fbpx
U

Winning the Car Buying Game!

April 19, 2006

Licence platesWhile not great investments, cars are important purchases for most of us.

Beyond how we feel driving them, they’re expensive to buy, own, and operate.

Fortunately, smart buyers can get an edge by doing their homework, collecting the right data, and having a negotiating strategy. Being smart definitely pays off!

 

 

4 Steps to Winning the New Car Game

  1. Know what car you want first. Do your research and determine which car you want including which options are important to you. Help on model research can be obtained from Consumer Reports and Edmunds. Once you settle on a car, take a test drive, but promise yourself that once you test drive the vehicle you won’t go inside and begin negotiations (that’s what the dealer is counting on).
  2. Go to the manufacturer’s website (Honda, Ford, Toyota, etc.) and locate the exact cars you want. Find at least two cars but hopefully three to five. HINT: On most car websites they want you to input your zipcode so they can refer you to the closest dealer. This zipcode also limits what car inventory shows up on the internet. Find all the dealers within 30-60 miles of your house and use Yahoo or Google to determine their zipcodes. By using each dealer’s zipcode, you can see what they have on their lot. Most manufacturers have their inventory listed including Honda, Toyota, and General Motors.
  3. Figure out what to pay. I always start with CarsDirect to see what the MSRP and invoice prices are, including the options that I consider must-haves. The site will also provide you with a tentative price that a dealer is willing to sell at through the internet. Next, I always go to Edmunds and click the “Forums” button on the top of the page. From the “Forums” main page you can browse discussion by vehicle by first choosing the manufacturer, then the model, and finally choosing the discussion topic titled “Prices and Buying Experience”. From here there will be hundreds of postings from all over listing your model of car and what others have paid (this is valuable information because you are seeing what others in your area are paying for the cars).
  4. Now that you are loaded up with the research and pricing information, call the dealership directly and ask to speak with the sales manager. Let whomever answers the phone know that they have the car you want on their lot and that you are ready to buy. Also tell them that you need rock bottom price because you have located 2-3 other cars of the exact same model at other dealerships and you are showing up with a check to whichever dealership has the best price.

Used Car Research Tools:

  • Autotrader: Find used cars in your area that are for sale by individuals and dealers
  • Kelley Blue Book: Evaluate what your current car is worth and what you should pay for the car you’re researching
  • Edmunds: Provides true market value (what others are actually paying for new and used cars in your area) as well as other general research information

General Advice:

  • Avoid negotiating with the dealership on site. You will have much more leverage on the phone than you will on their sales floor.
  • Never discuss whether or not you want to trade in your existing car until after you have reached a deal on the new car. Likewise, separate your possible need to finance a loan from the car’s actual purchase. They’re different transactions and shouldn’t be rolled together unless the numbers work for you.
  • Research, research, and more research! You need to know more about the car than the guy selling it.
FILED UNDER: Podcasts
TAGGED WITH: negotiation

Most Recent Episodes

Dave Ramsey vs. The Money Guy: Which Strategy is The Best?

Dave Ramsey has an incredible legacy of helping folks get out of debt and take control of their financial lives. We agree on a lot of things, but there are a few points of contrast. In this episode, we’ll discuss differences between The Money Guy Show and Dave Ramsey...

Top 4 Financial Mistakes We Saw This Year! (2022)

We saw some wild financial mistakes this year during the bear market. From making extreme changes to portfolio allocation, chasing the hot dot, and using too much leverage, we’ll talk about some of the biggest financial mistakes we saw in 2022 in this episode.   In...

How Millionaires Build Wealth! (With Dave Ramsey)

Join us for a very special episode as we welcome personal finance radio host and influencer Dave Ramsey to The Money Guy Show! There’s so much misinformation out there about building wealth. We had the pleasure of having a great conversation about how millionaires...

Do These 4 Things with Your Finances BEFORE 2023!

There are unique financial opportunities available at the end of the year - especially this year with the market down. In this episode, we’ll talk about what you need to do with your money BEFORE 2023! In this episode, you'll learn: What you need to do with your money...

How to Win When the Financial World is Burning!

Lately it’s felt like the financial world is in chaos, with rising interest rates, a falling stock market, and high inflation. Let’s talk about how to focus on what you can control and how to minimize the time spent worrying about what you can’t control. In this...

Financial Advisors React to RIDICULOUS Money Advice on TikTok!

The most powerful time to get serious about building wealth is when you’re young. So, what is the younger generation learning? Financial Advice (good and bad) is being produced in massive rates across online platforms and TikTok is the new frontier. Is there good...

Loss Harvesting: Why Wealthy People Love It (And You Should Too!)

Tax-loss harvesting: what is it and should you be doing it? In this episode, we’ll cover everything you need to know about tax-loss harvesting, including whether it makes sense for you, how much it could save you in taxes, and how to eliminate the downside of loss...

The Market is Crashing! (Where Should You Put Your Money?)

The stock market has not had a great year so far. You might be asking yourself, “Since the market is crashing, where should I put my money now?” In this episode, we’ll discuss how to invest when the market is dropping and how to make the most of your money. In this...

Will Rising Interest Rates Tank the Economy?!

The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates to combat inflation, and many are concerned about how it will affect the economy. In this episode, we’ll discuss what rising interest rates means for your wallet and how to make the best of it. In this episode, you'll...

How to Be Wealthy By Age! (Can You Catch Up?)

How much does it take for you to meet your retirement goals by age, and what are some common traps your peers fall into? Learn more about how to be wealthy, mistakes to avoid, and exactly what a little extra saving can do for your retirement income. In this episode,...