Financial Advice

Buy & Own a Car


How to Get a Great Deal at a Dealership

Do your research before you end up at a car lot like this.

Buying a new car can be an exciting time. Just the idea of having a new car, the test drive, the new car smell — it’s something a lot of us gear up for. Unfortunately, visiting a dealership doesn’t always elicit much excitement. It can be intimidating. Many dealerships carry a huge selection of vehicles and a pool of experienced salespeople who likely know the process better than you do. But we don’t believe in proliferating stereotypes. There are surely some great deals to be found at car dealership, and we’d like to help you find them.

Here are four tips to help you shop for a car with confidence, get the best deal possible on your loan, and walk away from the dealership satisfied.

  1. Do Your Research
    Before you go to an auto dealership, it pays to do some research. Resources like the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and Kelley Blue Book® provide great information, like how much your car is worth and retail prices for new and used cars too. Also, the Internet has made it easy to check out the competition and compare prices in your area. You can even use an online calculator to help you decide how much car you can afford. Armed with this knowledge, you are more likely to hold your own during negotiations.

  2. Consider Your Timing
    Timing is everything when you’re getting ready to buy a new or used car. The end of the year is when dealerships and manufacturers are running special deals and promotions to help them clear their lots to make way for newer models and meet their yearly sales targets. This also happens during major holidays. If you choose to shop on a weekday, you’ll probably have the salesperson’s undivided attention as they won’t be bombarded with other weekend shoppers. And if you shop near the end of the month, your purchase could make the difference between a salesperson meeting (or missing) their monthly sales goal. If you’re lucky, you might find someone very eager to work with you to make the sale.

    Give us a call, visit your local financial center anytime to chat with a Personal Financial Representative, or apply for a vehicle loan today.

  3. Shop for the Best Finance Option
    Remember you’re not just shopping for a car. You’re also shopping for a loan. Most people have to take out a loan to purchase a car, and that’s ok as long as it’s reasonable for your income level and budget. One of the biggest mistakes car buyers make is choosing dealer financing instead of shopping around for the best loan for them. Just because it’s convenient to choose dealer financing (after all, you’re already there at the dealership) doesn’t mean they’ll offer you the best financing plan. Look over their offer closely and make sure you compare it to financing offers from other lenders in your area to get the best deal possible.

  4. Negotiate
    Keep in mind that there are other things you can ask for besides a lower price on your new car. Perhaps you can ask for free services, such as oil changes and tire rotations or upgrades like free or discounted remote start. Negotiating these extras will save you money in the long run, even if they don’t affect the sticker price.

    Ultimately, when you get ready to buy a new car, keep in mind car dealerships have to make money too, so you might not get everything you want in a negotiation. These tips, however, can help you get the best deal possible when the time comes for you to make this major purchase.