8 Things to Know Before Going to a Car Dealership

January 27, 2012

Before going to a car dealership, it is important to do your auto research first. There are many auto scams and bad deals out there that dealers may try to pass off on you. You should be aware of these things, as well as other ways to save money, and not get sucked into potential salesperson fluff.

  • First thing, you should know the invoice price of the car. This is the price that the dealer pays for the car. There is then a huge markup on the item that accounts for the dealer's profits. Knowing this will be advantageous when trying to negotiate with the salesperson.
  • Car dealers want to be in and out of a car fast, meaning they want to get a quick profit in as short a period as possible. This is not how it used to be, so now you can work with the salesperson and negotiate a lower price. Usually you could only get a couple hundred off, but now you can work thousands off the price.
  • You should always check the Internet for rebates. Call up the manufacturer or look on their website to find out if there are any rebates available. They may not be advertised on the television or in print ads, but there are often hidden rebates only available if you ask.
  • You should secure financing before going into a car dealer. If you show that you can pay for your car, you may be able to get a better deal. The more likely you are to pay, the more likely you are to get a few bucks off of the car's price. Coupled with this, you should know your credit rating as well.
  • You should check for reviews of the dealers you plan on going to. Many online sites post customer reviews of dealerships. It is good to know which dealers have kind salespeople, if they go down on some prices, if they are good with repairs, etc.
  • You should make an appointment before going in to speak with the manager (sales manager). This way, you can talk with their most knowledgable person, and he possibly isn't working off his commission. There is more room to negotiate as salespeople want to get as much as they can so they can make a good commission.
  • Don't be afraid to negotiate. Know a price you want to pay. Don't give in to their demands as they need your sale more than you need that exact car in most cases. Start a little low and then work your ways up to your price. You can possibly get some benefits and extra features added in and you still can pay the price you wanted to.
  • Even though they are likely to negotiate more now, still shop around. Never buy at the first place you go to. Take those numbers to another dealer and see if they will match or do a little better.
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