Getting A Good Deal By Working With Your Dealership

Do you dread stepping foot on a car dealer's lot? Too many people treat the car buying experience as a hassle or, worse yet, something to desperately be avoided. Buying a new car should be fun, especially since dealerships are one of the few places where you still have some agency to get a good deal by bringing your negotiating skills to the table.

The secret to making your experience a good one is to realize that the dealership is your partner, not your adversary. The sales staff at your dealership want to put you into a good car for a fair price. The best way to make sure that happens is to come prepared and to work with the dealership rather than against them.

Research Beforehand

It can be tough to know exactly what kind of car you're interested in before getting behind the wheel, but being realistic about your needs, wants, and budget can help you to create a short list. When you've narrowed your choices down to a handful of vehicles, read reviews and do your research before arriving at the lot. Whether you're buying new or used, contact the dealership in advance to make sure that they have options on the lot with the features that you're after.

Create a "Walk Away" List

Being flexible is important, but it's also important to know where you won't compromise. Is there a color or set of colors that you absolutely don't want (or that you have to have)? Are there features that you aren't willing to sacrifice? Make a list of your must-haves and stick to it religiously. If there isn't a car on the lot that meets your requirements, be prepared to walk away. Remember that the salesperson at the dealership can't read your mind; you have to be ready to help out by knowing what you're after.

Have a Solid Budget

Having a budget is especially important if you will be financing through the dealership. Before arriving, you should have two specific figures in mind:

  • Your maximum total cost for the car, including interest
  • The maximum monthly payment that you're willing to make

Too many buyers allow themselves a stretch budget, but this is usually a bad idea. Your maximum in both cases should be an amount that you are comfortable with spending. Making your budget requirements clear up front is a great way to take the pressure off of both you and the financing department at the dealership.

Drive More Than One Car

Finally, make sure that you drive at least a couple of cars before arriving at a final decision. It can be easy to be wowed by the first car that you see, especially if you're upgrading from an older or lower-end model. Even if it's love at first sight, ask to drive at least one other car that's on your list before making a decision. Driving at least a few different models will help you to avoid buyer's remorse later on.

Most importantly: have fun! Allowing yourself to enjoy the car experience is the best way to avoid feeling pressure and to find the car that's a perfect fit for you.

For more information, contact dealerships like Grey Chevrolet Inc.