Driving a new car can be one of the most exciting parts of life. However, walking into a dealership to buy one is often ranked up there with public speaking and visits to the dentist on most people’s anxiety lists.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. Follow these tips to make your dealership experience smooth, confident, and in your control.
Run The Numbers
A dealership visit can prove incredibly useful if the customer comes prepared. If they know how much they can afford to spend and which new Kia cars near Mechanicsburg they want to test drive, their time spent on the lot will be more focused and productive. This is especially true if they get preapproved for financing online before visiting the dealership. This allows them to avoid wasting time kicking tires and testing vehicles they can’t afford to purchase or lease.
Before arriving at the lot, they should also know all dealership fees — including title, registration, and documentation charges. This way, they can carefully review each cost line by line to look for any tacked-on profit-driving extras they can negotiate down or eliminate. This is a great way to show the dealer they are serious buyers.
Bring A Wingman
If negotiating isn’t your forte, bringing a frugal friend along is a great idea. They can be the person who makes sure you don’t spend too much or buy extras, and they can help fend off pushy salespeople.
It can also be helpful to have a wingman during the finance and insurance (F&I) office, where dealers will try to sell you expensive add-ons such as nitrogen in your tires. Your frugal friend can help you decline these offers and ensure that your agreed-upon prices are reflected in your contract.
Only sign documents at the dealership and have them reviewed by your wingman. Dealerships often hide information in contracts and can even insert phantom fees after completing the sale. This is called spot financing, and it’s a common car-buying trick. For this reason, it’s best to leave a dealer once the lender formally approves your financing offer.
Know What You Want
Car shoppers have never had a better time to be confident in their purchase and ownership decisions. The Internet provides a wealth of information and perspective on cars, and most dealers prefer working with informed buyers.
To save time and stress, decide what car you want to buy before visiting a dealership. It is also helpful to have a preapproved loan, which will let you know how much you can afford to spend on the vehicle.
Check out the dealer inventory online at sites to see what is available in your area. If the car you want isn’t in stock, ask if they can order it for you or find a similar model at another dealer nearby. Similarly, be prepared to expand your geographic search to neighboring states if you hope to get the latest version of a popular car. These vehicles sell fast! You may be able to nab the vehicle of your dreams for less than you expect.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
The best way to avoid getting duped into a deal that will leave you in debt is to ask questions. This will help you monitor the price tag and other purchase details.
Dealership salespeople often discuss additional fees like vehicle preparation, title, and gap insurance
Be confident when asking questions, especially about prices and financing. It will save you time and money and may even help you avoid being upsold into a vehicle you don’t need or into a long car loan with high interest rates.