So you want to buy a new car. Did you just spot a great deal on a 4×4 at the dealership you pass by everyday? Is old faithful on her last legs? Or maybe it’s just time for a long overdue upgrade? 

Sooner or later everyone has to get a new car or truck. It doesn’t matter if it’s your third or your first. There is an art to buying a new vehicle that some will learn and others will not. It’s crucial you learn the ways of the car buying tradition. You can save yourself a lot of headache and your wallet will thank you.

How To Buy A First Car

If you didn’t do your research you may accept, for example, a loan at 3.5% for 60 months. On a $20,000 purchase you would pay back $21,830 over the life of the loan. Then again if you qualified before hand for a 1.5% loan you will owe $20,772. That is over $1,000 in savings just by doing a few minutes of research.

Dealerships and private sellers try many things to get you to pony up more mula. Often they mark up the car’s actual worth and some add hidden fees to fatten up profits. Other dealers just mark up prices to offer their salesmen better incentives.

Whatever the reason, almost all dealerships can be talked down from their preliminary prices if you haggle properly. The savvy buyer will go in knowing they can talk the dealers down, if he or she knows the dealer’s lingo and sales gimmicks  going in, he or she will be more prepared to get a great deal.

Salesmen are there to make the company money, simple as that. While you’re trying to keep as much money in your pocket as you can. Most of the time it isn’t even the sales that is the problem. Dealers and salesmen have slimy ways of squeezing all the extra cash out of you they can with their “extras” or “add ons”. Many people sign off not realizing they bought all these extras after the fact.

Sales lingo is a language in its own. You should know when they are using this to their advantage and put something past you. In the following series of articles we will train you in exactly that. In this guide you will learn:

How To Buy A First Car

  • To spot a dealer’s scam
  • Best times to buy
  • Get a fair price
  • Get favorable financing
  • Open negotiations on the advantage

Buying a car doesn’t have to be scary. Many dread shopping for a new vehicle because the understand they may get ripped off. Don’t fear because this information will instruct how you can avoid exactly that.

The first thing you need to understand when buying a car or truck is both you and the supplier are looking to get or keep the most money possible.

If you get one thing out of this series is you should understand if or when to walk away. A deal can happen quickly and you are not the pro here. If you need some time to think, TAKE IT. Walk away if they are pressuring you. An ethical dealer will offer the same deal the following day. A good deal is a win-win for both parties, though, most of the time it is the consumer that leaves feeling unsatisfied.

In this day and age a ride is no longer a luxury it can be a necessity. The average person buys 9.4 vehicles in their lifetime, so you should properly research the correct way to do it so the process is as painless as possible.

When you are searching for your vehicle start with these 10 crucial tips:

  1. Visit FightingChance.com to find correct pricing, current dealer incentives, and sometimes some amazing offers. Often more valuable than kbb.com some people save thousands starting here.
  2. From July 4 to October dealerships are attempting to get rid of last year’s inventory to make way for new stock.
  3. Purchasing around Christmas time is also a wise more. Everyone is busy buying Christmas presents not cars. This makes some dealerships desperate. Salesmen may be more willing to close year end deals giving you more leverage for a better price.
  4. Buying online is becoming more popular. Search for rebates and deals online. You’ll be ready to jump on a deal too good to pass up.
  5. Print out the specs of your ideal car with your low ball offer and hand it out to all the dealers in your area. Let them compete with each other for your business. Tell them you will be ready to buy instantly if they meet those demands (does that sound like an auto hostage letter??).
  6. If you’re financing know your credit score before hand. You need to know what you rates you qualify because the dealer will and you may accept a high interest loan.
  7. Some dealers try to extort money out of you. You may hear things like your financing fell through and they need a higher deposit or they’ll offer a higher interest rate. Don’t believe it. If you know your credit score, and its above 680 usually, this should not and will not happen to your loan. Monitor your credit at equifax.com. It’s better to pay a little now than thousands later.
  8. If you trade your car in when it’s not paid off you may end up paying more in fees since the dealer doesn’t ever pay them right away. Get the dealer to sign a letter saying it will be paid off in 10 days.
  9. If you want a car the dealer doesn’t have in stock they’ll ask you for a deposit. This is standard practice. Pay a deposit of $500 at the most with only a credit card. If something happens you will have a chance to get the money back with a credit card dispute rather than if you pay with cash or check. Those payments you can kiss goodbye if something turns rotten.
  10. If you are hurting for a car the dealer will smell the desperation on you. You may end up making a foolish purchase in haste. They are here to make money. Don’t let them take advantage of you in that state of mind. Don’t wait until your car is on its last leg, or wheel. Take your time, find the right car, and make the right deal instead of rushing for a replacement.

There are things a dealer will do to make you as a buyer feel less than comfortable. Some things you should avoid as well. Here is a list of no no’s to avoid so you still get a good deal.

  • Don’t lie about the condition of your trade in. They will check out your car and ding you any way they can. They will sell your old horse and carriage for a profit to some other sap. Simple as that.
  • If you filed for bankruptcy recently you will have no chance getting financing for a vehicle. Better hit up Pay Day.
  • Don’t expect to get a deposit back. They’ll keep it and dine on ribeye and bourbon with no second thought.
  • Be honest with your credit score. They will run it once they get your SSN. They do that so they can try for a higher interest loan no matter what. You can negotiate this down if you have the credit swag.
  • Try to do your due diligence and find out the dealer cost on the car you want. Your first offer may be way over asking and you could get ripped off.
  • DON’T GET SOLD! This is the most important part. If you are flexible on the car or truck going in you will have more options. The dealer is selling himself or herself to you. If you like them you will buy from them. Don’t let that fool you. Keep your wits and hold your ground. Don’t let them dictate each step. Stop and think if you need time. Step outside if you cant think with them staring at you. Act like you need to take a phone call if need be.

Buying a new car is just like buying anything else on the market. Salesmen are there to sell. They try not to take no for an answer. They may use word and phrases designed to confuse you and throw you off in order to get the deal done.

Pro Tip: The ABC's (Always Be Closing) of sales. As a customer: Always Bitch & Complain.

Advertisers and marketers are there to mess with your head so that they can make you buy things. The best sales copy is amazingly well worded and delivered. Sometimes you don’t realize you’re being sold!How To Buy A First Car

Sales strategists use carefully written pitches that show you are getting a deal when in reality you may be paying more than retail. Marketers use schemes like a percentage off sale on inventory when in reality the percentage off is a discount of the price they just raised before the sale and it is in reality the normal everyday price of the vehicle.

These strategies and more are designed to get more money out of your wallet. This is an introduction to a ten part series that will provide you all the knowledge you need to get a great deal on your next car or truck. So now you have a feel of where to start. Before you head to the dealer or call that weirdo on craiglist lets dive deeper so you’re 100% prepared to make this a good experience.

Have a good one and stay dirty.

Car Buying II: How To Get Your First Car