Last week, I wrote an article discussing what to consider when buying a new car. My wife and I were planning on delaying our purchase, but we had to rearrange our plans when my car had some troubles. After bringing it to the shop, we decided it’d be a better idea to trade it in and get a new car than to fix it.
We purchased a Honda CRV and are very happy with our choice. We now have a car that is safe, reliable, and full of amenities. Now that we’ve completed our first car purchase, I’d like to share some pointers with you.
Research What You Want
We researched the cars for sale in our area and figured out which ones met our needs. As I mentioned last week, we wanted a mid-size SUV with the ability to operate smoothly in all weather. We decided on a Honda CRV with all-wheel-drive, as it offered the best in performance and fuel economy, and it performed well during our test drive.
Be Ready to Negotiate
The dealership where we bought the car operated with fair, no hassle pricing. This meant we got the car for just over the invoice price — more than $1500 less than the average price paid across the country. This took out some of the difficulty in negotiating with a car salesman.
We received a price we felt was fair and proceeded to negotiate the trade-in value of my old car. There wasn’t a ton of wiggle room, as it was a 15-year-old car. We were able, however, to get a few hundred dollars more than the original offer.
If you’re planning on negotiating the price of your new car and the value of a trade-in, you need to do your research. I was pleasantly surprised to see the price of our new car was lower than I anticipated paying. If you have numbers in mind, you’ll be able to present an educated offer.
Understand the Extras
After agreeing to a price, you’ll be sent to the financial services area. This is where you’ll learn what APR you qualify for (if you’re financing the purchase), and what warranties are included. We added a small part to our warranty that wasn’t included in the plan.
You’ll need to stay firm and confident in what you want. Allowing the dealership to dictate what you do and do not need will lead you down the wrong path.
The Bottom Line
Are you planning on purchasing a new vehicle? If so, have you done your research? Being educated is one of the most important things to do if you’re planning on buying a new vehicle. Knowing the average purchase price and the invoice price will be vital. Also being aware of the value of your trade-in is important.
Be confident in your decisions, and be direct when you speak to employees of the dealership. This will help prevent them from taking advantage of you, and you’ll walk away happy with your purchase.
Do you have any tips for first-time car buyers?