The Stress-Free Way to Purchase Your Next Automobile

BMW M3 for sale in Philly

Buying a car should be simple. In an ideal world, you would simply pick a car you like, give it a quick test drive, agree payment terms, and drive it away into the sunset. But real life doesn’t work like that.

In reality, purchasing a car can be a source of stress and frustration, not to mention a financial disaster. Dealers always seem to be looking for new ways to extract the highest possible price for the lowest-quality vehicles, and it’s hard for buyers to defend themselves against slick sales methods.

However, there are some ways to take control of the car-buying process. By following these ideas, you should be able to drive a hard bargain and purchase the right car at the right price.

Shop Around For Quotes And Put Yourself in the Driving Seat

Always shop around. This is the fundamental rule of buying a car, so it’s worth repeating: Always shop around.

Log onto Google Maps or open the phone directory and find dealerships near you that offer the model and make you are interested in. When you’ve found a cluster of dealerships, visit all of them and ask for quotes on cars that are as similar as possible. You might not be able to find identical vehicles, but try to stay as close to your desired car as you can.

Without information from local dealers, you won’t be able to assess whether vendors are offering a fair price, but with a list of quotes, you can start to negotiate. It’s all about assuming a position of power.

Agree A Price And Warranty Before You Enter the Dealership

When you attend dealerships, never enter the main building to finalize the deal before you have extracted agreements on the price and warranty from your dealer. Be clear when discussing your target vehicle that you won’t walk into the main building until your negotiations are complete.

When customers get into the dealership and sit face to face in front of a finance officer or seller, they are much more open to persuasion. When you are so close to signing on a dotted line or handing over your credit card, you naturally want to finish the task. That’s why you need to sort everything out on your own terms, away from the dealer’s desk.

Dealers will also often try to entice you to take a test drive before you have agreed a price and warranty terms. Again, this is part of their technique. They know that customers who have driven a vehicle are more likely to feel bound to purchase it, and they will pressurize you any way they can to feel that way.

Research Your Dealer Before Starting Negotiations

These days, there is no excuse for failing to carry out due diligence when buying a car. The internet is a fantastic source of information about which local dealerships have a problem with customer complaints and which companies offer a five-star service.

Before you hit the sales lots of your town, spend a few minutes on directories like Yelp and note down how many complaints each dealer has received in the past few months. If dealers regularly respond to complaints in a dismissive way, that’s a great indication that they aren’t to be trusted, so file it away and keep it in mind during negotiations.

Some car buyers like to take an aggressive stance, picking out any minor flaws or even conjuring up imaginary problems before suggesting that dealers should reduce their price. Every dealer will be familiar with this kind of hard bargaining, and it rarely works.

Instead of trying to fool the dealer, point out any flaws calmly and ask the dealership to agree to repair them. If they offer comprehensive warranties, dealers have an incentive to make sure that vehicles leave their lot in good condition. They don’t want to have to pay huge repair bills further down the line. So don’t treat them like fools.

Knock the Price Down by Using the Quote Ladder

Instead of using underhand tactics, you can use the leverage provided by your list of quotes to secure a bargain.

Here’s how:

Look at your list. Head to the dealer offering the highest price and show him the quote from the dealer offering the lowest. They will either match the deal, beat it or suggest reasons why they can’t lower their price. If they won’t go lower, head to the dealer with the second highest quote. Now, repeat the process, using your new lowest quote, until you reach a price floor.

This usually will result in big reductions. Local car markets aren’t always efficient, but with some effort, you can give yourself the leverage to turn them to your advantage.

How to Approach Finance Teams

When you purchase a car, you’ll probably have to discuss financial terms as well as a ticket price, and this poses its own dangers. Many financial departments will be under instructions to offer high interest rates and stripped-down warranties, so never take what they say at face value.

If you think you are being offered an uncompetitive interest rate, don’t be afraid to confront the financial officer with your concerns. They may be able to offer a rational explanation, but if you stick to your guns, they will often compromise with more generous terms.

Sometimes, buyers have to be even more confrontational. There are plenty of cases of buyers walking away in disgust, only for financial officers to chase after them with an improved offer. Remember, dealerships are desperate for a sale, and as a buyer, you are in a position of power, so use it.

This position of power also applies to loans. If you are financing your purchase via a bank loan, never tell the dealer information about the loan amount or its terms. They’ll be sure to use this to their advantage.

Despite the problems mentioned earlier, choosing to finance your purchase via the dealership can be a better option for some buyers. If you have a low credit rating, dealerships will often be more generous than banks. However, be sure to check out the financial reputation of different companies before you choose that route, as plenty of major brands are happy to exploit the financial inexperience of their customers.

If you research the market beforehand, take a firm stance in negotiations, use the “quote ladder,” and stand up to financial teams, buying a car doesn’t have to be such a chore. By using local markets to your advantage, you can get the best possible deal every time.

All you need is the right attitude and the willingness to shop around; that’s a small price to pay for a great deal and a reliable set of wheels.


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Always shop around. This is the fundamental rule of buying a car, so it’s worth repeating: Always shop around….

Posted by Philly Auto on Monday, February 12, 2018


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