Before you walk into a dealership, you should remember one thing first and foremost. The salespeople you’re about to meet work on 100% commission. To put food on their table, they’ll say or do anything to get you to agree to a deal. They have a very personal stake in getting as much from you as they can.
One of the first things they’ll try to determine is whether you’re a sure thing. They may ask you outright if you want to make a deal that day. They’ll likely ask for your credit information before you even talk specifics. They do both of these to see if you’re anxious to speed the process along. If you are, they know they can push harder and probably charge you more. And, if you let them, they will.
After that, they’ll hone in on which car on their lot they can get you to agree to. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the right color or has the options you want. They just want to make the sale and move on. Even though they could swap cars with another dealer to get the car you really want, they’ll resist at every turn because they’re not interested in serving you. They’re interested in selling you.
If you do agree on a car, it’s time for the numbers. When it comes to car negotiations, they know most people just want to know how much their monthly payments will be. If they can get you to agree to a payment that sounds low, they can shuffle money and get tricky with the math, “saving” you money in one area but charging you for it someplace else. You can read a complete list of things to watch out for, but classic tricks include giving you too little for your trade-in, jacking up your down payment or extending the payment term way into the future. At a place like this, if you hope to get your best deal, you’ll need to negotiate separately three times over – once for the purchase price, once for your trade-in (if you have one) and the third for the terms of your financing. Plus, you’ll need to force each issue every step of the way.
If you make it through all that, you’ll have your new car. And hopefully, you’ll get a fair deal.
to learn many of the warning signs of unfair leasing practices.