Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Getting The Best Deal On A New Vehicle
By Howard S. Buchin
West Hill Consumer Advocate
You’ve decided your old car is ‘toast,’ & you’re considering investing in a brand new vehicle. How do you go about getting the best deal from a car dealership? Here are some vital points to consider when working out a deal with your dealer.
First off you’ll need to crunch the numbers and decide upon how much you can spend without blowing your budget. Shop around for a loan [if you need one] through your bank or other financial institution.
Shop at a minimum of three dealerships before signing, so you can compare their prices on exact models [including extras] you wish to buy. Investigate the various engine sizes your model is available in. Compare the difference in price a larger engine might cost. Compare the fuel efficiency for each.
Test drive models with the exact features and equipment that you wish to buy.
Get a written quote that’s good for at least one week, or long enough that you can take it home and read it over, not just for the day you attend the dealership.
Keep your trade-in and financing charges out of the price negotiations for a new-car. It’s best to first settle on the new-car price and then get a written trade-in value for your ‘old beater’. You can always sell your old car for more if you sell it yourself. Remember you may not wish to deal with the hassles of selling your used vehicle.
Focus on the bottom line, including any freight - delivery charges, taxes, extended warranties, fuel and registration fees. This is your final true cost and the dollar amount that you’ll need to use to compare, so that you can decide which dealer is giving you the best price.
Some of the things to you might want to avoid when buying a new car: It’s not a good idea to just add 3% on to the invoice price and bargain from there. Currently buyers have the advantage due to the state of the economy, & the dealer’s needing to clear out current stock to get ready for the 2009 models.
Avoid telling your salesperson the amount that you are looking to spend. This might result in you not getting your lowest rate. Don’t put down a deposit in order to get a quote of go for a test drive. Don’t shop for a monthly payment.
Don’t waste time haggling with the salesperson about all the various features and extras on your vehicle. The dealer’s salesperson have much more time for this than you do. Dealer’s rake in large amount of profit from extended warranties, and rust protection. Make sure the salesperson provides you with the written extended warranty so you can decide if you feel you need it. Rust protection is usually less expensive at the local shop that specializes in rust protection.