5 Ways to Save on your Next Car Purchase

Vehicles are expensive, even when you get a good deal or have a great trade-in. It doesn’t matter whether you buy new or used, there are some costs you simply can’t avoid, making it seem like you have no ways to save. However, if you’re a savvy shopper who keeps the essentials in mind, you can stay well within your budget when getting a new ride.

Take a Few Trade-In Tips

Image via Flickr by Emilio Labrador

Many drivers depend on their trade-ins to afford a new car, whether it’s brand new or new to them. They rely on their ability to take a chunk off the overall price with their old vehicle. The problem occurs when they fail to research or go in and let the dealer or seller know they have a trade-in.

There’s no excuse for not doing your research. Find out the value of your trade-in, but be honest with yourself. If there are dents and dings, account for that. Don’t look at the value of a car in mint condition when yours is far from perfect. In fact, always estimate down, just a little; you may not get full value.

When you’re negotiating the price of a car, you have to keep your cards close to the vest. If you tell the dealer right away that you have a trade-in, you’re not going to get an honestly good deal. You’ll get the deal the salesperson wants you to have. You may get unfairly overcharged because the negotiations won’t allow for the value of your trade-in. Save that confession until after negotiating the price.

Save Big with Your Insurance

Don’t restrict yourself to saving on the car itself. You can check out possible insurance rates and savings before deciding on a specific model. You can sometimes get better rates on certain cars, even hybrids, than you can with others. You can also save with certain features, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and anti-theft options.

Car Knowledge Equals Power… and Savings

Image via Flickr by Emilio Labrador

While car salesman are not evil conjurers of lies and deceit, they are looking to profit as much as possible from your purchase. This means they are willing to exploit your knowledge of cars, or lack thereof, and use it against you to leverage profit. If you know very little about cars and haggling closing prices, bring along someone that is knowledgeable and experienced in these matters. It’s an ideal move to become acquainted with this aspect of life, however, so do everything you can to learn and become knowledgeable. There’s countless resources available to aid your learning, including car-dedicated blogs and even the Truecar Twitter feed.

Find the Smartest Financing Options

If you can get smart financing options, you can negotiate a better deal. It’s often best to secure your loan even before you pick out a car. You can lock in your interest rates, create a budget for yourself, and you won’t necessarily have to go through the dealership, which can cost you much less in the long run. Any savings you can put back are essential as well. The more cash you have, the less debt you’ll have through a loan.

Always Compare and Compete

Never hesitate to make car dealers compete against each other. It might sound dirty, but you have to save where you can. It pays to comparison shop no matter what you buy, but it’s crucial with big purchases. Say you love the interest rates, salespeople, or warranties offered at one dealer, but find the car you want at a cheaper price somewhere else. A little friendly competition can’t hurt, and the dealer you want may just price match.

Buying a new car is a big deal, but if you’re smart, savvy, and willing to become a hard-nosed negotiator, you can keep within your budget. What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten?


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Posted by on May 16, 2014. Filed under Advice,SCI/TECH/HOME/TRAVEL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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2 Responses to 5 Ways to Save on your Next Car Purchase

  1. Bill Formby

    June 25, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    While I agree with what you have written there are things that I believe you should know about the car sales business if you truly want to help folks. First of all do everything you just said in terms of knowing as much as you can about the car you want and the car you are going to trade in. Actually, you may be better off getting your car detailed and try to sell it at a good price and deal with the car folks on a cash basis. Then be sure to know how much the car you are looking at is worth. Kelley’s Blue Book usually is pretty accurate. Then understand how a car salesman works. If you go in looking around he is going to try to “get a read” on you, then try to steer you to a car he thinks you will buy. On the other hand you can save time and just tell him what you want. You need to have a target price in mind. By target price I mean amount that you are really willing to pay. Always let the salesman make the first price offer to sell. It will almost always be over what he will take. Your counter offer should be in the form of, “Ah Man, I can’t handle that. I know you can do better than that.” Usually this will start a going back and forth with his boss. When he comes back with his next offer you still need to low ball him unless his next price hits your target which is rare. The key to getting the best price for your car, in addition to playing dealers against each other is being willing to walk away from the deal. If your are realistic in what you want and the price target is realistic you can get the car you want for that price, but you have to be willing to walk away if the other side is not being realistic.