Car Buying


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Buy A Car

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Many people panic at car buying time. They believe that they know so little about how to get the best deal from a professional car salesperson that they don't stop to think about the basics of negotiating. Let's face it, buying a car is a huge investment, and every percentage point off the interest rate and every dollar off the price can mean a huge difference in the final cost of a car.

At the other end of the spectrum are those who believe they can control the automobile salesperson by being aggressive, by badgering, and by cajoling. Generally, sales people love to deal with these people who are more focused on the interaction than the results. Somewhere in the middle are those who took the time to find out how to negotiate with a car dealer so that they come out with a great car at the best price.

Know Before You Go
There is a little pun in the heading, but it is intended to reach those buyers who decide they want a particular car with a specific package of features, and possibly, in a specific color. While this approach works if you have $50,000 to spend, it can be a real problem when the dealer won't lower the price of the car to the buyer's expectations.

The best way to get the best deal is to do some research before negotiating. If a buyer is set on owning a specific car, she should check out what that car is selling for at several different dealers within about a 50-mile radius. In addition, she should check out the price of the car online. Car dealers in metropolitan locations are sometimes forced to get more per car in order to cover higher taxes, higher showroom costs, and more. If a buyer can find the car she wants 50 miles away for $3,000 less than she would pay locally, it is well worth the trip.

Be Ready to Walk
Buyers who are looking for a particular car can learn one easy lesson that can save them money. Besides knowing the average price of that car, the buyer should also be ready and willing to walk away from an unacceptable deal. That can be hard if the buyer wants to own a specific make and model used car because used cars are where many dealers make the most profit.

Dealers can set their own mark-up on used cars, so there is often plenty of room for negotiation. At the same time, if the dealer won't come down to what the buyer wants to pay, there is almost always another one of that exact car for sale somewhere. It doesn't make sense to pay an extra $4,000 or a higher interest rate to get a specific car if that amount is more than the buyer can afford. The buyer should be ready to walk away from the deal, seriously, no trying to bluff the salesperson. It's amazing how often the manager will be willing to meet the buyer's offer at that point.

End of the Month
Some buyers think that the advice about buying a car on the last day of the month is not serious. In fact, almost all car dealers and car salespersons are working to meet a monthly quota. A job can be on the line, and a salesperson is more likely to try to get the car sold in the last couple of days of every month than at any other time. Everyone in sales understands that concept; the beginning of a new month is usually the time to relax a little. The end of the month is crunch time.

The steps are simple. Do the research. Know how much you can afford. Do not be so focused on a specific car that you spend more than you intended to. One final point: when the salesperson discusses monthly payment amounts, ask about the interest rate. That is another area in which dealers make money off their sales. It's not a bad idea to ask for a lower interest rate as well.

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