How to Make the Car-Buying Process Less Painful
“I just loved the whole process of buying my last car. The research, the tire kicking, the test drive. And, most of all, the negotiation with the salesperson! It was so much fun,” said no one ever!
Very few of us enjoy buying cars. It’s stressful, it can be unpleasant dealing with a pushy salesperson and many of us are worried we’ll end up paying more for a car than we should.
To be fair, the car sales sector has made some changes which favor the buyer:
- Many car dealerships now offer “no haggle” pricing (the price on the sticker is the price of the car),
- They don’t allow salespeople to “pounce” on potential buyers as soon as they arrive on the lot,
- And many have changed their sales process so that the buyer deals with just one person instead of meeting with a salesperson and then being shuffled from one or more “closers” throughout the day.
So until the industry as a whole changes its ways, we’ve put together some tips for buyers to follow to help make buying a car less painful.
Don’t make the car buying process more painful than it needs to be.
- Do your research before stepping on a dealer’s lot.
The Internet has made the research part of car buying so much easier. You can look at Edmunds.com, the Kelley Blue Book and ConsumerReports.org for objective reviews on how good a make/model is, how much a dealer should ask for it (whether it’s a new or used car) and so on.
- Get financing before you physically look at cars.
Knowing how much your loan will be and how much your monthly payment will be means you can go in and negotiate from a position of power: the salesperson won’t be able to sell you a car for more than you can afford. He also won’t be able to sell you a more expensive car by giving you a longer loan, thus lowering your monthly payment but increasing the overall amount you end up paying for the car (because you’ll be paying more interest throughout the length of the loan).
- When stepping on a dealer’s lot, go for test drives only.
Now that you know what you want, you need to find where the car is located nearby. You can look at a dealer’s website to see if it has the make and model you want and if it’s in your price range. If it is, call the dealership and make an appointment to look at and test drive the car.
The salesperson naturally will work to get you to buy the car there and then. If you do want to buy the car, don’t say so. Just tell the salesperson you’re still looking and then get his or her information to call back.
Call back from your home to negotiate the price of the car. Negotiating the car price on the lot means you’re doing so in the salesperson’s territory. She controls what happens next, not you. Stay in control and negotiate from your territory: your home or office.
The PAACO Automotive Group has been helping Dallas/Ft. Worth-area families purchase reliable used cars at terms they can afford. Contact us at 877-810-4555 or stop by one of our locations to learn more.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net