The only one way to know how not get screwed when buying a new car, or car in general, is to get screwed and learn from the mistake. I no longer get screwed when buying a new car as I have learned from my mistakes and have decided to share my education with you so you too will know hot to not get screwed when buying a new car. I hope you are coming across this post and have yet to purchase you’re first new car but even if you have purchased a new car in the past I hope that this post helps you as well as you were probably screwed when you purchased your new car.
IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL CARS!
The first step is to identify the cars that you want and CAN AFFORD. We all have different wants and needs when deciding on the car we want but only you know the ideal vehicle for you. Concerns such as fuel economy, insurance rates, reliability and cost of ownership way heavily on you. You need to think long and hard about the ideal, in your price range, vehicle for you. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND NARROW DOWN YOUR CHOICES!
TEST DRIVE AND ONLY TEST DRIVE!
Once you’ve identified your ideal cars the second step is to test drive those vehicles. I cannot stress this enough…..the second step is to test drive the cars not to purchase a car. Purchasing a car can be a very emotional decision and you don’t want to test drive a new car and buy it WITHOUT DRIVING THEM ALL! The sales people are going to try to get you to buy as that is what they do but don’t be a sucker. Act as if you’re going to buy but at the end of the test drive tell the sales person that you like the car but need some time. The salesperson is going to be aggressive and try to get you to buy by asking such things as “What don’t you like about the car?” or “Is there any good reason that you can give me as to why you can’t cut a deal with me today?” This is easy for me but may be difficult for you. Simple state “I’m shopping and need to know what car I like most before I can cut a deal. I don’t know if I like this car the most since I haven’t driven anything else on my list so if this is the car for me you’ll see me again.” You’re going to act as if you’re ready to buy as sales people don’t want to waste their time on the test drive if you’re not a real prospect. You’re one and only goal at this point is to test drive the car. NOTHING MORE. JUST TEST DRIVE AND MOVE ON TO THE NEXT TEST DRIVE! Even if you have test driven other cars DO NOT DISCLOSE THIS FACT!
MAKE YOUR SELECTION
At this point you’ve narrowed down your choices and have test driven all the cars that meet your criteria. It’s now time for you to make your selection. “I’m going to buy the Honda Accord Sport.”
DO NOT SETTLE!
You’ve made your selection. You KNOW the COLOR, MODEL and OPTIONS you want. Do not settle for anything less. There is no worse feeling than driving your brand new car that you’ll be making payments on for the next 5 to 6 years only to say to yourself “I should have taken the moon roof” or “I should have bought the red one.” It’s the salespersons job to sell what he or she has in stock but DO NOT SETTLE! Besides there is no need to settle as I’ll tell you why.
GETTING THE BEST DEAL
You now know the car you want, the color, the model and all the options. You’re now going to get the price you want. How? Thankfully there is something available that wasn’t available in the past and that something is TrueCar.com. You’re going to go to TrueCar.com and enter the exact car that you want and get as many true car certificates you want as to “lock in your savings.” All the dealers are going to contact you and attempt to schedule an appointment for you to come in. All you have to say is “Give me the final price, out the door with tax, title, tags & DELIVERY FEE and I’ll get back to you.
THE DELIVERY FEE?
Paying a delivery fee on a car is 100% a total scam. Many new car dealers will quote you a price that may be $200 less than your best quote but the dealer may be omitting the mandatory $500 delivery fee. The delivery fee is simply the new car dealer charging you for the cost for the dealership to have the vehicle delivered to the dealership from the manufacturer. Think about this logically. If you’re going to purchase new living room furniture are your going to pay for the cost of that the furniture store should have incurred when they had the furniture delivered as add on fee or should the delivery fee already be factored into the final sales price? The answer is FACTORED INTO THE FINAL SALES PRICE!
