So it’s time for a new car, and instead of using Craigslist or eBay, you’ve chosen to go the old-fashioned route and visit a dealership. Whether you’re buying a new or used vehicle, buying it from a dealership is a great route, as it allows for financing, warranties, and maintenance options. However, buying vehicles from car dealers can end up being more expensive than you want when it really doesn’t have to be. Understanding a few aspects of the purchasing process will be beneficial to all parties involved and will ensure that you get the best deal you can get.
1. Know When to Lease and When to Buy
This decision is one that can save you lots of money and hassle over time. The bottom line is quite simple; if a vehicle is going to appreciate in value, buy it. If it is going to depreciate, lease it. Leasing keeps your monthly payments manageable. If you know your car is only going to go down in value, leasing is the way to go. Leasing also typically comes with some sort of maintenance plan, and it allows you to upgrade your ride every few years. If you’re going to buy a car, you should be sure that it will become more valuable in the future. Otherwise, you will end up losing money on repair costs and other maintenance related issues.
2. Always Negotiate
When you walk into a dealership, you should do so with your bargaining shoes on. Have it in your mind that the price you see on the window is not the price you are actually going to pay. Do some research before you go. Weigh your options. Find out what the vehicle is selling for elsewhere and use that information to your advantage. Come up with a price that you feel comfortable paying and push that. Try your best not to budge. Car dealers are ready and willing to work with you, and together you can find a happy medium.
3. Don’t Expect to Get an Unbelievable Deal
If you are looking for the best possible deal, you are better off searching online for vehicles being sold directly by their owners. Buying from car dealers will almost always be more expensive, but the experience comes with lots of conveniences. First of all, dealerships have wide selections of vehicles that they allow you to test-drive and compare. This helps ensure that you find exactly the vehicle you want. Also, buying from a dealer often comes with maintenance deals that keep your future repair costs, oil changes, and other services cheaper in the long run. Finally, dealerships allow you to finance your vehicle. This option is appealing to people who don’t have a lump sum to shell out for a new ride all at once. You will be hard pressed to find this option in the sell-by-owner market.
The most important thing to do before visiting a dealership is your homework. Being knowledgeable is the best thing you can do to save money and get your negotiations with car dealers rolling.