RelayRides blogger and automotive expert, Trent Fletcher, has some great tips for getting the best deal when buying a new car.
Buying a new car can be intimidating, even for experienced buyers. Car salesmen have earned their dodgy reputations for a reason, and if you show up to the lot unprepared, it’s possible to end up paying a lot more than you should to drive off with the car you want. Luckily, we’ve come up with a simple guide to help you through the process, and hopefully save you some green in the process.
Decide What You Want
Just like buying a used car, you first need to figure out what you want. Whether you want a low-cost gas-sipper or a high-end sports car, there will be certain options that are important to you and others that aren’t. If you live in Arizona, it’s possible that air-conditioning is a must have, but heated seats are not. Upgraded sound system, alloy wheels and GPS navigation are all options you may or may not be interested in. It’s a good idea to make a list of must-have items so you don’t forget anything while at the dealership.
Check Your Financing Options
While it’s usually an option to get financing through the dealership, you may be able to get a better interest rate or buyer’s assistance pricing by using your own financial resources. Besides checking with your bank or credit union for financing options, membership-based companies like USAA, Navy Federal, and even Costco offer special pricing on new vehicles to their members, as well as low financing rates. Having this information at hand before you step foot onto the lot will give you some leverage when negotiating the terms of the deal.
Pick the Right Time
There are two optimal times to buy a new car. The end of the calendar year, when dealers are desperate to clear the current year’s models off the lot to make room for next year’s, and right after the announcement of a refresh of the model’s design. This won’t work if you are looking for the newest and hottest features, but is a great way to get a new well-optioned car at the lowest price possible.
Don’t Pay For Options You Don’t Want
When you get to the dealership, you’ll probably be limited to the vehicles they have available on the lot. They may have a car with all the options you wrote down earlier, but only in the color lime green, which you abhor. There may also be another vehicle available with all of the options (and color) you want, but is an upgraded model with additional features you don’t care about – and a higher price tag. In this scenario, the chips are in your favor to negotiate an excellent bargain on the upgraded model by sticking to your guns on the price you’re willing to pay and refusing to pay extra for the options you are indifferent about.
Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away
Unfortunately sometimes driving a hard bargain won’t work. In these situations you can’t be afraid to walk away from the deal. There are other dealerships and other cars available, so don’t get stuck with something you don’t want (whether on the car or on your monthly loan payment) just because you are already there. It’s much better to have wasted a day of time at the dealership and walk away with nothing than to be stuck with a huge investment into something you’re not excited about.
Did you know that on average a car will likely spend 90% of it’s time unused? By listing it on RelayRides you can keep your new wheels from getting lonely and offset those car payments by an average of $250 every month!