At this point you’ve spoken to all the TrueCar.com dealers and have the price with tax, title, tags and delivery fee included. Now its time to make a few calls. Obviously not all the car dealers in you area are TrueCar.com dealers so locate as many dealers within your location range as you want but when you call ASK FOR AND ONLY SPEAK TO THE NEW CAR MANAGER! Give the manager all the details of your car as in “I’m in the process of trying to locate a 2016 Subaru Impreza Sport Wagon Limited with sunroof, leather interior, navigation and EyeSight. Do you have one in stock?” If the dealer you’ve contacted has the vehicle in stock ask what is the best price you can give me with tax, title, tags and delivery fee included out the door?” Now for an aside…
GAP INSURANCE OR NO GAP INSURANCE?”
You may need gap insurance when your purchase your new car. Gap insurance covers the difference between what you owe and what the car is worth in the event of theft or total loss. You need to factor what the depreciation is on your new car as well as what you’ll owe on the car throughout the forthcoming years. For example, when I purchased my new car I put very little down and knew that as soon as I drove off the lot that withing the year I would be upside down on my car meaning that in the event of theft or total loss my insurance company was going to pay less that what I owed on the car so I know I needed gap insurance. However, when my wife purchased her new car she put down almost half or 50% of the final sales price. Factoring in that her car has a low level of depreciation and that she puts little to no mileage on her car it would have made no sense to purchase gap insurance. Gap insurance normally costs between $400 to $600 so you can easily obtain it on your own or obtain it from the dealer as long as it’s in that $400 to $600 price range. Now for another aside…….
Most if not all of you are going to finance your vehicle. However, DO NOT GO TO GET YOUR NEW CAR WITHOUT HAVING FINANCING IN PLACE! New car dealers or most car dealers for the matter will attempt to sell you on payment but you won’t have to deal with the back and forth haggle with the car dealers finance department as you’ll already have financing in place. Do a quick Google search for new car finance rates and apply for a new car loan with the bank you do your banking with. An interest rate withing proximity is not going to break the bank. For example, there is little difference between a new car loan of 3.25% and 3.75%. For example, if you’re financing $25,000 for 5 years (60 months) a rate of 3.25% would give you a payment of $452 whereas a rate of 3.75% would give you a payment of $458 or a $6 dollar a month difference. With financing in place your in the drivers seat! LOL!!
TIME TO GET YOUR DUCKS LINED UP
At this point you have the car you want with the color and all the bells and whistles at the right price waiting for you at the dealership with pre-approved financing in place. Call the dealer and get the VIN #. Call your insurance company, get proof of coverage and forward the proof of coverage to the dealership. Call the dealership to confirm receipt of the insurance coverage and ask what time the car will be prepped and ready for you to drive off in.
ARRIVING AT THE DEALERSHIP
Arrive at the new car dealership and announce “I’m here to pick up my car.” You should go straight to the finance department or better yet meet with the new car manager who will ask “If we can meet or beat the interest rate on your car loan would you have an issue with allowing us to provide financing?” At this point it’s up to you as to whether your choose to allow the dealership to match your rate and earn a few $$$ for the referral, slightly beat the rate or state “I’m good at am ready to drive off.” If you decide to allow them to match or try to beat your rate you’ll spend a few minutes filling out a finance application.
THE FINAL DEAL
You’ll be sitting in the finance department and asked to sign a ton of documents. Before you sign anything ask “What is the out the door price you have on those papers?” If the price is anything other than what was discussed and agreed upon you have a few options. You can ask “Why the difference?” negotiate (You shouldn’t have to!) or simply WALK RIGHT OUT! Hopefully everything will be in order and you can drive off in your brand new car but if everything is not in order don’t be afraid to walk away. It’s simply a matter of a few more phone calls before you’re driving off and smiling ear to ear.
The bottom line is that purchasing a new car should be a great experience but purchasing a new car is usually not. The dealership is in business to sell as many cars as the can at the highest possible profit margin whereas you’re trying to purchase a new car without getting screwed. The new car dealership has the advantage as this is what they do all day, every day for as long as their in business. You on the other hand may be purchasing a new car for the first time or for the second time in anywhere between 5-8 years. The dealership normally has the advantage but not this time as you were lucky to come across this how not get screwed when buying a new car post on this blog.
If you have questions or need some help feel free to reach out via the contact for on this blog. Hopefully you are smiling ear to ear as you drive off in the new car you can afford while not having settled while the dealership you purchased the car from states “WOW, I’m glad those type of people are few and far between!”