You’re at the dealership and some pushy sales person is giving you the speech about how safe and reliable a car is. Then all of a sudden….
Sales Person: “If the price was right would you buy today?”
Customer: “Uh, I don’t know. I would have to (insert defense mechanism here)”
Sales Person: “Ok, I understand. Let me see if there is something we can do to earn your business.”
This happens every single day at dealerships across the country. I know this because I am the sales manager of two decently sized new car dealerships. The car buying process can be very scary for people who are not prepared or intelligent. People in the car business prey off of people when their guard is down. The saying in most sales positions is “You make %80 of your income from %20 of your customers.” To make sure you are not part of that %20 keep some of these tips in mind next time you go shopping.
1: Most manufactures that have a credit facility often offer %0 for some of their vehicles. In the case of import cars like Toyota, Honda or Nissan; these rates will help save you thousands. In the case of many domestics you may be better going through “an outside bank” and using the cash rebate. Yes you may pay some interest but a lot of domestic vehicles have some beefy cash rebates available.
2: Yes going at the end of the month does help you. I suggest starting your shopping early on in the month and finalize your deal towards the last week or so. A good sales person would have followed up with you multiple times by now.
3: If you want a very big discount you MUST be flexible with color choices and some options. Dealerships have to move what is on the lot. Switching color choices could save you tons of money.
4: KBB.Com is a great resource for having a rough estimate of what your car is worth, but only if you sold it privately. Their trade in number is usually about %20 higher than actual book value of your car. Do not be surprised when this happens.
5: Sales people are humans too. Do not forget that they are on your side and most only live off of commissions. Their job is to get an offer of any type. If you are going to hate any one person, hate the sales manager behind the glass (ie me)
6: Truecar is also a good resource however, it is under a lot of fire from manufactures for having false information. Many will not use Truecar any more or some dealer groups have left the Truecar affiliated system all together. If you do use Truecar make sure your vehicle is built properly with the right options and MSRP. Also make sure you are applying the correct rebates. The site automatically includes the cash rebate for some brands.
7: The best deals are on demos or rental fleet vehicles. Those cars with under 10k miles and are only one year old (or newer) are the best deals on the lot. They usually can be negotiated pretty heavily and sometimes they are eligible for new car incentives. It all depends on if the car was previously registered.
These are just some tips to help you along your car buying process.