Know What You Want
When you are buying a car, whether it be new or used, the best thing you can do as a customer is to decide what your bare minimum needs are in an automobile and build from there. What fits your lifestyle? Do you need a people mover or is luxury a concern? Perhaps both. The easiest way to decide on your next car is consider what you like the most about your new car. Then do the research.
Except for drastic changes, such a sports car to family car, you will most likely be happy driving a newer version of what you have right now. The changes that affect your purchase can include business needs, family needs, economizing, or reduction in expenses. To get the right vehicle you should start by making a list of what you need and what type of car/truck suits those needs.
Narrow Down Your Shopping List
Building on the needs assessment above your next move is to narrow the field from the bottom to the top of the line models available. Then get the brands, model names, and dealerships where those cars are located. Call to make an appointment to see those specific cars, get the “out the door” prices, and financing terms. Tell the dealer what you want, you need to be proactive. Remember to evaluate the total cost over the term of the loan, not just an attractive out the door price.
Calculate What You Can Afford
What is the maximum payment you are willing to pay comfortably? Think about that for a second because it isn’t the final expense. How much will the gas cost per month? Car insurance? Extended warranty and GAP? These cost need to be considered before you make your final decision and the dealership is not the place to do it. Go home with your offer and make your decision there.
Do Your Research Online
Research what your car is worth before agreeing to trade it. Dealers make money when they sell your trade so they will try to buy it for the least they can. Knowing what your car is worth ahead of time will help you get the most money for your trade. If you owe money on your trade call your bank and get the ten-day payoff and the per diem rate. Know your account number, the payoff address for overnighting checks, and the phone number for verification.
Spend a few hours researching or confirming your research. Know how much the car or truck you want is selling for, who has it, and what the reputation of the dealer is before you go to the lot.
Let’s say you want a Dodge Charger, which is a four door sedan, you should know where two or three of them are located. If you are looking at new go to the Dodge manufacturers website to look at special offers. So for a Dodge it would be Dodge.com, Chrysler.com for a Chrysler, Jeep.com for a Jeep and so on.
After you have done your homework then it is time to schedule and appointment. Call the dealership and ask for a salesperson, make an appointment. Keep your appointment and then get your offer from the dealer.