There are so many things to be concerned about when buying a car that one can easily become paralyzed when it comes to making a car buying decision. How much is the car? Am I getting a good deal? Will I get ripped off? These and a variety of other questions come to mind. All you want to do is save money and get a good deal!
Here are several ways to save money when buying a car online or at a local dealership.
Know Your Budget
How much car can you afford? You should figure this amount out before you go car shopping. There are several online calculators that can help determine a buyer’s threshold. The key is not to buy more than you can afford. Staying within your price range will automatically deter you from looking at cars that are too expensive. Set a limit and stick to it.
Start A Bidding War
Sometimes you may find a seller that is willing to match prices. Using this technique, you may be able to drive the price down on the vehicle you are interested in purchasing. Some dealers may even sweeten the deal by throwing in extras like free oil changes for a year. Those that really want your business will go the extra mile to make the sale. As long as the car sits on the lot, the seller is not making any money, so you really do have the upper hand in the negotiation process.
Knowing what features you want in a car is helpful when you are seeking a good deal. You may require certain features in a car as a minimum, but you find they only come with a certain package or edition. Armed with the right information, you should be able to determine which features will add extra to the price. Doing thorough research can also help you decide which features you can not leave without. For instance, you may find that certain vehicle models come with a 5-CD changer and a DVD player. If you can find these features already installed, then you will not need to spend any money adding these extras after your purchase.
Try To Secure Your Own Financing
If you have your own financing in place before buying your vehicle, you can save a lot of money on interest and other fees that get bundled into your auto loan. A good seller will have several funding sources available to choose from, but you are not obligated to go with either one of them. You may have a relationship with a bank or credit union that will fund the loan for a lower interest rate than you will get from one of the dealer’s lenders. This will save you a great deal of money over the term of the loan.
Sometimes you can save a bit of money just being patient. The price and terms can change over time if you are willing to wait. A good example of this can be shown in this illustration: A buyer finds a good deal online with all the features and more that she wants. She gets pre-qualified but decides not to take the deal. A couple of months later the same car is still available but the buyer gets better financing and no money down. Being patient was the key to saving a few hundred dollars up front and thousands in the long term.
These are just a few tips to help you save money on your next car purchase. With so many resources online to help you determine the true value of a car, it’s getting easier to avoid overpaying.
How have you saved money buying a vehicle? Are there any great car apps or websites you visit before buying a car? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.