Avoid the expensive mistake of negotiating for a new car in person. Once you set foot in the dealership, you will be subjected to all the car salesman’s tactics and scams. Not only that, but you will effectively limit yourself to pricing from a single source with no reason for the salesman to make a competitive offer. Instead, you should get online price quotes from several dealers and then negotiate over email to make dealers compete with each other to win your business.
Follow these steps to negotiate a great deal on a new car:
Find the type of car you want: Research cars that interest you and consider high level factors like price range, safety ratings, typical maintenance costs, residual value, comfort, etc. Once you’ve narrowed down your search, go to the manufacturer’s website and pick out the options that interest you like trim level, equipment packages, and accessories. Then head out to local dealerships and take a few test drives, but be sure that you do not start negotiating yet.
Get car price quotes online: There are several free online services that allow you to enter a make and model car and submit a request for price quotes. These services will prompt you with a list of 3-5 How Does Truecar Work For Used Cars dealerships located near your zip code and allow you to select who you would like to receive quotes from. Almost all dealerships have an Internet Department that signs up for these referral services.
Organize and compare quotes: Your first responses from these quote services will certainly not be the best price, and sometimes may not be a price at all, just contact information. Do not be concerned, it may take a few emails back and forth, but you should be able get several prices for a specific model. Once you get enough quotes, organize them so that you can compare apples to apples.
Negotiate over email: Because Internet Departments deal with consumers that can easily move on to the next offer they are more likely to give you a competitive price. By comparing prices without being on the lot, you are turning the car into a commodity where the lowest bidder wins. After you’ve lined up your initial quotes, email each of the dealers and make them compete against each other until you get a price that makes you happy.
Finalize the deal: Get your final price in writing (email is fine) for a specific VIN number and arrange an appointment to close the deal. You will not need to actually purchase the car online. But if you know what you want, you should be able to come to terms on a great price via email and then go to the dealership with everything pre-arranged.
As an added bonus, negotiating via email will eliminate awkward haggling, stress, and intimidation from the negotiating process. You won’t even have to talk to a car salesman until you are ready to sign the paperwork.