Exploring options at the various used car dealerships in your area isn’t like it used to be. Twenty years ago, visits to used car dealerships felt like going to war. It was the sales team versus you, and they had all of the power.
Modern car shopping is different. Buys have more information and tools at their disposal. In fact, most car dealerships had to change their tactics. Today, it’s not as simple as just negotiating the price of the vehicle; there is a great deal more that goes into getting a good deal.
Here’s what you need to know to get the most value at used car dealerships near you.
Do Your Homework
One of the best ways to ensure that you’re getting a great deal on your next used car is to stay informed. There’s more information about vehicles, dealers, and the car-buying process than ever before. Thanks to various sites like KBB, Edmunds, and more, you can get a pretty good idea of what a car is worth in your area. That means the dealers can’t get away with trying to overcharge you.
You can also research every detail of your desired car. From user reviews to noted recalls, you’re able to know exactly what you’re getting into. When it comes to buying a car, knowledge truly is power.
Think Outside Of The Payment
One of the more popular tricks that used car dealerships use is to get shoppers to focus on the monthly payment of the car. If you’re focused on the monthly payment alone, it’s easy to sneak in other fees or charges that make the purchase a bad deal.
Your goal is to focus on the total cost of the car, including financing fees, etc. You might be so attracted to the low monthly payment that you miss the fact that you’re paying much more for the car over the life of the loan.
Plan For Financing
Used car dealerships don’t just make money on the sale price of the car. In fact, they stand to make much more through financing your vehicle. It may seem like going through the dealer is the easiest way to get a loan, but it may also be the most expensive. That’s not to say that all dealership loans are bad, but you can’t go in blind.
The best strategy is to get approved for funding from a local credit union or bank. You can find a great deal and remove the temptation to negotiate the price of the car based on financing.
Negotiate The Total Price
Your goal is to get a great deal on a used car. Used car dealerships are trying to make the most profit. To get the most profit, sales teams will try to combine each element of the purchase: trade-in, financing, upgrades, etc. Putting all of these things together can complicate the sale and allow them to get away with something. Sure, you might feel like you’re getting a great price on your trade-in, but they make up for it by raising the price of the car.
The best approach is to keep things separate. You should always focus on the out-the-door price of the vehicle, which includes fees, taxes, and any other additional costs. You also want to discuss trade-in options separately than negotiating the car’s price.
Know What You Want
It’s OK to shop around for the best deal on a great used car. Keep in mind that used car dealerships have to make a profit to stay in business, so there are limits to what you can get. At the same time, you shouldn’t be scared to say what you want.
Part of getting a great deal is being ready to walk away. It’s easy to feel stuck once the negotiation starts, but you always have the power to walk away. You also want to read over all of the details of the deal to make sure nothing gets thrown in that you didn’t know about.
Buying a used car is a great way to save money, especially if you know how to approach the dealership. With a little bit of research and preparation, you’ll be ready to get the maximum value on your next used vehicle purchase.
This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.