Consumer Reports recently published some advice for new car buyers. From securing the loan to getting a fair deal for your trade-in, make sure you arm yourself with loads of information and the ability to negotiate so you are assured of walking away with the car you want at the right price.
Here are some of the best tips from ConsumerRerports.org:
- Get your loan secured in advance. Check websites like BankRate.com, Eloan.com or LendingTree.com to compare rates. Local credit unions are also a great place to find a low-rate auto loan.
- Know the value of your trade-in. Don’t let the dealer give you less than it is worth. Check with Kelley Blue Book and the National Auto Dealers Association for your car’s trade-in value, and check out what local dealers are selling similar used cars for. And consider selling your existing vehicle on your own if you have the time. You will likely be able to get more for it through a private sale than you will from a dealer.
- Know the price of the model you are interested in. Before you begin any negotiations with a dealer, try to have some idea of the invoice price of the car. This will be close to what the dealer paid for the car, and can give you a good idea of where to start negotiations.
- Get competing quotes. Dealers know they have to compete for your business. Call around or email local dealerships and ask for their lowest price. Choose the dealer who offers the best value, but who you also feel comfortable dealing with and who treats you best.
- Watch the details. Make sure you are getting the exact model, trim level and options that you want. Don’t end up buying something that you didn’t ask for. Perform a complete and thorough test drive to make sure the car is everything you want and need it to be. And don’t let the finance manager try to up-sell needless services when you get to the final step in the process.
The best advice for car buying is to make sure you are well-informed about the purchase process, the car you want to buy, and the various negotiating tactics that dealers employ to make you think you are getting a good deal when perhaps it is not as good as you think. Keep in mind that most reputable dealerships want your repeat business, so it is in their interest to negotiate in good faith. But you still need to stay focused and avoid the various pitfalls that car buyers can run into if they don’t have enough information to make a good decision.
When you’ve finally driven your fabulous new car off the lot, don’t forget to call us. We will need to add your new car to your auto insurance policy. You might even be eligible for additional savings or discounts!
Have you purchased a car recently? Do you have any other tips to offer? Do you think you got a good deal?