The 2 Things Every New Car Shopper Must Do Before Buying
If you're paying cash and don't have a trade-in, then you're fine to focus only on the price of the car and you don't need to read any further.
But if you're like the majority of car shoppers, you will most likely have a current car that you need to trade or sell, and you will need to finance your new purchase.
The two biggest profit centers for most dealers are used cars and financing. This is exactly where most shoppers fail to do enough research.
Shop Your Trade-In
Before you negotiate the price of your new car, it is vital that you first shop your trade-in to other dealers in order to get a good idea of what it's worth.
Without knowing how much your trade-in is worth, how are you supposed to negotiate its price? Dealers know most shoppers don't take the time to figure out exactly what their car is worth - so they will low-ball you several hundred or even thousands of dollars - and you'll have no idea.
Shop for Car Financing
The vast majority of car buyers get their financing through a dealer. This is one of the biggest mistakes car buyers make. Why? Because if you don't shop for car financing before going to a dealer, they can AND will take advantage of the fact that you don't know what rates you qualify for.
Take the time to compare your financing options and figure out what rates you qualify for - then when it comes time to see what the dealer can offer, you can compare your best rates with whatever the dealer can provide. Sometimes they will be able to beat your lowest offer - but the only way they will do that is if you already have it lined up.
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.