In part one of this series for buying a new car or used car, you got some basic tips to choosing the one right for you. Now you have to actually work with one or more car dealerships to close the deal. That is the scary part.
Tips for Buying a New Car — Reputation of Car Dealerships
In an ideal situation, you will find a salesperson that is honest, adds no pressure, and who works in your behalf for a fair price. But, there’s a reason car salesmen and dealerships have a bad reputation. Many (not all) will swoop in to incite an “impulse buy” and to bump up their own commission. They’ll push a car that has been sitting on the lot for months, hide marked up prices, and try to smooth-talk you into extra fees.
Frans and I had a less than stellar experience at the dealership we went to. Maybe these lookouts will better prepare you for whatever you might encounter. I wouldn’t wish our stress on anyone!
The dealership we went to gave us quite a headache. It turns out that the person we were emailing with wasn’t even a sales person. She directed us to another person to handle the deal. He was arrogant, degrading, and pushy so we asked for another rep. This man was helpful but didn’t seem experienced or knowledgeable about the process.
Dealing with Car Dealerships — Playing the Game
Frans and I had a game plan of what to do and what not to do to get the best deal. We know the people at the dealership need to make a living too but we didn’t want to staff to rip us off either. As expected, they tried all kinds of “car salesman” tactics. Ugh, I hate when they say things like, “Well, someone else was just here looking at the same car. They’ll probably be back today to pay $XXX if you don’t get it.”
Then, there was constant sub-negotiation between the sales rep and manager. Every time we agreed on something with the rep, he had to get approval from the manager who would shoot the deal down. What a headache! Hopefully, the dealership you go to won’t be such a pain to work with. Either way, keep these points in mind.
- Be firm on your price and always be ready to walk away.
- Negotiate on a final price and NOT the monthly payment you want.
- Discuss the trade-in value AFTER you agree on a final price.
- Do NOT feel forced to get a warranty. It is illegal to say you can only get a certain price if you get an extra warranty.
After a long day, we finally drove home in our new car. We ended up with a 2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited with all the extras. It has been seven months and we couldn’t be happier with our new car. The only downside is that the connected car features all cost extra (about $100 per package). We ended up letting those subscriptions run out. At least a recent software upgrade added Apple Car Play and Android Auto to our system – score!
Dealing with Car Dealerships — Just in Case
Now, it is possible to buy a new car hassle-free. One of my friends once emailed a dealership, told them what she wanted, how much she was going to pay, and when she wanted to pick it up. They accepted the deal immediately. That was it. For the majority, though, the process of buying a new car is not that easy. There are services that will take care of everything for you for a small fee. But if you’re doing this yourself, keep these points in mind to avoid unnecessary issues.