Things to Consider When Buying From Car Dealerships

Buying from car dealerships is often an emotional experience. Emotions can interfere with your ability to negotiate a good deal. Dealerships often try to sell extra warranties, paint protection plans, and gap insurance. These are unnecessary and can be purchased at lower prices outside the dealership.

Do Your Research

You should research before buying a car, especially regarding the dealership. Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors; they may have recommendations on dealerships and salesmen that provide an excellent customer experience. Additionally, it’s important to know the exact cost of your vehicle, including taxes and fees. This will help you avoid overpaying and will make negotiating easier. You can check sites such as to know the possible car costs you wish to purchase.

It’s also important not to share your target monthly payment with the dealer, as this can be used as leverage during negotiations. Instead, negotiate the actual sales price of the vehicle and any trade-in or financing arrangements separately. Also, remember that the interest rate you get is a separate cost from the car itself. This will affect your monthly payments and increase the amount you pay for the vehicle.

Know What You Want

Dealerships and salespeople have monthly, quarterly, and annual goals they must meet. As the end of those periods approaches, they may be more willing to make a deal than usual. In addition, if the car you want is being discontinued or redesigned, dealers might mark it up. A good negotiator can often get the dealership down to or below MSRP. However, there are some things a dealer cannot negotiate, including taxes and destination charges. You should also be wary of add-ons like tire and paint protection plans and gap insurance

Know What You Can Afford

It’s easy to fall in love with a vehicle, but you must be realistic about what you can afford. Be sure to research vehicles before you visit the dealership, and don’t share your monthly car payment with a salesperson. Start negotiations by asking for the dealer’s out-the-door price, which includes the manufacturer’s suggested retail price plus taxes, fees, and destination charges.

Then, remember to factor in additional ownership costs such as fuel, maintenance, and auto insurance. Also, consider how long you plan on keeping the vehicle. Be aware that dealers often offer a seven-year loan, which can significantly raise your car’s total cost of ownership. Ask for a five-year term if possible. Also, avoid unnecessary add-ons like extended warranties, paint protection plans, and gap insurance.

Don’t Be Pressured

Many car dealerships use pressure tactics to get customers to buy a vehicle. This pressure may seem unfair, but the dealer must make a sale.

If you are unsure whether to work with the dealership, do not agree to a credit check until close to making a deal. A full-on credit pull will negatively impact your score, and a salesperson can use this knowledge against you later.

Also, avoid getting distracted by a dealer’s offers for add-on options. These include paint and fabric protection, rust-proofing, and extended warranties. These can be purchased from other sources and will probably cost you less. Instead, focus on the price of the vehicle, including all fees and taxes.

Ask Questions

When buying a car, there are many important things to consider. It’s essential to do your research, test drive vehicles thoroughly, and get professional inspections. Asking smart questions can help you avoid costly surprises down the road.

These questions can be asked in various ways – face-to-face in a showroom or through an email exchange. Whether you are shopping for a used or new vehicle, these are the basic questions you should be asking.

Remember to focus on the vehicle’s price and not mention your trade-in or need for a loan until you have negotiated the lowest total car price. This will give you more negotiating leverage. Also, remember to check prices for the same vehicle at other dealerships.

Katherine E. Ackerman

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