There are many mistakes consumers can make when purchasing a vehicle. These mistakes can be highly lucrative for dealerships, but not so good on the wallet. Avoid costly mistakes with proper preparation for car deal. Below are some common examples of these buying errors and advice on how to avoid making them as well.
One of the worst things a car buyer can do is to make a purchase without doing a little homework. Wandering into a dealership without a researched plan is like showing up to a baseball game without a bat or glove.
Giving In to Pressure
Without a clear idea of their needs, many buyers have found themselves making poor buys at the hand of an opportunistic salesman. Salesmen will apply pressure, and the unprepared can leave the dealership with cars that aren't a good fit, with unnecessary and expensive options. It’s important you stay strong and not give in to pressure.
Working with Just a Single Dealership
By working with a single dealership, they are, if you will, the ones in the driver's seat. Be sure to visit several dealers, and let each know you are visiting the other. That way, they'll be fighting each other for your business instead of you fighting with one of them to get a deal.
Taking the Trade-in Offer at Face Value
Every dealership that you go to is going to try to give you less than you should take for a car trade-in. It’s one of the easiest moves to make, and it happens nearly every time. Don’t even mention a trade-in until after the deal is almost finalized on the selected vehicle. Only then should you discuss your trade-in and the value that it’s worth to the dealership.
Be sure to know the market value of your trade. You should be realistic with your expectations, but be prepared for the first offer to be low. Know the established value and the least amount you will take for your trade-in.
Getting Financed at the Dealership
Of course, it’s convenient to let the dealer determine the financing. With that one-stop shopping approach, a deal can be made and closed the same day. In most cases, unfortunately, this approach usually carries a high price for its convenience.
It's best practice to have financing lined up before shopping. This way you are in control of the financial aspects of the sale and cannot be rushed into making a last minute decision that will likely result in you paying too much for the car.
Work with several lenders, and come up with a car loan that works well for you. Only after securing the loan should you go shopping for a new vehicle.
It's easy to get caught up in the moment of getting a new car, ignoring details that can be costly. As much as the dealership would like you to believe that you are their number priority, making money trumps every time. Going into the dealership prepared with the confidence of what you need and want, as well as what you are willing to pay for it and the result will be a deal that favors you.