Research the Vehicles you Like the Most
If you have an idea on cars you like, do a little bit of homework on them. Find out what features they come with, which features you want, which features come as part of “package,” and which features you can live without. By doing this you’ll know when you’re being up-sold on options, and what you can walk away from.
Negotiate on Total Price, Not Payment
Car dealers and their sales personnel are accustomed to people shopping by a particular car payment. Instead stick to an overall price figure. Think of it like shopping for a new pair of jeans or a new shirt. You know what you’re willing to pay for them, and if the price isn’t where you want it, you walk away. The other aspect, is you can make almost any dollar figure if you work it right. Besides, who wants have a car financed for 6-7 years just to get a certain monthly payment?
Use Online Tools to Gauge Prices
Places like Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds.com, and Carfinder.com are excellent ways to get a ballpark estimate of what a car is valued at, as well as what others in your area are paying.
Check out the Car Manufacturer’s Website
Often times you can find out about special interest rates, as well as cash incentives straight off of the manufacturers website. Checking out their site may give you a head’s up as to what you can get off the price of a car.
Subscribe to a Car Buying Newsletter
There are several places you can get good information from. One of those is the self-proclaimed CarPro, Jerry Reynolds. He not only gives you “straight talk, and honest answers,” but will hook you up with superior customer service related dealerships if you live in his markets.
Consider How You Feel About Paying Retail
There is not a single person I know who enjoys paying the MSRP on any item. In fact, most people feel ripped off if they purchase something for that price. Everyone knows that the seller purchased the item for less than the MSRP, and that they are making a profit on anything above that. The key is to know what the MSRP is, and start below that amount. Also remember in your negotiation that New Cars offer smaller areas for the dealer to negotiate. Whereas with Used Cars they may have gotten an excellent trade-in price on it, and have lots of extra room to negotiate. Additionally, you should be aware that it is popular right now to buy used, which means their values are going up. Not to mention that since fewer cars were bought in the past years there are fewer newer model used cars with which to select from.
Lead With Your Wallet
While these tips are not a hard and fast way to guarantee thousands of dollars off of your purchase, they will help give you the tools needed to negotiate a good price on your next purchase. Don’t forget that one of the best tools you have is your ability to walk away.