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How To Buy a New Car

by bradiger   February 13, 2009 at 9:00AM  |  Views: 169

Now might seem to be an unlikely time to be dropping a healthy chunk of change on a new set of wheels. But if you managed to bide your time for the last few years, squirreling away your money waiting for the right time to make your move - now is that time. Much like the housing market, the deals to be had on new cars right now are unprecedented. Combine that with government-backed incentives and you have yourself an ideal situation for new car buyers. But the dealers will smell you coming! Here's how to purchase a new car in this brave new economical world we live in.

By Brad Iger

The following article does not represent the opinions of Spike TV or its affiliates.


Step 1: Do the Research Beforehand

image

Source: Kerbeck.com

Simply put, an uninformed buyer is a car dealer’s wet dream. Before you ever set foot on a lot, you need put in some time sorting everything out. Find two or three models you’re interested in and research those cars carefully. Figure out which options you want and which ones you absolutely need.

After that, figure out what you’re willing to pay, out the door, for each one. It’s also worth noting that in the current auto sales climate, many companies are offering incentives like “employee pricing” – meaning you get the same price that company employees would. Incentives like these are worth literally thousands of dollars, but often don’t last long, so if you see things like this, they’re worth jumping on quickly.

If you’re very particular about the car’s options, you’ll find that many brands have vehicle inventories online for each of their dealerships within specific regions. Pick the farthest distance you’re willing drive out to (you’ll probably be making that drive several times, so keep that in mind) and search all the vehicle inventories of the dealerships within that distance until you locate a couple of vehicles you’re interested in.

Once you’ve honed in on said vehicles, call the dealerships and see if the car actually exists on the lot. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t, because it very well may not. Dealerships like to advertise good deals on desirable cars, even if they don’t have them, because it generates interest – then they can sell you a slightly different car at a slightly different price. Don’t fall for it. The key to getting a good deal is patience and tenacity.

But let’s assume the cars are in fact there. In that case, it’s time to schedule some test drives.

Step 2: Feel ‘Em Out

image

Source: Motor Trend

When you get to the dealership, are the employees a bunch of jerks, or do they treat you like a king? It’s a good idea to take note of how different dealerships treat their customers because if you buy a car from them, you’re going to deal with them again sooner or later, so the less attitude involved, the better.

Test drive the cars. Agree to absolutely nothing. If they won’t let you test drive the car without agreeing to something (like the price) beforehand, it’s time to walk out. If they’re informative, straightforward, and refrain from trying to sell you on something you don’t want, they may be worth keeping on the short list. Regardless, do not buy the car right after the test drive. Again, patience is key. Exchange information with the dealer and tell them you have a few more cars to check out before you make a decision.

Expect that you’ll get a call from that dealership the following day, trying to gauge how serious you are about buying a car. If you’re ready to pull the trigger, you can start talking numbers with them at this point (i.e. I’m interested in the car, but I want to get it “out the door” for X amount). Expect that there will be some back and forth at this point, but remember that right now is probably the strongest buyer’s market in decades – they need you to buy a car, so ignore the lines about “special options” the car might have, etc. Stick to your price, and be willing to walk away from the car if they’re not willing to play ball. There are lots of cars out there.

THE DAILY FOUR