Quick TipCash in on factory incentives, such as cash-backs, that can be availed by first-time car buyers, college students, military personnel, etc.
Shortlist Your Desired Cars
The first step is to know the type of car you wish to own. Since there are a lot of options out there, you will need to choose a car that has all the features you're looking for. During your search, keep your budget in mind, and streamline your options so that you have a smaller list of the make and models to consider. Thereafter, compare the manufacturer's retail price with your budget, and reconsider only those car models that appeal to you and fall within your budget.
Get Pre-approved Car Loan
Shop for your car financing beforehand in order to get the best possible rate of interest, and avoid financing options the dealer may offer. Getting a pre-approved car loan will ensure that you do not have to put up with the dealer's high interest rates and extended repayment period. Doing this before buying a car will enable you to spend for the car upfront, thereby letting you pay for the out-the-door price without having to pay any installments.
Test-drive the Cars
The second most important thing to do is to test-drive the shortlisted cars. Go through reviews of the car on the manufacturer's website and forums authored by people who actually own the same car you intend to buy. Find out more about the engine specifications and mileage, any serious drawbacks that other buyers may have experienced after having purchased the car. Make your decision based on your assessment of the car after you have test-driven it.
Get Evidence of the Best Quote
Before you actually step into a car showroom, call competing car dealerships in your locality, and ask them to email their individual quotes for the car you wish to buy. Make a list of the quotes, and keep the best ones of top. Thereafter, call the dealerships that quoted the best prices, and ask if they can beat the price of a competing dealer. Choose a dealer who gives you a great deal; however, be careful while dealing with quotes that sound too good to be true.
Shop During Weekdays
It makes sense to visit the dealership on a weekday and never during the evenings so that you can avoid having to compete with other prospective buyers. Since it is likely that there would be fewer buyers on weekdays during work hours, and you, being one of the few customers, will be given more attention by the salesman. Since the demand is lesser owing to fewer customer, the salesman will try harder to finalize the car sale, therefore, use this opportunity to negotiate the price, and get the best deal on a new car and trade-in if required.
Inquire About Out-the-door Price
The best quote need not be the best deal, the reason being, the out-the-door price may include additional dealer fee. This fee is often added by dealers, right at the point of finalizing the sale, so as to make up for some lost profit. Thus, it is imperative that you inquire about the exact dealer fees, TT&L (tax, title, and license), and documentation fee, that will be featured in the out-the-door cost before going ahead with the dealership that gave you the best quote. Add-on fees are negotiable, and you are not obliged to pay any marketing fees.
Use Trade-in to Your Favor
A lot of car dealers inquire about the customer's current car. While this may be a good opportunity to minimize the purchasing price of your new car, do not get distracted by a good deal on your trade-in, wherein you ignore the sales price being quoted for the new car. Therefore, it is recommend that you do not discuss plans for your current car until you have finalized the price for the new one. You will also be saving on sales tax, because you will be required to pay tax merely on what's remaining after the trade-in price of your old car has been deducted from the selling price of your new car.
You could also consider buying a car during the off-season―during the winters―because sales are low during this time. Secondly, opting for a car that is still being manufactured but has fallen in demand, may fetch a more affordable price after negotiating with the car dealer.