Always Negotiate Everything Separately
What most people don't realize is dealerships make most of their profit in areas other than the sale of new cars. The typical dealership may only make between $500 and $1,000 in profit on new vehicles sales (much less if you're an informed buyer). However, they can make thousands more by undervaluing your trade-in, gouging you on finance rates, and charging exorbitant amounts for add-ons such as extended warranties and service contracts.
The way they do this is by packaging everything together under one monthly payment so you don't really know what you're paying when it comes to each individual item.
There is one simple rule you MUST abide by in order to maximize your savings and prevent getting ripped off: ALWAYS NEGOTIATE EVERYTHING SEPERATELY.
Negotiate the price of your new car as if you didn't have a trade-in. Negotiate your trade-in as if you weren't buying a new car. Get financing lined up before going to the dealer, then compare it to what the dealer has to offer. Finally, negotiate your add-ons separately. It's simple, but you'd be surprised how often people get fooled by this.
Most car shoppers only focus on monthly payments without realizing dealers can fudge the numbers, and make things look much better than they really are. Follow this simple rule and you'll be way ahead in the game.
My Recommendation for Car ShoppersTrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
About: Gregg Fidan
Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.