Shopping for a new or used car is a time consuming task, and it is important to do your homework before heading off to the car dealership; research and planning are the keys. Some of the details that you should consider, are whether you’re buying new or used, the type, size and color, as well as the price range that you are able to afford.
The next step, which is the hardest part of the whole process, is having a negotiating strategy. Auto sales is similar to visiting an open market where you find an item that you like, and offering a lower price, then bargaining until an agreed price is reached.
Have a price in mind. What is the total cost and monthly payments you are willing to pay. Financing has changed through the years so that car payments can extend out many years to reach your monthly payment, but by the time the loan has been paid off you have paid more than the car was worth.
The price tag may say what the MRSP (manufacturers retail suggested price) is, but remember that is a suggested price, and there is usually plenty of room to negotiate down. If you have researched similar vehicles with the same year, make and model, and know what price range you are looking for, then it will be easier to hold steady to what you are willing to pay for the car.
Do not be impulsive. Take your time when you are out looking for a car; if you know what type of vehicle you want, check out the various dealerships around town that carry that type. If you do not see what you want at one place, or the salesperson is trying to pressure you to settle for what is on the lot, then take a breath and tell them that you want to check out other dealerships to see what they have to offer.
Car shopping does not have to be done in a day; it may take a couple of weeks to find the right car at the right price. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured to make a quick decision, even if you feel that this might be the deal you want to make. If you’re with someone who is helping you look, ask the salesperson if you can have some time to talk in private; sometimes a second opinion is helpful.
Finally, finish negotiating quickly and don’t let the dealer tempt you to upgrade to a car with more than what you were looking for or need. By the end of the day you will own the car that meets your needs.