3. Narrow Down Your Choices
When you are looking at buying a vehicle, do your homework. Visit internet sites that allow you to search for vehicles in your area. I like www.cars.com and www.autotrader.com because these websites allow you to be as vague or specific as you wish with your search terms.
When you zone in on a particular vehicle, compare the price listed on third party websites with the price that is on the dealer’s website. The prices may not jive so make copies of the internet listing price to take with you to the negotiation table. Just remember that internet pricing may reflect incentives that very few people qualify for or will be willing to take advantage of such as a lease bonus. This is a way to get a potential buyer in the showroom, advertising rock bottom prices that don’t exist to the average person.
Additionally, the sticker price at the dealership may not match the internet price either. When I bought my SUV a few years ago, I went to the dealership with an internet print out. The sticker price at the dealership was about $1000 more. Ouch! I was able to use the print out as leverage to lower the price.
4. Determine How Much You Can Afford
Use a car loan calculator. It will allow you to input numbers such at total loan amount, tax, title and registration, incentives, trade in and down payment amount along with the APR and duration of the loan. Play around with the amounts and determine where each variable needs to be at before you can take home that shiny new vehicle. The calculator is also a great way to determine your bottom line price on a trade in.
Don’t forget to look into rebates and special incentives you may qualify for depending on if you lease, have access to employee vehicle discounts, or auto show bonuses. These will help to reduce the sale price as well.
**This is part 2 of a 6 part series.
PART 5: Using Non-Verbal Cues
PART 6: When to buy