Buying a used car or a brand new car can either be an exciting or nerve-wracking experience. It all depends on the type of car you need, your budget and your experience working with the savviest group of salesmen to ever walk the planet. Knowing what you want and how much you want to spend before you ever step foot on a car lot is the first and best step toward making sure you get a good deal and don’t get talked into something you don’t want. Once you decide on the type of car you want and figure out your budget, it’s time to start talking price and find a deal that will suit both you and the seller.
It is important to note that there are now quite a few car dealers and car lots that are advertising “no haggle” pricing. These businesses will not negotiate on price. Knowing that ahead of time, you can avoid those “no haggle” establishments unless you see that they have the car you want at the price you can afford. In that type of situation, it becomes a win-win for everyone involved.
How to Get a Fair Price
Negotiating isn’t about getting a “steal” from the dealer, it’s about getting a fair price for a product that has a predetermined value through Kelly Blue Book and other resources. Some dealers mark up their vehicles intentionally so they will have “wiggle room” for negotiators. It is you job to do the research ahead of time, find out the true value of the vehicle and be armed with that information before you set foot on the lot.
Step One – Start with a low first offer. Give them the invoice price or fair market value if buying a used car. As the salesman gives you counter offers, go ahead and counter offer again, raising your offer very slowly in small increments. Decide in your head what price limit is before you start negotiating so you won’t get caught up in the excitement of negotiating and end up paying more than you can afford.
Step Two – When you reach the point where the salesman says he can’t go any lower, you have two choices: accept his offer or thank him for his time and then leave the lot. In some cases, the salesman will follow you and tell you that he will speak with his boss about negotiating a lower price. Beware. In some cases this is a tactic that is used to get you to spend more time there and get you to a point where you are ready to cave in and spend more.
Step Three – If you do walk off the lot, check with several other dealerships within a reasonable driving distance, and tell them about the car you want to purchase and the invoice price you are looking to pay. Get them to make you their best offer and then you can even take those offers back to the original dealer and ask him to match or beat the best offer you received from the other dealers. If he still can’t match or beat that price, consider buying from the out-of-town dealers.
Step Four – Don’t even start talking about doing a trade-in until you agree on a price. Some dealers will try to confuse consumers by mixing up the numbers with the trade-in and the purchase price so you think you are getting a fair value for your old car, when in reality, it is the dealer that is getting a great deal. In most cases, a dealership will offer you less for your car than you could get selling it yourself. Find out the value of your current vehicle and consider selling it privately.
How to Get a Loan
When it comes to getting a loan, whether you are buying a used car or a new car, many consumers think the only option available is to go through the dealership. As a member of your local New Bedford credit union, you have some great options available that can help you get a better deal than anything the dealership has to offer.
Credit union auto loans are known throughout the industry to have the ability to offer lower interest rates and other perks that traditional financial institutions cannot. The reason for this is the member-based influence and buying power of your New Bedford credit union. Members share in annual dividends that come in the form of dividends on savings, as well as reduced costs for loans and fees.
St. Anne Credit Union serves members who live or work in Plymouth or Bristol counties in Massachusetts. If you are not currently a member but would like to take advantage of credit union auto loans for buying a used car or new vehicle, speak with a representative at the New Bedford branch or call locally at 508-993-0011 for more information.