You may have your eye on a brand new car with the latest features and technology or a quality used car that comes at a good price. If you plan to purchase your next car from a dealership, here are a couple things you need to know before you walk onto the lot.
- Get your financing first – If you get preapproved for your auto loan first, you can make a clear plan for how much you can spend. You’ll know how much you’ll need as a down payment and an estimate of what fees and taxes might add to your loan amount. Credit unions typically offer better rates with little or no fees. You can start the preapproval process here.
- Make the negotiation go smoothly
- Know your price – The internet is a fantastic resource. Now, you can determine the price you’re willing to pay before you ever walk in, and refuse to pay one cent more than that. If you want, you can even email back and forth between multiple salespeople, letting them bid against each other.
- Don’t say too much – There’s very little you can say to make a negotiation go better, but there’s a lot you can say to make it go worse. If in doubt, don’t say anything. It can be difficult, particularly when the silence is awkward and tense, but saying nothing is often the right thing to do.
- Walk away – It’s an old saw in sales: “He or she who can walk away controls the deal,” and it’s been passed down from bullpen to bullpen because it’s true. If you aren’t willing to walk away and leave the salesperson without a sale, then what incentive does he or she have for lowering the price? When you go out to buy a car, make a resolution to wait a week before you buy. That will make it easier to walk away and give you time to make sure you’re certain of your purchase. If you wait, you might even get a phone call during the week with a better price.
If you’re planning on buying a car, be sure to do your research and get a vehicle that will make you happy for years to come. And remember, you’re always welcome to talk with your partners at Stanford FCU for more information and guidance to make your car buying experience as enjoyable as possible.