The ideas are more straightforward than you might expect for such a large purchase.
“Buying a new car doesn’t have to be a stressful (or wallet draining) experience,” writes Eric Peters in his story “Car Shopping Rules – 6 steps to get the best deal on new car prices” on AOL.com Autos.
“Just be sure you follow the rules,” according to Peters.
First, buy a car “when you don’t have to,” writes Peters. “Avoid being in the position of having to replace the one you’ve got because it just broke down and it’s beyond fixing (or you just don’t want to put any more money into it). Desperation rarely results in a good deal – for the buyer, anyhow.”
Peters’ other rules are:
- Shop for money first
- Compare incentives
- Know what you’re buying
- Know how much your old car’s worth
- Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve
Shopping for money means researching potential lenders – credit unions, banks, automakers’ finance arms (such as the new Chrysler Capital), and online lenders such as RoadLoans.
“Many buyers forget that the cost of money is just as important to the bottom line as the new car price,” writes Peters. “Whatever you saved up-front on the new car price can easily be lost over the course of the loan if you sign up for a loan with a higher rate than you could have/should have paid.”
Shoppers also should know as much as possible about various options on vehicles they are considering to help ensure they won’t purchase a vehicle beyond their needs or wishes. And they need to know what their trade-in is worth to make sure that it generates the greatest trade value.
Finally, “when you’re buying a new car, you’ll almost certainly do better if you can remain as aloof and detached as Mr. Spock (in Star Trek),” writes Peters. “Never portray more than casual interest in a car … You should convey a ‘take it or leave’ it impression.”
So take this advice to heart and go boldly where many car buyers have not gone before.