For most of us, buying a car is an uncomfortable negotiation because you don’t have the same level of experience as the dealer sales representative. It helps to know what to avoid as you negotiate your vehicle purchase.
Do NOT discuss monthly payment
Instead, focus on negotiating the purchase price. Once you start talking about monthly payments, everything gets confusing, because suddenly you don’t know if that’s the payment for 24 months, or 36 months, or how much of that would include interest charges if you’re financing the purchase through the dealer.
Do NOT discuss your trade-in
Don’t discuss the trade-in until the new car purchase price is negotiated. Dealerships like to move money around so it’s not in your best interest to mention your trade-in up front. Don’t be lured in by a high trade-in offer because the sales rep might exceed your trade-in’s book value, knowing he can make up the difference on the purchase price. You will almost always get more for your trade if you sell it yourself; however, if you don’t want the hassle, just tell the sales rep that you want to focus on the price of the new car first and the trade-in second.
Do NOT get lured in with the extras
You are going to be offered all kinds of products and services with the dealership financing and insurance office. Window tint, rustproofing, paint sealants and extended warranties make the dealer a lot of money, but you can get them for much less aftermarket. As a matter of fact, Members Trust offers extended warranty protection and Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) at significant cost savings over dealerships. Check with us first for a price once you’ve nailed down the vehicle.
Do NOT negotiate down from the sticker
The sticker price is inflated with all kinds of fees so do your own research and come armed with the real cost of the vehicle. Services such as GrooveCar provide details on what cars are being sold for, in your area. Bring this information so the salesperson knows you’re prepared.
Do NOT tell the dealer you’re desperate
Don’t tell them you are desperate for a car because this can increase the sales pressure and price. Feel free to tell the car dealer that you’re definitely looking to a buy a car in the next few days but don’t mention being desperate or that you have an emergency.
Do NOT fall prey to a flood damaged car
With the recent floods in Houston, you need to take extra precautions if you are searching for a used vehicle. Sellers have many tricks to dress up a used car, even if it has been severely damaged such as flood-damaged cars. So be sure to know how to recognize water damage from floods such as unusual odors, discolored carpet, foggy headlamps/taillights, and dirt buildup in unusual areas. Of course, the best advice when trying to avoid a flood-damaged vehicle is the old adage, “If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.”