After our homes, our cars are one of the biggest purchases most of us will make. That means it’s a big decision, and one that you’ll want to be sure you’re getting right. Buying a car can seem like such a minefield sometimes – there are many different deals and financing options to understand, and not all of us have the negotiation skills we need to get the best price. It doesn’t have to be an ordeal though – knowledge is power, so with a little preparation, you can successfully get what you want without overpaying.
Understand Your Needs
What we like the look of and what will actually meet our needs may be poles apart when it comes to buying a car. Before you even set foot in a car dealership, use the Internet to do your research thoroughly. A site like Parkers will give you owner reviews, average prices and things to look out for. It can help you decide between models if you’re stuck. Consider whether you really need to purchase new, or whether you could get much more for your money with a nearly new car. Finding a trusted local dealer such as Newton’s can make sure that you’re likely to have a positive experience and not be deliberately upsold. Build up a shortlist of models you are interested in and go to see all options. Once you’ve narrowed down the vehicle, you can think about specifics such as engine type, trim level, automatic or manual and even colour.
Learn To Negotiate
Dealerships usually have a margin on both new and used cars that they can adjust the price on, so it’s always worth learning to haggle. If you know the specification you want, and the average price paid for that model, start from there. You should also consider timings – dealers will discount more around the end of a sales quarter or just before a plate change. Be on your guard a little bit, as automotive salespeople are very well trained and are there to try and get you to spend. Don’t lose sight of your original objective or even be afraid to walk away – it’s almost guaranteed that they will call you later on offering a little more to try and secure a sale. Remember that you’re spending thousands and have every right to be a little choosy about what you’ll accept!
Although knowing what you want is good, if you are prepared to compromise on a few details you may be able to secure a much better deal. Dealerships will have certain models, colours etc in stock and others which have to be ordered especially for you. They may also sell off their ex-demonstrator cars with very low mileage. If you can adjust what you want from a trim level or colour you may be able to take advantage of this.
With a little planning, you can find the ideal car for your needs without paying over the odds.