The USA is the second largest car market in the world. That simple truth has made it so car dealerships have sprouted up like weeds.
It seems that you can’t so much as throw a stone these days without hitting one of those inflatable dancing snake things that aim to draw in customers.
Despite the bad rap that many car dealerships get given the aggressive bargaining tactics that they employ, eventually, you’re going to have to go to a dealership to buy a vehicle. So, it’s in your best interest to learn now how you can navigate dealership etiquette in order to get the best possible deal on a new car.
Below, our team goes over a handful of car price secrets and dealership hacks that can help to keep more money in your pocket as you trudge through the car-buying process.
1. Come Up With a Great Target Price
One of the biggest car price secrets that you should commit to memory is that car prices aren’t secret at all.
Your dealership may try to keep your car’s true price a secret from you. With the help of the world wide web though, you can easily come up with an estimate.
Go on websites like Kelly Blue Book and Auto Trader to see what the car you’re looking for’s estimated value is and how much the car is actually selling for at dealerships in the area. With that information in mind, come to a determination on what you’re willing to pay and stick with that number.
2. Find the Best Financing Possible
A huge component of your car’s price isn’t what’s on its tag. It’s what your financial institution is going to charge you in interest.
If you’ve got enough money to pay for your car all cash, this issue doesn’t really apply to you. If you’re like most people though and want to pay your car down on a monthly basis, interest rates matter.
As a rule of thumb, your dealership’s financing will always be higher than what a local bank or credit union is going to offer you. That being said, dealerships will likely be more willing to work with people who have bad credit than a credit union will be.
3. Understand Incentives
New cars almost always come with incentives that can bring down their price substantially. These incentives usually come from the car’s manufacturer but can also be tacked on by the dealer.
Incentives might include money off of your car if you went to college, if you’re in the military, if you’re a resident of the area and more.
See what incentives you qualify for (and note which ones you don’t) to get a true picture of how much your car’s purchase price is likely to be pre-negotiation.
4. Keep an Eye Out for Promotional Add-ons
In addition to price incentives, dealerships may be running promotions to further drive sales of new cars/trucks. This is one of our favorite car price secrets because with the right promotional add-ons, you can bring down your car’s price noticeably.
For example, if a certain dealership is offering free maintenance for a year if you buy from them, that addon could be worth $300.00+ dollars. Deducting that amount from your car’s purchase price could mean the difference between it being a good and a great deal.
5. Dominate Your Seller’s Time
People on auto sales floors live off of commissions. Every moment that they spend with a customer, they want to make sure is a moment that’s going to move them closer to a sale.
If a salesperson spends 2-hours with you and you decide not to buy, they’ve lost money.
It stands to reason then that the more of your salesperson’s time that you dominate, the more likely that they’re going to be to cut a deal.
Simply put, ask questions. Take a car for a test drive. Take your time.
6. Have Other Dealer’s Prices Written Down
To get your salesperson to bring your car’s price down, have other dealership’s asking prices ready to reference. That way, if your salesperson throws a price out that you don’t like, ask them why another local dealership is offering the car for less.
They’ll almost certainly agree to price match on the spot or even undercut the competition.
7. Buy a Previous Year New Vehicle
If you buy a new car/truck from a previous year just as next year’s inventory is rolling in, you’re going to score yourself a deal.
A ton of dealerships carry auto inventory that is from 2017, 2018, etc. despite the current year being 2019. Most dealerships want to move those older new cars off of their lot because they’re testament to the fact that they were unsuccessful at selling off their previous inventory in a timely matter.
Some dealerships will even take losses on new cars from previous years to write more things off come tax time.
Wrapping Up Our Car Price Secrets
There are a lot of car price secrets out there that you can leverage to drive a hard bargain with a dealership. By leveraging the secrets and tips that we’ve laid out above, we have no doubt that you’ll be able to suss out awesome opportunities for yourself in the car market.
And if you ever need more information on car buying, maintenance or anything else, our team of experts are here to help.
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