money on your car purchase is a priority, and knowing what to expect from the process can save you thousands on your new or used car. This is a major purchase, therefore, you shouldn’t rush or buy a car unless you’re 100% confident in your decision. Educate yourself on how to negotiate, be firm with your price and don’t make a hasty decision.
How did your last car purchase end up and what would you do differently next time?
Image by NRMA New Cars