One of the biggest purchases you can make is buying a car. And, because it’s such a huge, expensive and important purchase, it can be hard to find the right price. It can also be very hard to even know what that right price may be for the vehicle. You certainly do not want to end up paying too much for your new car purchase, especially when too much on a car can mean paying several months’ worth of rent or mortgage payments over the price you should have paid. We’re here to give you pointers on how to purchase a new car for the lowest price you can manage.
Know What You Want
Whether this is your first car or your third, you need to go into the car shopping process with an idea of what you want, and what you don’t want. What features are essential to you? What features do you not need or do you not care about? Knowing the bare minimum of what you want in a car gives you a place to start knocking costs out; know ahead of time that you don’t want a sunroof or heated seats or a powered lift trunk. Or know in advance that you do. This will allow you to estimate what you could be paying.
Find out what other people are paying for the car you want. Using online pricing tools to check the cost of the car you want or crowdsource among friends and family to see what they paid for their cars. You’ll probably start to see a wide range – some people paid much more than others, and that could be the quality of their cars or the fact that they didn’t prepare enough when they went to purchase their cars. Lucky for you, you’re already a step ahead of that person. Once you start seeing this range of prices, you must know where you want to fall within this range. What is the highest you’re willing to pay? If you walk into a dealership knowing how much you can or cannot pay for a car, you are already going to save yourself from getting talked into paying more than you are willing or able to afford.
Get Multiple Quotes
This should go without saying, but you absolutely should not take the first offer you get on a car. Shop around and see what different kinds of deals there are. Nearly every car dealership around has some sort of promotion going on for various holidays, so compare the prices between them. It can seem like a laborious process, but it will pay off in the end if you take the time to go to multiple places and see the variety in pricing. It may be inconvenient to go two towns over to check out a dealership, but if going that far winds up saving you several thousand dollars, you’ll be much happier.
Negotiate and Hold Your Ground
A car salesman’s greatest asset is his or her ability to talk the customers into purchasing amenities they don’t need or trying to shut down price negotiation. Your greatest assets are your negotiating skills and your ability to walk out. If the salesperson you’re working with isn’t being cooperative or is trying to bully you into full-price, you are more than within your rights to walk out. The salesperson doesn’t want you to do that, but if you aren’t comfortable, just leave. You don’t have to walk out of the dealership with a car the first day you walk in there. You must be willing to stand your ground. If you don’t think you can, bring a trusted friend or a family member to haggle on your behalf or to encourage you to do so. Once you know you can speak up for yourself and know that you are able to aggressively negotiate for a fair price on the car, you will be ready to walk out of the dealership with your new car. If you aren’t confident, it doesn’t have to happen that day. You are only going to get the absolute best and lowest price on your new car if you negotiate the price. You know what you want to pay and you know what others are paying, so if you want to get that low price, haggle as best you can to make sure you are signing a contract for the exact amount you want to pay.