To help consumers better understand how to deal with car dealers without paying a lot more money than they actually should pay, Bankrate has provided a list of 10 helpful rules for dealing with an auto dealer.
Consider These Helpful Rules
According to Bankrate, the 10 things that you need to do when dealing with an auto dealer are:
- Get an idea of the dealer's profit margin. The profit margin is the difference between what the dealer pays (the invoice price) and the sticker price. Typically, the profit margin is around 10 to 20 percent for most dealers. By getting an idea of what their margin is, you can assess what kind of deal you may be able to get on the car.
- Consider ordering a car. If the dealer doesn't have a vehicle you want, you can usually get one ordered that is made to your specifications. It takes more time, but you also won't have to pay for features that you don't need or want.
- Negotiate harder if a car is close to what you're looking for. If a dealer has a car that is similar to what you want but not exact, the dealer may be willing to give you a better deal rather than having you order a car.
- Don't make decisions based on emotions. If you are too excited about a car, you could end up paying more than the vehicle is worth.
- Be ready to walk out. Dealers will do everything that they can to get you stay in the showroom. If you are willing to walk away, you can get the upper hand in negotiations.
- Start the buying process by phone. Many dealers will try to force you to come in, but you may want to insist on getting a preliminary number over the phone before you actually visit the dealer. This will allow you to get a better idea of the prices you are dealing with, allow you more time to research, and will save you from wasting your time by visiting a dealer whose prices are way too high.
- Compare apples-to-apples. Make sure that all dealers you are talking to give you the same figures so you can determine who is actually offering the best deal.
- Find out about factory incentives. Factory incentives that are given to dealers can sometimes allow them to sell a car for less than invoice price.
- Focus on the total price, not the monthly payments. Dealers may try to get you to pay more than you wanted by emphasizing how low the monthly payment will be.
- Don't pay for unnecessary expenses. You need to pay for stuff like registration and taxes, but should not have to pay for things like floor charges or promotional fees. If you don't know what a charge is on the invoice, ask!
While these tips can help you to get a better deal when car buying, you still face the potential for problems if your vehicle turns out to have defects or ends up needing repeated repairs. You should know how consumer protection laws like the California car lemon law protect you and you are encouraged to speak with an attorney at The Bickel Law Firm if you believe your rights have been violated by a car dealer or manufacturer.