When you step out to buy a new car, while exciting, it’s important to remember to plan ahead, play it cool, and be aware of all the little things that can see you spending thousands of dollars more than you need to.
Many car dealers will have your interests (mostly) in mind, but you have to remember that their job is to make the dealership money. While they may not be out to get you as badly as Hollywood stereotypes would have you believe, they do want to get the best commission they can.
We’ve put together a few handy tips for dealing with car dealerships in a way that gets you the car your want, at the best possible price, with the best possible car finance rate.
When To Buy A Car
Consider your timing when you’re starting to think about a new car. If you do your shopping at the end of the month when the dealerships are racing to meet their quotas, they’ll be more flexible on price in order to get the deal. If you’re bold and offer a much lower price, you may be surprised at what they agree to, or at least where in the middle they’re willing to meet.
You can also save thousands if you make the most of end of year or end of financial year sales. This is when dealerships are running out old models at reduced prices in order to make room for new models.
Take It Easy
You can get caught in the hype of new car shopping and feel like you need to act quick, but those “act now before it’s too late” deals are rarely that time sensitive. Even the end of financial year sales tend to run on well into July.
After you’ve discussed the vehicle and the price, tell the dealer you need more time to think. If you like the car but you’re uncertain about the price, say that. You don’t need to make such an expensive purchase on impulse and they still might lower the price further.
Make a Low Offer
By this stage you’ve most likely worked out what you can afford, you may have even arranged pre-approved finance. The dealer doesn’t need to know these figures though. They’re likely to try to talk you higher than this anyway, so tell them your budget is lower than it is.
Australian day to day shopping culture isn’t big on haggling. We don’t try to knock 50 cents off the price of a carton of milk from the corner store, nor do we negotiate a bargain at Jeans West when we need new pants.
But car prices you can haggle.
The price on the windshield is most definitely not the final price, it’s just there as a starting point for negotiation. Offer a much lower price and if they don’t meet you close enough in the middle, ask them to throw in extras – things like delivery, extended warranty, maybe even servicing.
Be Prepared To Say No
New cars aren’t rare, boutique items. If your negotiation on price feels like it’s not going anywhere, be prepared to walk away, no matter how much you love the car. There are plenty of other car dealerships out there where you could probably buy the same model for a better price. Sometimes, walking away is the last step to bringing it down to the best price.
Once you’ve agreed on the price, you also need to be prepared to say no to dealership extras. Warranty extensions, in-house insurance and dealership finance are very rarely a good deal, and often how the dealerships make their money back after the deal you just hard-balled them into.
One of the best ways to have an upper hand when talking to car dealers is to have your car finance pre-approved. That way you already know what you can afford and that you have the best interest rate. All you need to do is find the right car and talk down the price.
If you’re about to go car shopping, talk to us on 1300 769 999, or simply apply online to get things started today.