There’s no putting it off any longer—it’s time to buy a new car. Whether your current one is on its last legs or just no longer suits your needs, when you’re ready to make a vehicle purchase there might not be much else that can hold your attention. But before you head down to the dealer to strike a deal, it pays to slow down and prepare yourself for the forthcoming negotiations. Even in the current economy where it’s a buyer’s market, salespeople can still get the upper hand on hasty consumers. Car buying is all about the fine art of haggling, so here are some things to avoid while you make your next purchase.
The Monthly Payment Façade
Some consumers make the mistake of telling their salesperson that they are looking for a car that will leave them with a low monthly payment. It’s normal for a household to divvy out its funds according to a monthly timeline, but focusing on this when buying a vehicle can prove damaging. There’s a way to make almost any payment seem like a good deal, so know before your visit how much you can afford to shell out in total and then calculate the overall cost of the loan before signing your name on the dotted line.
A House Divided
You probably wouldn’t consider making a vehicle purchase without consulting your spouse, but don’t let a salesperson use this against you. Indecisive couples on the lot can give salespeople a lot of room to work and cause you to lose your negotiating position. By carefully pitting spouses against each other, a dealer might convince a couple to purchase unnecessary bells and whistles. Talk with your spouse before you get to the lot to make sure you are on the same page and don’t be afraid to ask the dealer for some alone time to discuss your options and to ensure a united front.
The Trade-In Trade Off
If you are looking to get something out of your old vehicle, avoid telling the dealer this before you negotiate the price of a new car. Doing so can give the salesperson more wiggle room on the price. Instead, carefully assess your old vehicle’s worth—research helps—so that you know what’s a fair price. After you and the dealer have settled on a price for your new vehicle, offer the older one as a trade-in and see if the offer is on par with its value. Be prepared to take your vehicle elsewhere if you’re low balled.
The Premature Reveal
It might be tempting to tell the salesperson right from the get-go what you are willing to spend, but tipping your hand early in the game can take away any negotiating advantage you have. When the dealer knows how much money you’ve got, he or she won’t likely take anything less, so play it close to vest. Talk with your salesperson about the kind of car you’re looking for and what options are important to you. Wait until the dealer makes an initial offer and haggle from there.
Statistics for article sourced: www.approvalbuddy.com.au/finance/
When it comes to buying a new vehicle, protecting your own interests and safety is paramount. So first, get a good set of screwdrivers. And because price is often determined through negotiation, take care not to give yourself away to make sure you get the most for your money.