Which one should you buy? Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Hyundai; the options are limitless when it comes to buying a car. However, the whole car buying experience can be overwhelming if you aren’t properly prepared before stepping on to a car lot. Whether you want to buy a Honda Civic or some other kind of new vehicle, you need to know what you are dealing with before even leaving your house. Here are some tips for maneuvering around the confusion of the car sales industry.
- Read Reviews to Find a Dealership
Online reviews will say a lot about a dealership. They are real experiences from actual people that got nothing for telling their story. This is a good place to find out about perks a dealership offers as well, such as life time free oil changes or car washes, etc.
- There’s a Best Time to Buy
If you aren’t in a huge rush to buy a car, then the best time to buy is usually at the end of the year. The last week of the year is a good time to buy because there will be a lot of incentives and deals going on in order to get rid of current year cars to make room for any new ones that will arrive after the new year. Also, each car also has its own calendar per say. For example, if you want to buy a Honda, let’s say the newest Honda is coming out in March of a particular year; the month before will have major price slashes and manufacturer incentives in order to sale off the previous year’s cars.
- Not All Salesmen Info is a Scam
Salesmen get a bad rap. They are known for saying anything just to make a sale. While this may be true for some car sales people, it’s not true across the board. Even if it was, some of the things that they’ll offer really are a good deal. If you are looking for a certain type of car, if you will listen to the sales people and do not blow them off, they may be able to tell you about any specials or programs that are going on that will allow you to drive off the lot in a nicer car than you expected for the same price or even lower.
- Always Test Drive the Vehicle
This isn’t always offered but you can ask and the sales person is obligated to take you. Taking the car for a spin is a very important part of the buying process. If you have people that regularly drive with you, like your kids, bring them with on the test drive to see how they like it. It’s better to find out before you buy the car that they don’t think it’s comfortable than to hear them complain about it for months afterwards.
- Give Them Reasons to Lower the Price
The sticker price is negotiable. But, the sales person needs to know why they should lower the price. ‘Because I’ll buy it’ is not a sufficient reason. However, promising to refer friends or use their service department is. You can also let him or her know that you will give them a perfect score on a customer review form. If you’re likely to buy another car there in the future, that’s good for them to know to.
- Check Insurance Rates Before Buying
You may be able to afford the payment but can you afford the insurance that it has to come with? If you are financing a car, then you will likely be required to have full coverage insurance which can get pricey depending on your driving record and the car you are buying. Some places will not let you return the car just because the insurance is to expensive. Find out how much it will cost you to add the car to your insurance before you sign anything.
You don’t have to be 100% informed about cars before going to a dealership but you should have a little knowledge under your belt. It’ll help you to weed out the ‘bait and switch’ salesmen for the genuine ones. It’ll also help you to narrow down the type of car that you want before you even get there.