Whether you are a first-time buyer or have bought a car in the past, there are several missteps you can make when buying a car that could cost you money. Fortunately for you, armed with the right questions and an attention to detail, you can make a good deal on your purchase. To help you properly prepare for your excursion to a dealership, here are some mistakes that others have made that you should avoid.
Searching Without a Clear Idea of Your Goal
Clearly, your end goal is to buy a car. However, your goal should be more detailed than that. For instance, do you know what type of vehicle you want? Do you know how much you can afford to pay towards a car note each month?
Without being armed with this information, you are vulnerable. A salesman could steer you towards a vehicle that you could regret buying later. If you know ahead of time what you want, you can direct the salesman towards vehicles that interest you and that are in your budget.
Most car dealerships have pictures of their inventory online. Take advantage of that. Before visiting the dealership, review the inventory a few days beforehand. Make a list of vehicles that you want to check out once you start your search.
Negotiating Based on Payments
When a salesman negotiates with you, he or she is more likely to focus on the monthly payments. There is a good reason for that. If you are focused solely on the monthly payments, you are less likely to pay attention to the total price for the car for sale.
Although monthly payments are important, you need to know what you will pay for the car total. The total price should include the financing fees and other related charges. Once you know the total cost, you can negotiate using that number.
Expecting a Raw Deal
Car salesmen get a bad rap when it comes to public perception. As with any other industry, there are some people who are out to make the most money possible off of customers. However, there are many more who are willing to put the customer first.
Instead of approaching the salesman with the mindset that he or she wants to cheat you, have an open-mind. Since you have taken the time to research the vehicles and know what you want, you should be able to tell if the salesman is more interested in a profit than truly helping customers.