In most places a car is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity and having to buy a car which is suitable to your specific needs takes a lot more than walking into a dealer and looking at cars. Use these tips we have listed below the next time you go to buy a car and you should be able to get the car you want at a price you can afford.
Spending time and money – Remember that when you buy a car you are committing yourself to finance for a minimum of 3 years, so you want to be HAPPY with your decision for at LEAST 3 years.
Know what you want – It is important that you spend time looking at various makes and models of cars, what features you want to have in the car, what colour you want the car to be, what additional features you want BEFORE you walk into the dealership to actually BUY the car. There is no harm in going into your local dealership and test driving a few different cars trying to find the car that suits you. Another great way to ‘test drive’ a car is to lease it for a couple of days, sometimes the time it takes for a test drive doesn’t really show you what you need to know when you choosing your car.
Check Availability – Find out which dealerships in your area have the car in their lot and what the invoice price is. This should be as easy as a phone call to the dealership and enquire in a friendly manner whether they have X make and Y model in Z colour, then ask them the price.
Make sure you make a note of the sales person that you speak with and the price they quote you on the phone, you will probably realize that there is already a difference in price quoted between the dealerships.
You could always end the process now, by going to buy your car at the dealership that quoted you the lowest price on the phone, but according to people who have done this before, there are a few more steps that work wonders.
Email the dealerships – Make sure that you do not mention any prices in the email, simply state that you are wanting to purchase a car within the next 12 hours and you wanting to know what is the best price they can offer. Give them the list of requirements you have i.e. the make, model, colour, additional features and request a price within 2 or 4 hours. Also don’t email the dealership closest to your home.
Bargain in Style – Once you have the responses from the dealerships around you, then you can phone the dealership closest to your home, and speak with the fleet manager or internet sales manager, these people do not work for commission as they get bonuses based on the amount of cars they sell. Explain to the manager that you are wanting to buy a car and you have been phoning around to get prices, they will generally ask you what price you have been given, then you can give them the lowest price you were emailed. They will either MATCH this price, or go slightly lower. Even if they go £100 lower, you are saving!
Trade In or Private Sale – If at all possible, sell your old car privately. Dealerships are going to negotiate you into a corner and offer you the ‘best’ price for your car which will sound like a great deal, except they will tie you into a contract with your new car and in the end when you have time to do the mathematics, you will realize you were screwed nicely.
Financing – Phone your bank and a couple of rival banks and apply for financing. This way you can negotiate your interest rate and know how much you qualify for. If you get to the dealership and they offering you a better interest rate then you welcome to take their financing so long as you read the contract VERY carefully before signing it and make sure it’s on the same terms.
Other tips which help in getting the best price for the car that you want are more about the tactic, follow these steps to ‘cash in’ on the processes of dealerships.
Quiet Times & Desperate Times – Dealerships have targets, so if you walk in at the end of the month you are more likely to get a better deal because they need to reach their target of SOLD cars for the month. Buying on a Tuesday is a great tactic because Tuesdays are known to be the quietest days in the dealerships, so sales consultants will be falling all over themselves to make a sale.
Time your purchase well – Do not wait for your old car to be broken and you desperate for a new car because of responsibilities, know that you need to buy a new car and buy one before you are desperate. Sales people can spot which client is desperate and will use this to their advantage.
Keep It Simple – Do not spend hours haggling with your sales person over a £100, this will only make you give in at the end and leave you feeling dissatisfied with the purchase. Also do not take additional features or sales add-ons that you do not need. That tinted glass is not a necessity to your safety on the road, it only adds to the cost of the car. The finance person will also offer you a variety of additional service features and after sales options which might sound like a great deal but will add to the cost of the car, instead of falling for this tactic, simply say No Thank you!
Polite & Friendly – Always be polite and friendly with the staff at the dealership, when you are polite and friendly you will get polite and friendly service and you will be able to have a happy deal sealed. People who are aggressive or rude only get the sales people to be hard on them and refuse to meet their needs, even when they agreed to a price on the phone.
Good Reviews – Once you have managed to close the deal with the sales person, make sure that you give him a good customer service review.
Walk Away – If the sales person does not agree to the terms that were discussed on the phone or email when you get to the dealership, simply say “Thanks for your time, but this is not what we agreed to” and walk away. The sales person will see he is losing the deal and run after you to get it back, probably offering you lots of additional ‘free’ features or add-ons to get you back into his office.
Finding the RIGHT car for you at the RIGHT price is a lengthy process, but by following these steps it should be easier than it seems and you should be able to drive away in your new car a happy client with a happy sales person left behind at the dealership.