Things You Will Needfax machine or email address
Surf the Internet and check the prices of the models that interest you. Do not just look at the base price but add in the options that you need or want. Then check the safety and repair record of each model and start making eliminations. Narrow your choice to two models and write a complete list of the options that you have chosen for each one.
Step 2Call or visit your car insurance agent to inquire about the premium on each vehicle. Two similar vehicles can have widely different premiums depending on theft and accident ratios as well as the options you have chosen. This is why it is good to narrow the choices to two models instead of only one. Ask for a printout of both quotes.
Step 3Get pre-approved at your credit union (or bank) for a new car loan. This will let you know in advance exactly what you can afford. Pre-approval is a good bargaining chip when it comes time to close the deal.
Step 4Send a fax or an email to several new car dealers within 25 miles of your home. Be very specific about the features and colors that you prefer. Request their best price and state that it must include shipping and all dealer charges. Provide your name and fax number or email address but not your telephone number nor any mention that you are pre-approved. This will require a written answer by either email or snail mail from the car dealer. Telephone quotes are not binding and some sales representatives use them to bait you into the dealership.
Step 5Examine the offers carefully as they arrive. Sometimes the lowest price will not include all of the options in your request. If none of the offers is acceptable, then send a fax or email thanking the dealership for their time but the price is too high. You will most likely receive a lower offer that is within your pre-approval amount.
Step 6Choose the best price that includes everything you want in your new car and then contact that particular dealership. Do not reveal anything about your finances at this time. You do not want the car dealer to know how much you can afford nor whether you have a trade-in. Make an appointment to examine and test-drive the new car. Take your pre-approval paperwork with you should you decide to complete the purchase at that time.
Step 7Professionally clean any vehicle that you will be trading in when buying the new car. It may cost less than twenty dollars and your car will appear as if it has been well-maintained.
Step 8When you arrive to test-drive the new vehicle at the dealership, do not park your car at the dealership and do not say that you have a trade-in. Park one street over and walk to the dealership. This will prevent the salesperson from "sizing you up" and trying to raise the price.
Step 9After deciding to purchase the new car, reconfirm the price of the car. Have a copy of the dealership quote with you. After the salesperson has confirmed the price, at that time state that you have a car that you are CONSIDERING as a trade-in. If the dealership offers a lower trade-in price than you could get elsewhere, then use the bargaining chip that you are already pre-approved (but not the amount) and also have an offer from their competition (have the other quotes with you) and that you will get back to them about the purchase. They may increase the trade-in offer in order to close the deal.
A little bit of advance preparation should help you to buy the best new car at the best price.