When it comes time to purchase a new car, it can be both exciting and overwhelming. We all want to make sure that we’re getting both the car we want and the price we want. Check out these expert tips to help you find the best deal on your next vehicle purchase:
Set and Know (And Stick To!) Your Budget
Before you can start finding the best possible deal, setting a budget is a must. We all know that car salespeople can be very convincing, if not a little pushy. This means that entering the car lot without a set budget that you vow to stick to can put you in a situation where you’re spending way too much — of course, you won’t realize that until buyer’s remorse sets in when you’re already back home with your new ride in the driveway!
First, determine the method you’d like to pay for your car. Perhaps you have the cash to put down upfront, or you’re interested in financing or leasing options. There is also the option to buy the car outright with cash, though this is not always a great idea if you are short on cash. It may be a better idea to finance, so you have more flexibility for other upcoming expenses.
When it comes to setting your budget, be sure to pick the right car for you. Choosing a car that is simply too expensive and above your budget will make the entire car buying process more difficult and stressful. Consider your “must-have” features and the things you can live without. This will help guide you in choosing the right model and features to fit your wants and needs. Perhaps safety is your top concern, whereas technology is not as important. Whatever you’re searching for, be sure to be upfront with the car salesperson and avoid playing games. Also, don’t waver from your budget, no matter how convincing the salesperson is!
Try Different Dealerships
Another great tip when searching for a new car is to shop around at several different dealerships. Don’t assume that all dealerships of the same make will have the same prices, deals and specials. You can leverage the price of one dealership to help spark a better deal at the next dealership. You can ask dealerships to beat the best price. Chances are they will consider this because they want the sale.
Be Aware of Extras and Add-Ons
Car sales are all about getting customers to pay for extras or all the bells and whistles. When you think you might finally be done at the end of the process, you’re likely to be asked even more questions like adding an extra extended warranty or tire program. Most dealerships will try to make extra money at every part of the purchasing process. It can be tempting to add these types of things, but be mindful that they will continue to grow your price and undermine your savings. And, don’t forget to stick to your budget!
Time of Year
Believe it or not, certain times of the year are better than others when it comes to purchasing a car. At the end of the year, dealerships may have quotas they’re trying to reach and be more apt to work with you on the final price. This may also be true at the end of certain months. There are also good holiday sales at some dealerships, such as Labor Day or Memorial Day sales. You may have seen dealerships advertising special promotions around these holidays. If you’re willing to take a previous model year, the end of the year might be a great time to snag a deal too.
Do Your Research
Before going to the dealership, be sure to do some online research to be as prepared as possible. You can even get price quotes from several local dealerships in your area online. This method is the best way to get an idea of the range for the vehicle you’re interested in and skip the unnecessary negotiations that happen in person at a car dealership. When searching around online, check out this exclusive guide to all 181 Chinese Brands to learn more about the many different car manufacturers out there! Looking for car insurance quotes? Check out this comparison guide to help guide your search for the best possible quotes.
Maximize Your Trade-In Value
When purchasing a new car, getting the most possible money for a car you’re trading in can help save you some serious money. Though trading in your old car to the dealer you’re buying from seems like the easiest process, they often will give low amounts for cars traded in. There are other options when it comes to selling your old vehicle that does not involve the dealership. This can be done online through CarMax or sold to a third-party through websites such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay or Craigslist. Search around thoroughly to see what you can get for your vehicle and make sure you’re maximizing it! What’s more, the global chip shortage is putting a strain on dealers as their lots sit empty, meaning this is the perfect time to get the most out of your investment. If a certain dealership isn’t giving you what you deem a fair price, the next one probably will!
Buying a car can be a stressful process, but with a little preparation and research, it doesn’t have to be. We hope this guide helps empower you to feel more confident going into the car-buying process.