Here is a little known fact about selling a car: if the customer leaves the lot then chances are they will not buy the care there but instead from another dealer.
I got that bit of information from a friend who sells cars. He was told that on his first day of training.
That’s why when you go to a car dealer to just look at the newest cars you are pounced on like a mouse being attacked by a cat. I once had a dealer take my keys (he was having my car checked out to determine the trade-in value) and refuse to return them to me. Boy was that a mistake on his part. I taught my oldest how to buy a car that day.
Just for good measure, I always secure financing through my own bank before I start the car shopping process. Banking at the same place for more than 2 decades means that they are more agreeable to a lower interest rate than if I went through the finance company that the car dealer works with.
As soon as I secure the car deal I give them the name of the bank and let the process proceed from there. I also make the dealer pay the cost of the title transfer. Some will claim that they are not allowed by law to do this. As of now every state allows this; I checked.
Buying a car isn’t difficult if you know how. With the Internet to help, it’s easy to look for what you want online, know exactly how much you can expect to pay and precisely where to deal.
The very first question you need to ask yourself is if you need the car to be new. Cars depreciate very quickly and lose as much as 30% of their value the moment you drive it home. If you don’t mind a car that is a few months or a year old, you can save thousands of dollars. If nothing else, consider the demo model of the car. It should be drastically lower in price than an identical car that is new.
Consider the options of the car as a bargaining point. Does the sticker price include the upgraded stereo that the dealer installed? That’s a point you can negotiate. I generally just tell them what I’m willing to pay and tell them to make it happen.
I rather enjoy watching them jump up and run to talk to the manager (they are really hiding in the break room for 5-10 minutes and drinking coffee). When they come back with a new number, I counter with another number and they run off again. We do this until we get to the number I really had in mind. Anything less than 4 trips to the “manager” and you paid more for the car than necessary.