If you’re in the market for a new car, it’s best that you do just as much research on ways to save money on the price of the new car, as you do about the car itself. An automobile is one of the most expensive investments you’ll make in your life, likely more than once, so it’s essential that you take every step possible to keep your spending low and your satisfaction high.
Here are a few effective ways to save on the overall cost of a new car.
Know the Actual Price of the New Car
Once you know what kind of car you’d like, do your homework to see how much you should be paying for it. The same make and model might have a different price at different dealerships, so do your research to get the vehicle’s manufacturer’s suggested retail price, also known as MSRP. Know that there are additional fees that often come in addition to the MSRP, so make sure you know exactly what those fees are and if they’re negotiable.
Bargain the Price Online
After you’ve taken the car for a test drive, know that you can hop online rather than in the dealership chair to work out the price. One thing that you might not be aware of is that Internet department salespeople are rewarded for the number of vehicles they sell, which is different from the commission that is paid to a typical car salesperson. What this means is you’re more likely to get a solid deal online. There’s also the fact that you don’t have to worry about haggling or potentially being confused when it comes to financing or insuring your new car.
Work With as Many Dealers as Possible
While working with two dealers is a good idea, working with three or more is even better. Once car dealers know how many other offers you’re considering, they have that much more reason to go to every length possible to offer you the best price. In addition to working with brick-and-mortar dealerships, you can also hop online and explore your options there. No matter where you find your dealer, make sure you tell all of them you’re working with several other dealers.
It’s best that you don’t mention anything about trading in a car, financing or insurance; those are details you can work out later once you’ve got the lowest price for the car that’s caught your eye.
Consider an Online Auto Loan
You can do nearly everything online, so why shouldn’t you be able to secure an auto loan online? Benefits of an online auto loan include getting an instant loan decision, quick application forms, being approved from your phone or in the comfort of your own home and knowing the terms of your loan before you even set foot on a car lot, which means fewer surprises when you’re almost at the finish line.
If at all possible, keep your loan applications within a 14-day window so they’ll all be considered as one inquiry, which goes a long way in protecting your credit score. When you’ve been approved, know the offer will only be good for roughly 60 days, so make sure you decide on a car before that time is up.
Know That Everything Is Negotiable
Before you lull yourself into thinking that only a few things can be negotiated on how much you pay for your new car, know that everything is negotiable. Any pre-printed numbers you see on your sales contract can be crossed out, or at the very least an equivalent amount can be deducted elsewhere on the contract. Don’t hesitate to ask if something can be negotiated, and don’t be afraid to see if the dealer would be willing to bargain on something that’s non-negotiable.
Get Your Timing Down
If you don’t need a new car ASAP, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by timing your purchase just right. Specifically, you’ll want to wait until the end of the model year to make your move. The reason for this is because dealerships want to unload as many old models as possible to make room for the new ones, which means they’re more likely to make deals and offer incentives that might normally be off the table.
Any money you save on buying your new car can be put into savings, spent elsewhere, or saved for auto maintenance. Use these tips and your own good judgment to get the best price.