Monday, April 2, 2012

New Car Buying Advice - How to be Prepared For One of the Largest Purchases of Your Life

My father once gave me the greatest new car buying advice I have ever heard. He said, "Car buying is a common sense transaction. The problem is that both people involved in the transaction have to have common sense and the dealer will never have a lick of sense." People in the market for a new car do not realize how vulnerable they are to advertising and sales tactics designed to get them to pay more than necessary for a new car. Whether or not you know exactly which vehicle you want or are still exploring your options you must spend time researching all the particulars of a certain car and also spend some time researching the dealer where you intend to purchase your car.
Since the internet has made information so freely available. It is a crime not to use the valuable resource in searching for information about cars. The large number of car information sites tells you two things. One there is much to learn and second, that the possibility of being scammed is very high. Finding a good car buying guide that will explain the process of car sales and how to avoid the traps of a car dealership will go far toward saving you thousands of dollars and hours of headaches. Many times consumers will go into a dealership armed with information they believe to be helpful when really it is disinformation that was put out to help the dealerships sell more cars.
Walking into a dealership without having done any price research is like handing a blank check to a con man. A good car buying guide can help you get the lowest reasonable price, while not using a guide can cost you thousands. Buying a car is not a simple process anymore because of the cost involved. Spend some time and sometimes a little money to make sure your research is helping and not hurting your chances of getting the car you want. Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, Autobytel, Consumer Reports and many other car sites can help give a base price for starting your negotiations but they usually do not take into account all the nuances of a particular market. Remember that information on the internet is not always as update as it could be and could be outdated. Outdated information can cost you money.
Once you have done your research. It is time to negotiate your deal. The strongest starting point for any negotiation is to know several things in advance. The first is to know your budget and stick to it. Do not be led into a conversation that will move you by $25 or $50 per month. Stay inside your budget. Second, know what options are important to you and which ones you don't need. Third, be aware of special sales, financing and rebates offered by the manufacture of the car you are buying. If at all possible get pre approved for a loan first. A PAL (pre approved loan) loan from your bank or credit union will usually provide you the best possible terms and rates and will also keep you inside your budget. If you go into the dealership and then do your financing you are setting yourself up for higher interest rates, higher payments and longer loan terms.
Tricks of the Trade
There are many sales tricks in the car business, so many in fact, that a single article can not even list them all. The big ones to look out for usually come during the advertising piece that gets you into a dealership. Advertising is designed to get you into the dealership and into a car. Once you get inside the salesman's desire is drive home the "new car fever" into you. Sitting at the sales desk is designed to get you confused, tired and vulnerable to signing papers without being completely aware what you are signing. Just being aware of these two ideas can save you thousands of dollars.
Being prepared for the car buying experience takes homework and plenty of it. You would not trust a $30,000 dollar medical procedure to a cut rate surgeon. So in the same vein do not trust a $30,000 car that you may depend on for your income or to save your life to someone whose primary goal is to increase their own profit. Ask your neighbors and your friends for referrals. Look for owners of the type car you want and ask their opinions. Do your online and offline research and go prepared. Then and only then can you make good decisions and save thousands of dollars in the process of buying a new car.
Cliff Frayne is active as car saleman in the southeastern United States. When not working he spends his time writing and educating consumers on how to buy new and used cars at prices that do not put them in the poor house. He offers more information at his blog []
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