Monday, August 16, 2010
We can all agree that the car-buying experience is one of the worst experiences a person can endure. Haggling about prices, sales pressure, complicated financing, and the sales staff intimidating behavior can take their toll on you, the BUYER. Remember, dealers must sell cars and will not take no for an answer, so prepare your yes strategically. The following are ten MUST DOs that will help you get the best car deal you possibly can at the best interest rate allowed.
1. Keep your wits about yourself and remain professional. Remember, sales are not personal. Sales are simply the ability to trade something for something.
2. Order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three (3) credit bureaus. Compare the information on each report and if you find discrepancies follow the instructions for clearing them. Make sure your reports are a true reflection of you because they paint a picture of who you are to the finance manager.
3. Assess your wants versus your needs in a vehicle. Discuss the purchase and come to a solid agreement with your family. Make up your mind not to succumb to the influence and intimidation at the dealership.
4. Assess your income and your current debt, honestly and realistically and decide how much money you can spend per month, no more than 15% of your net pay and stick to that amount. Salespersons and Finance Managers will try to up-sell you every step of the way.
5. If you have a primary lender, a bank you usually do business with, or if you are a member of a credit union, attempt to obtain financing through those sources first. If possible always pre-arrange your loan before stepping onto the car lot.
6. Do your homework. Research the vehicle using consumer guide information, the internet, and/or the local library. There is comfort in knowledge and knowledge applied is power. Do not rely on the salesperson to educate you about the vehicle.
7. Be prepared to negotiate, gracefully and intelligently. Negotiating is a game that you can master, if you know all of the perimeters.
8. Decide your drive out price and stand your ground. This price includes the negotiated purchase price including rebates, dealer cash, discounts, and promotional money. It also includes sales taxes, title fees, and licensing fees.
9. Negotiate your interest rate. Interest rate is negotiable like the purchase price.
10. Read all documents very carefully, no matter how long it takes for you to understand what you are agreeing to before you sign on the dotted line. Be absolutely certain that everything you agreed upon is included in the contract, exactly as you agreed.
And last but not least, if you are uncertain about any phase of auto buying, seek professional assistance from an auto buying service, if applicable. You can also get a copy my book, How to Legally Steal Your Next Vehicle & Save $1000s and become empowered to do it all on your own!