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5 Ways to Successfully Purchase a Car

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

Do you feel stressed every time you walk into a car dealership? Or do you find yourself feeling like the sales representatives know more than you? Not any more, here is five ways to get ahead of the sales game when purchasing a car.

1. Have established credit…

Let’s be honest, finance managers are good at getting people into cars. Even those with a LOW credit score. But they can’t poof a credit score out of thin air for you. Make sure you have a an established credit line you’ve been paying on (preferably on time) for at least a year. If you have a credit score of 600 or higher, they will be able to work their magic. However, if you have higher than that, make sure to ask about any special interest rates they can offer you.

2. Know the monthly payment you can afford ahead of time – ask for below it!

One of the top mistakes people make is going into a car dealership and telling them exactly what they can afford. PLAN TO PAY FOR MORE THAN YOU TELL THEM. Look at your budget, find what you can pay monthly, and tell them your budget is 50$ below that (example, your budget is $250 per month, you tell them $200). This gives you wiggle room for haggling!

3. Know what you want.

I’m not talking about knowing the exact model, the exact shade, and the exact interior type. But before you even go to the lot have an understanding of what you need and the specific type of vehicle you want to look at (crossover, SUV, or towncar). If you don’t, that’s a perfect opportunity for a sales representative to show you the higher end models and help you fall in love with something you can’t afford, and maybe don’t even need.

4. Don’t mention your trade in right away.

If you’re trading in a car, DO NOT tell them you want to trade it in right away. Test drive what you like and go through at least the first round of haggling before you even bring up a trade. The moment they say, “I don’t think I can go any lower,” is your moment to spring the question, “What if I trade in my current car?” Suddenly your negotiations happen all over again.

5. Don’t say yes to the Finance Manager!

In all things, politeness goes a long way. I’m not advocating for you to get upset or angry at anyone during this process. In fact I can tell you with certainty it will go better for you if you don’t threaten or yell and instead give polite but firm answers. That being said, when you get into the Finance Manager’s office, and he begins running through all the warranties and popping ‘what if’ scenarios out keep your answers to a short, but firm, no thank you. Aside from the pack of oil changes/service warranty on your car, you don’t NEED anything they are offering. I’ve not once seen anyone redeem any of those offerings they purchase at the finance mangers desk. I promise you, you’re better off without them.

Remember, the car buying process is a long one. And they count on you wanting to get OUT of there to help rush your purchasing decisions. Don’t let this happen. Plan for the kids to be with a babysitter, don’t plan anything else in your day, and take your time at the dealership. Haggle! They not only want but NEED to make a sale. And they can’t go door to door to get them. They don’t want you to leave. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, you have all the power.

Happy purchasing!

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