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I found a very big pet peeve in this article, so I'm glad they were quick to point it out as well. When you go to a dealership, what's the first thing they ask? "What kind of monthly payment are you looking for?" DON'T EVER, EVER, EVER answer that question!!! They can walk around with you through the lot for an hour with test drive after test drive, all the while calculating in their heads how to drive up the price of the car while still getting you the payment you want. There is a huge difference in getting a $15k car at a low rate and 60 mos vs a $20k car at a higher rate and 72 mos! With interest, you can easily pay thousands more than you expect to pay for a car even though your payment is lower on the higher priced car!!
One of my own suggestions that I didn't see listed... never go to a dealership with a desperate attitude. Come in with a "just looking" or a "take it or leave it" attitude. If a dealership knows you really NEEEEED a car, they'll pull out all the stops to play tricks on you. If you get to the negotiating table and aren't getting what you want, WALK AWAY. Seriously... they're paid on commissions, so if you leave the ball in their court, they're likely to call you back when the next "deal" comes along (a.k.a. "I really need a commission, so I won't hardball you this time" )
We have been on both sides of the car dealership, where we were running the show, and where they were. I HATE car dealerships and avoid them at all costs. Why do they have to keep you in there so long? UGH! Luckily, DH's uncle is a dealership manager so he can get us the price he can get, but we won't be in the market for a new car for awhile.
Natasha, mom to Harley (5/11/2005) and Jarrett (9/4/2010) and wife to Ray (1/4/2003)
I've heard it said "The worst car accidents happen on the showroom floor." (All right, Dave Ramsey said it, and he is SO RIGHT!)
We don't buy new cars, we avoid dealers altogether-especially their friendly finance departments-and pay cash. The last time we bought a vehicle we used a scout who went to a HUGE auction, found EXACTLY what we wanted for LESS than the price we were willing to pay and only paid him $500 for his services. You can't beat that!
The last time we bought a car we went in already having secured our financing from our credit union. That way they could only alter the price of the car not the percentage rate to lower the monthly payments. We also went through AAA and the fleet salesman. It was the smoothest quickest I have ever bought a car (in and out in less than 30min). We actually ended up using their financing because it was .5% less than what we had already secured.
On a funny note...when we bought dh's truck we went round and round trying to get a year end buy-out. We wanted a base model in a certian color. They didn't have the color so we left. They called us back saying they had the color but it had a few more options than we wanted but they would sell at the base model price. We went and the guy sold us the wrong truck (it was like 10pm) - we ended up with a top of the line truck w/a tow package in the current year at the price of a year end base model buy-out. The guy didn't realize it until all the papers had been signed. Would have loved to be a fly on the wall the next day in the sales meeting!!