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Media post: How To Prepare For A Trip To The Car Dealership – How To Get The Best Deal

The process of shopping for a new or used car at a vehicle dealership can be intense, difficult, and time-consuming, and this is just how dealers want it to be! The more difficult it is to shop for a vehicle, the more likely you are to purchase a car from them – because you may not want to spend that time and energy at another dealership. How can you combat this, and make sure that your trip to the dealer is quick and easy? Here are our top tips.

  1. Do Your Research Before You Go In

You should have already done quite a bit of research about the cars you’re interested in, before you even set foot in a dealership. Use online resources to understand the value and MSRP of the car you’re looking for – and the prices at which it’s being sold at other dealerships. By having a general idea of the right price for a car before you go into the dealership, you’ll be in a much better position to negotiate.

  1. Have A List Of Competitors And Their Prices

If you have more than one Toyota dealership near you, for example, you should have print-outs and information about their prices ready when you go into a dealership. This may help you negotiate a lower price on your vehicle – and prove that you’re ready to simply leave the dealership and go to a competitor if you don’t get what you want. 

  1. Get Pre-Approved For A Loan

The loan approval process is extremely time-consuming and requires a lot of waiting around at the dealership. So skip this step altogether by getting pre-approved for an auto loan by your bank or credit union. This lets you spend less time at the dealer, and shows the dealer that you mean business, and are already approved for the vehicle’s purchase. If you are pre-approved, they may even offer you a better rate with their in-house financing department.

  1. Bring In All The Necessary Documents And Materials

If you’re trading a car in at the dealership, make sure that you have the title with you. You should also bring a driver’s license, insurance and registration information to ensure you can test drive the new vehicle. Other documents and things that could be required include:

  • Proof of address
  • Bank statements
  • A checkbook or cash (for the down payment)
  1. Don’t Let Your Guard Down When You Get Into The Finance Office 

You may think that, once you’ve agreed to buy a vehicle from the salesperson, that you’re not at risk of getting a bad deal. After all, they can’t change the price now, right? Often, the person at the dealership who is going to try to get the most money out of you is the finance manager. They will try to get you to sign up for extras and additional protections, such as:

  • Gap insurance
  • Extended vehicle warranties
  • Life insurance on your car loan
  • Extras (running boards, chrome wheels, mats)
  • VIN etching
  • Car alarms and tracking devices

Because you’re likely already in a “buying mood,” you may be more prone to add these extras to your vehicle – which can cost you quite a bit in the long run. As a rule, you should avoid any “extras” offered to you at the finance office. 

  1. Make Sure You’re Hydrated, Fed, And Well-Rested

It’s not uncommon for the entire purchase process to take 4-6 hours or longer, including test drives, signing paperwork, and waiting for available salespeople and agents. To make sure that you’re able to get through the entire process, make sure that you’re well-rested, that you’ve eaten a good meal, and that you stay hydrated – and make sure you have plenty of time set aside for the process. This will help you maintain a healthy state of mind, and make better decisions when shopping for a vehicle.

Follow These Tips For Car Dealership Success!

With these simple and easy tips, you can negotiate a better price at the dealership, and make sure that the process of buying a car goes smoothly.

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