When you're in the market for a newer car, it can be a taxing experience dealing with dealerships and figuring out finances. But you can avoid many of the headaches that come with car shopping by knowing a few common ways to save money on buying your car. Whether you need to negotiate with the dealer or inspect the vehicles further, there are a few ways to lower the price of the car you're purchasing.
Do Research Beforehand
If you have a particular make and model in mind, don't go into the dealership without looking into the car further. Take notes on the different accessories it comes with and what the general market value is. Sometimes, the price may look higher because of some undisclosed accessories, and knowing these price discrepancies will help you avoid purchasing something you don't need.
Take It for a Test Drive
Whenever you're looking at a car, always take it for a test drive first. This initial drive can reveal problems that were not apparent when simply looking at it or getting its history. Notice how the vehicle handles bumps, how quickly it accelerates, and its ability to stop on time. Inspecting every little thing can prove that the car may have underlying issues that require service, allowing you to lower the price further after bringing up your concerns.
Pay Attention To Sounds
Beyond the handling, you need to know what to listen for when trying to hear the sounds the vehicle makes. Squealing tires can mean a few different things, none of them being positive indicators.
Shop Around and Negotiate
When looking for the best deal, you need to shop around a little bit. Settling on one place too quickly can mean paying more for something that another dealership offers at a lower price. Bring up price differences to your dealer and ask if they can match it or go lower; the worst-case scenario is that they say no, in which case you will negotiate with the cheaper dealership.
Don't Discount Used Cars
While you may be in the market for a brand-new car, you should always consider used vehicles as an alternative. This isn't to say you should purchase a 20-year-old car with 150,000 miles on it, but you can find used cars that may only be a year or two old. Though used, you can find one in nearly pristine condition, handling just as well as one that's fresh out of the factory. The most significant benefit is that dealerships will heavily discount these practically new cars.
Go in Prepared, But Be Ready To Walk Away
A dealer's job is to sell you a car for as much as you're willing to pay, and that means they will prey on your lack of knowledge and preparedness. Always go in with a clear vision of what you need, what you want, and what a realistic price range looks like for you. Going in cold and allowing the dealership to dictate the information can leave you vulnerable to paying more than the car is worth.