In 2018, there were over 17 million new vehicles purchased in the United States. This was up 0.3% from 2017 and these numbers are expected to rise again in 2019. But finding the best new vehicle for you means taking time to consider what you need and what is in your budget. For most people, it also requires them to prepare themselves for the car-buying process at a dealer’s showroom.
1. Stay Calm
When you are shopping for a new car at local car dealerships, it is important to stay calm and cool while you do it. It is fine to express your interest in a vehicle, but you should not show your hand too much. If you let on that you are set on driving away in a new vehicle, this will send the wrong message to the sales representative. Shopping for a new vehicle can be exciting and stressful at the same time. But by staying cool and collected, you can stay focused on the reality of the situation and the potential costs of buying that vehicle.
2. Avoid Trade-In Discussion
You should avoid discussing whether or not you have a trade-in vehicle to offer against the price of a new vehicle. This matters because when you bring a trade-in vehicle into play, a new car dealership can play with the numbers. These include offering you a certain amount for your trade-in but making it up on the back end with extra fees and/or a higher selling price. Your initial goal when you walk into the dealership should be to keep your focus on the selling price. You want to ensure that you have the lowest total sales price before you begin to discuss financing, trade-ins or any other incentive.
3. Don’t Mention Maximum Monthly Payment
When you are shopping at new car dealerships, you should not mention the maximum monthly payment you are willing to make. One of the most popular tactics that a salesman takes is asking the question, “What is the maximum monthly payment that you have budgeted for?” If they are being less aggressive, they may ask you what monthly payment range you are comfortable with. The problem with this approach, from the buyer’s end, is that this puts your focus on the wrong thing. That’s because a dealer can play with the term of your payment plan to get to the number you want, with a wide range for the total sales price. Ultimately, this means that you could be paying more for the vehicle than you would like. Do research on what is a fair selling price for the vehicle you want, that way you identify what is a reasonable sales price and what is not.
4. Take a Test Drive
Test driving a vehicle is an important way to identify if the vehicle you like is the one for you. When you perform an internet search for, “new car dealerships near me”, you may get several results for the vehicle manufacturer you are interested in. It is often worthwhile to do research on the price you are willing to pay and then take the vehicle for a test drive. However, keep in mind that going for a test drive doesn’t mean you have to purchase the vehicle. The test drive is a way for you to get behind the wheel of the vehicle and see what you like and don’t like. It’s also a good way for you to compare apples to apples. Identify a few vehicle makers that you are interested in and go for a drive of each model. Then you will have a sense of what makes one vehicle stand out from the others.
5. Research the Dealership
Buying a vehicle is one of the single most important and expensive purchases you can make. This means that you need to take time to research the dealerships you may buy from to learn as much as you can about them. One good place to start is on the internet. You can perform a search to read reviews and see what other people have to say about dealerships in your area. You can also learn a lot by speaking to a friend or family member about their vehicle and the buying process. Did they have a memorable experience at a dealership that was particularly good or bad? If they were in the market for a vehicle more recently, they may be able to shed some light on which dealer was worth working together with or not.
6. Be Willing to Walk Away
Standing your ground at a car dealership is an important part of the vehicle purchasing process. There is a lot of allure to buying a brand new vehicle. These include the “new car smell” and the feeling of being behind the wheel of a car or truck that no one has driven before. But in order to make the most of your experience and get the best deal, you have to take those emotional parts of the process out of things as much as possible. This means being willing to walk away if you do not get what you want. Walking away from a potential deal during negotiations can send a strong message that you are not willing to budge on an issue that is important to you.
7. Avoid Unnecessary Add-Ons
If you narrow down the vehicle you want and receive a fair price, the next step is to sign the paperwork. But that often comes with an additional sales pitch about add-on’s that you should make on your vehicle. This includes products like nitrogen for your tires, advanced tracking systems for vehicle theft prevention, extended warranties, and more. You should consider whether each one of these items is absolutely necessary. That’s because each one of these items drives up the price that you will pay and may not be in your budget.
Wrapping Up: How to Approach Shopping at New Car Dealerships
New car dealerships can be an intimidating place for someone who is in the market to buy a new vehicle. Taking advantage of these tips can help you feel more confident and better prepared to participate in the process. Buying a brand new car doesn’t completely protect you from receiving a bad apple. At Lemon Proof, LLC, we offer peace of mind by covering potential expensive attorneys’ fees and costs incurred when a buyer’s new vehicle turns out to be a lemon. This happens more than 150,000 times a year in the United States. Contact us today to learn more about Lemon Proof and how we can help protect your new car or truck!