Car Shopping: How To Get Your Best Deal

Have you ever been afraid to step out of your vehicle at a dealership, in fear that if you do, a pushy salesperson will try to negotiate deals with you? I can relate. Having dealers pressure you into buying a vehicle is no good feeling. What makes matters worse is that the average price of a new car in the U.S. is $30,000, which is a LOT of money. Buying a car is second only to buying a home on the cost scale. To find your best deal, you will have to learn how to be a better negotiator, so you don't end up paying more than you have to! 

Find the Best Deals

Of course you want a good deal on your vehicle. And why would you spend more when you can spend less on the same purchase? It sounds reasonable to want these things, but when you're actually out looking at dealerships, the whole process can get overwhelming, quickly. Then, it's tempting to take the deal that's least time-consuming. 

To avoid slipping into a bad deal, here are some shopping suggestions.

  1. Be a shopper. The first deal you see is likely not going to be the best deal you can get. Look around for deals, and many times, used cars are the best way to go. Give yourself time.
  2. Research what you want before going out. Know the car models you want, and how much you are willing to pay. That way, you are less likely to be persuaded by deals that are overpriced. 
  3. Figure out how much you can afford - but don't just consider the monthly payment. The total amount you will pay depends on the car price, annual percentage rate (APR), and length of the loan.

To Get The Best Deals...

  • Shop early in the week and beat the rush of consumers coming in on the weekend.
  • Make your best reasonable offer late in the day because salespeople want to get home, too! 
  • Know what you want to pay. Negotiate with dealers. If you can't get the deal you want in one place, try another dealership. Don't end up settling and overpaying for a vehicle. 
  • Check online resources for used car deals. Best Cars, Best Trucks and Best SUVs is a good resource to find used vehicles in your area. Compare prices at KBB.com or Edmunds.com

Loan Hunting

  1. Financing options are sometimes available through dealers. Be aware that financing from a dealer, even if the dealer contacts the lender for you, may not be the best deal you can get. 

  2. As you would with a vehicle, hunt for the best loan rates, too. Credit unions are able to offer lower rates to their members. 

  3. Compare the annual percentage rate (APR) and length of the loan.

Of course, there are always other options to buying a vehicle. Public transportation is good for money-saving purposes, but also for the environment. If your commute to work isn't far, e-bicycles are pretty cool, and can save you money! 

Here's my advice:  Buy only what you need, and buy only what you can afford! 

Learn more about vehicle financing!

Take care,

Mallory