A brand-new car is one of the most exhilarating purchases you are likely to make in your lifetime. While ostensibly, cars are practical, utilitarian machines, in reality, they can be as fun and exciting to drive as you want them to be. A new car is an opportunity to select the features you desire to craft a perfectly customized ride.
However, visiting a car dealership can be an undeniably daunting experience, especially if this is your first time buying a car. Fortunately, by preparing in advance, you can drive away with the car of your dreams, money in your wallet, and a smile on your face.
Research Respectable Retailers
Unfortunately, not every dealership does business the same way. There are a small number of car salespeople who are upfront about a car’s features and costs and eager to help you drive away in the perfect vehicle — and then there are crowds of salespeople who want to swindle you into a lemon and get paid triple for their deceptions. You want to avoid the latter group at all costs.
Before you start your car hunt, you should ask your friends and family members about any memorably positive car-buying experiences. Then, you can scour the Internet for reviews to find dealerships with high customer satisfaction. By visiting the best dealerships, you are more likely to leave with the best car at the best price.
Dress Better Than Usual
This is a simple rule of thumb for any scenario in life: People assume you are how you dress. That is to say, what you wear says something about who you are, whether you want it to or not. This fact is equally true in the interview room as it is in the car lot. If you arrive anywhere in sweatpants and an undershirt, few people will expect you to be a competent, knowledgeable individual. While you may not want to shop for cars in a new tuxedo, you should still consider what you are wearing before you step into a dealership.
Keep Good Time
After locating the car you want, you should spend no more than 30 minutes negotiating prices with the salesperson. Studies show that after a half-hour, car salespeople will only attempt to raise the price of the vehicle, spending hours if necessary to do so. Instead of quibbling, you should decide on a price and pay as quickly as possible.
While you are thinking about time, you may want to consider scheduling your vehicle purchase. The final months of the year provide the most sales and discounts at dealerships, giving you the car you want for a lower price. Additionally, shopping on Mondays and Tuesdays will likely yield more one-on-one time with a salesperson, giving you more access to price cuts.
Use the Buddy System
A trustworthy friend or family member is an invaluable asset for you on the car lot. Especially if you aren’t well-versed in what qualities and features are best in a vehicle, having a knowledgeable buddy can steer you in the direction of cars most suited to your needs and tastes. Additionally, your buddy can provide guidance and support when it comes to making on offer on the car of your dreams. Car salespeople find it much more difficult to deceive two pairs of eyes and ears.
Expect Certain Sales Tactics
At less-than-savory car lots, you can expect to encounter more than a handful of tricks from car salespeople looking to overcharge you for your new vehicle. However, if you are aware of their tactics ahead of time, you can avoid being duped. Here are some ruses some salespeople use to get you to open your wallet:
- Deferred parts. Many salespeople will “throw in” extra elements, like floor mats, to close the deal, but if you don’t get your parts before you drive off the lot, you probably won’t ever see them.
- New salesperson. Being new at a job usually provokes more patience and sympathy from buyers, so many experienced salespeople pretend to be new to make you lower your guard.
- Unexplained fees. If a salesperson can’t satisfactorily clarify a certain fee, it is a blatant move to take your money.
Not every dealership encourages shady behavior, but you should be ready in case you do find one who does. Still, you may very well encounter ploys such as these, so it is best to be wary of them.