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Updated by John Huh on Feb 29, 2016
Headline for Tips to Getting Best Price at the Car Dealership
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John Huh John Huh
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Tips to Getting Best Price at the Car Dealership

Heading into a car dealership without being prepared is a good way to make a financial mistake and get taken for a ride.. literally. The secret to getting the best car price at the dealership of your choice is to put in the work and come prepared. Informing yourself and preparing ahead of time is one of the most important car buying tips you will ever hear. This countdown is to help you learn what the basics are and how these car buying tips can help you take advantage of your knowledge and get the best car price possible.

1

Have a few choices

Have a few choices

Never walk into any car dealership with just one car, make or model in mind. Having a few options can keep you from settling on a price that doesn't make sense for you. Whether it's an Electric Car, SUV, budget car, sports car or family sedan you are after, do some research and have a short list of top models you are interested in.

2

Contact your insurance agent

Contact your insurance agent

Give your insurance agent a ring to find out how the new car you are looking at will affect your rates. Plan these figures into your budget to make sure you are making the financially responsible decision.

3

Check out your local dealerships

Check out your local dealerships

Take some time to research the car dealerships in your area. Online reviews and calling ahead to see what kind of inventory is in stock are just two of the things you should take some time to check out. If you are sticking to a particular car make or brand, broaden your search to dealerships in a 50 or 100 mile range. Don't be afraid to drive for a better price.

4

Loan Approval

Loan Approval

Before you head into any dealership make sure to get loan approval first. Being pre-approved for a car loan is a big part of getting the best car price. Because you won't be pressured or rushing to get approval a the last moment, you have a choice of lenders to choose from. Online lenders are also much more flexible and able to give you better loan rates. Pre-approved loans are easy to apply for and give you the upper hand when walking into a car dealership.

5

Don't fall for scams

Don't fall for scams

Much like the car you are shopping for, never jump at the first loan offer you get. Shop around and make sure you get the best deal possible and are pre-approved for the loan that works for you. If you have bad credit this process may take some time but with patience you can find a good deal that works for your budget.

Never fall for "quick-fix" scams that car dealers like to use. Many of these car dealers know that the offer of a bad credit quick fix is enticing and appeals to many people. Don't give in to the temptation to buy a car you can't afford, with promises from the dealership that they will help you refinance at a later time.

6

Apply within 30 days

Apply within 30 days

Try to keep your car loan applications within a 30 day window. Excessive credit inquiries can impact your credit rating, so it's best to keep this activity within a certain frame of time. Remember, being denied for a car loan does not hurt your credit score. Being late on a payment does.

7

Patience

Patience

Remember to be patient. When you are headed to the car dealership of your choice, you will probably make multiple trips depending on your negotiating tactics. Don't be afraid to make multiple trips to a dealership over the course of buying a new car: Make trips to test drive the vehicle, then another for purchase negotiations, and finally on the day you wish to pick up your new car.

Losing your patience and rushing into a purchase gives the car dealership the advantage

8

Take more than one test drive

Take more than one test drive

Make sure to take your time and take multiple test drives. To give yourself a basis of comparison, drive a new vehicle from more than just one brand. Make sure any car you’re considering fits you—that you can get comfortable, see out well, and reach all audio, climate and other controls with ease. Plan to spend at least a half
hour test-driving each car, on all types of roads.

9

Negotiate intelligently

Negotiate intelligently

When negotiating the price of your new car, keep your deals and discussions separate. Negotiate your best price for the new car first and foremost. If you have a trade-in, keep it totally out of the picture. Negotiate as if it’s a cash deal, with no financing.

Only after you settle on the new-car price should you mention the trade-in, and then negotiate moving forward. This keeps the dealer on their toes and gets you the best deal for your new car before any further haggling can be done

10

Car Rebates

Car Rebates

Conduct research about the car you are looking at both online and through forums. Look through the dealer websites to look for factory rebates that can put cash back in your pocket.

Do the right amount of research to see if the manufacturer is offering a rebate. Most new car rebates range between $500 to $1,000. Make it clear that your price offers are exclusive of rebates. Don't let dealerships fool you into thinking that the rebate price is somehow included in your negotiations. Car Manufacturer rebatesare irrelevant to a dealer’s invoice price and do not affect their profit margin.