Rule #1 is: Do not browse at the dealership. You're only there
for two reasons: To get the car you want at a price that's fair.
So before you see a dealer, decide upon your needs and

Discuss this with your spouse. For example, are you starting
a family? How big? If you plan on adding to the brood, that's
a chair for every behind. If you're still struggling with this, just
remember: Family = 4 doors.

Cars come with various "option packages", which grow more
numerous every year. Separate out what you can and cannot
live without. For example, if you live in Phoenix, do you really
need a rear window defroster? Or the fancy sound system, an
option that will drain you of around $700. Did you know you
can get one as good or better at an electronics store for half
the money?

Mileage. Just what is this car for, anyway? For most people,
it's to work and back, errands, and weekend this and thats.
So do the math. Figure out your typical mileage for a week,
then multiply that times 52. Multiply that times the price of
one gallon of gas. Then divide that by the car's fuel economy.
1. What Do I Want?
2. My Checklist
3. Trade-in
5. When to Leave
4. Harsh Truths
6. Financing Tips
You came to the right place. We have assembled a team of experts to cut through the hassle
and the nonsense involved in buying a new car. Our men and women have a combined 128
years in the automobile business, and will show you the smart way to get the car you want.
2. My Checklist
Obviously, buying a car is a big decision. So use a checklist
to narrow your choices. Avoid options you can live without,
since they add to the price of the car. The good news is that
many options considered luxuries several years ago are now
standard. You may number the items as to their importance,
or just check off what you want.
3. Trade-in
In a word, don't. The goal of the dealer here is to give you the
least amount possible, so s/he can make money twice.

Make money twice? That's right. First, what you don't get in
trade you must then make up paying for your new car.
Second, what the dealer can save paying you will be made
up when that car is later sold used.

So do not trade in. Instead, sell your car to a private party,
then put 100% of that money towards the down payment on
your next car.

Several media outlets are available to sell your car.

--Internet; good because you can scan a nice color photo
into your ad. The drawback is if someone's not on the 'net,
they won't see your car.

--Local supermarket newspaper; good because the ads are
inexpensive, and the people reading them probably live near
you. If someone lives near you, they're more willing to come
over and look at your car.

--Newspaper; good because far more people read it. The
Sunday paper is best, it's when the serious car shoppers
shop. The ads are more expensive, but your customer base
is large. Be careful here, because the paper will charge you
either by the letter or by the line.

--Word of mouth! Chances are, someone at your workplace,
social club, or house of worship is looking for a car. Why
not yours?
4. Harsh Truths
So-called "No hassle" or "no haggle" policies are marketed
as some kind of convenience. Ridiculous! Think about it.
You see a car/truck you like, and you want make an offer.
But you can't. How is that good?

A hot selling model virtually erases your bargaining
leverage, particularly at a smaller dealership. The dealer
knows that if you don't buy it, someone else will buy it

Most dealerships won't even look at your car as a trade-in if
it has over 50 thousand miles on it.

Selling cars is a "right now" business. Dealers are under
no obligation to "hold" a particular car while you go eat a
hamburger and think about it. To a dealer, "I'll think about
it." means No.

If it's not covered by the warranty, the dealer won't fix it for
free. Even if you bought it yesterday.
Women are often still treated as ignorant by many dealers.
It's caveman, but it's true.
This includes female car
No matter what your sex, it's not a bad idea to
bring along someone you know who knows more about cars
than you.

The one truth in advertising is, "We have to make room for
next year's incoming models." This really is true, since
even the largest dealerships have a finite amount of space
on their car lot, so there's a lot of pressure on dealers to
move the merchandise. There are positives and negetives
to this.

First the positive; It gives you enormous bargaining
leverage. This is why any dealer would rather die than let
you know the model you like is selling poorly. They may in
fact try to steer you to a more expensive car, a common
sales ploy. But by now you should have already decided
on the car you want, so stick to your guns and bargain

The downside is mainly twofold. Remaining models will be
less numerous, so your selection will be limited. You may
not be able to get the exact color, interior, etc. you wanted.
Conversely, the limited selection means you need to move
fast. "Your" car may be gone in an hour or two.
5. When to Leave
--Dealer is trying to steer you to a car you don't want. And,
Surprise!, it's a more expensive model.

--Dealer agrees to a price, getting you all excited about
driving away in your knew car. Then, at the last minute,
s/he tacks on more costs, citing factors beyond his/her
control. If you ask for the total price, then that's what you
should get. It's your money.

--Before you know it, there are six people in the room, all
telling you what the first dealer is telling you. Ganging up
on a prospective buyer is a tactic as old as the hills. And
just as dirty. Each individual dealer is authorized to
negotiate and agree to terms. There is absolutely no need
to "check with the boss" or "confer with my colleagues".

--Dealer just won't come down to your maximum acceptable
price. There's more than one place to buy a car.
6. Financing Tips
--Put as much money down as you can possibly afford.
One hundred percent of your down payment goes directly
towards the priciple, in effect lowering the price of the car.
This also pays off in a kind of multiplying effect, since x%
per year of Big Price is much higher than x% per year of
Little Price.

--Familiarize yourself with today's average car loan rates.
When you buy the car, you'll then know if the dealer's in-
house plan is any good. Buying a car with them in no way
obligates you to go through them for the loan.

--Do not finance for more than 3 - 3 1/2 years (36 - 42
months). If you do, you will have paid enough to buy two
cars. You should have already worked out how much you
can pay, on a monthly basis, before you see the dealer.

--Take advantage of any special rates offerred by the
manufacturer or dealer. You can really save money here.
A difference of just 1 percentage point can, in time, save
you hundreds of dollars. But again, be careful. Many
special rates have an expiration date, after which a higher
interest rate goes into effect.
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