Before you go out to buy that car, it might pay to do some research on it. If it is a used car, you will need to find out if it really is worth the amount it is advertised at.
There are many websites that allow you to type in make and model of a car and get details of what it is worth. Ideally, you should make a folder especially for all the information you will get from various sources. It’s easy to forget or confuse a one set of information with another.
Trading magazines will give you a good idea of what a particular make and model of car is selling for, and you can watch the ads in the newspaper and at used car lots. Be sure to save all the data and put it into your folder.
But the price is not the only thing you want to find out. If your chosen vehicle is a used car, it should be possible to find out where it came from. If the owner lived by the water, you should look for possible rust. This can be a point in your favor if the salesperson is trying to drive a hard bargain. Cars that have been flooded are often cleaned up and shipped to another state to sell. The same applies to cars that have been in an accident. To research your chosen vehicle, go to a website like autocheck.com or carfax.com and type in the vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number).
These services are free, but you must give your email address so they can send you the information. You’ll soon find out the history of the car and it could save you a great deal of money.
New car pricing info can be had from FightingChance.com, Auto web, Autos.com, Invoice Dealers and others. They will give you prices on new and used cars and also the dealer invoice price for new cars. It’s much easier to do this research online rather than drive all over town hunting down prices. Always get at least three quotes for a new car.
They will all vary. The way to get the best price on your chosen vehicles is with competing quotes. You should never go to a car yard without your quotes to compare with their prices. These days, many sites (eg, CarsDirect.com) sell new cars directly through the site.
This could be a good option for you, particularly if you hate facing salespeople. They often will give you a great deal and deliver the car to your
driveway. They can offer these deals by cutting out the middleman, as it were, putting you in touch with a fleet manager who does not work on commissions. It is certainly worth the extra effort to research before you buy. It could save you thousands.
How to Shop Around for the Best Price
When you are buying a car — whether new or use — you will want to do everything in your power to get the best price.
There are many websites that will give you the car prices and you should look into several of these and get a number of quotes. Write them down or print off the spreadsheet and keep it in a special folder to take with you when you go to the dealership.
Using the lowest one, you can then tell the dealer what you’ve been offered and see if he will match it. However, there will come a point where they won’t go any lower.
And if you ask them to cut into their profit margin, they could easily take it back in some other part of the deal, so be careful. It is a good idea to establish your credit source before you go. Car dealerships don’t always offer the best interest rates for loans, so get data from other loan sources before you go, and then you’ll be able to negotiate. Find out your credit rating too.
The salesman will be sure to, so if you know ahead of time, you won’t get any surprises. Most people don’t have a perfect credit rating, but the better yours is, the more room you have to negotiate low-interest rates on your loan.
Today’s new car market is extremely crowded and new cars are offered with many incentives to make them more attractive to the buyer. These incentives can be in the form of a cash rebate or lower interest rates.
The thing with incentives is to remember that often the car with the most incentives has them because it is not selling very well. (Incentives are there to make you buy, right?) So ask yourself, why is this make or model not a good seller? Of course, the only way to find out the truth is to go to those websites that give out free information on the make and model.
Remember, the more information you have, the more likely you are to know a good deal when you see it and be able to avoid getting ‘taken for a ride’. Edmunds.com is one website that will give you the latest information on what deals are available on the car of your choice. TV and newspaper ads may also have this information, but remember that it is not always available for all models or in every state.