Last month I wrote about finding the car of your dreams. Now it’s time to put some numbers together so that you can make this car your own!
Before you go to a dealership, do your homework and look at Edmunds.com or caranddriver.com to see the price range that dealerships typically charge for this make, model and year car. Then go online to compare the price that other dealerships are asking for the same car with similar mileage.
If you’re trading in an older car, you should have an approximate idea of the trade-in value. Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) is the best website to find out what your car is worth. The salesperson will in all likelihood offer you a dollar amount that’s below the lowest trade-in price for your car. Negotiate for a higher trade-in price. Take the price of the car you like, deduct what you think is a fair trade-in value for your car and see where you’re at dollar-wise. If you’ve done your homework, the advertised price of the car you’re looking to purchase is probably the lowest one you found. You can always ask for a few hundred dollars off the price but know that some dealerships won’t deduct even one dollar from the advertised price. When you initially go onto a dealership’s website, a pop-up usually appears that will be a coupon for $100.00 or even $250.00 off the price of either a new or used car. Print this coupon out and have it with you when you go to the dealership.
Take a deep breath and present a reasonable offer to the salesperson. It’s a good idea to have a dollar amount in mind that you don’t want to exceed. The salesperson will work with you. He knows you want the car and he wants to make the sale and a commission. The salesperson will present your offer to the sales manager. Sometimes this in done over the phone and sometimes the offer is presented in person. The sales manager may counter your offer or he may accept it as presented. If you love this car, and the sales manager won’t deduct one or two hundred dollars off the price, consider this; if you keep this car for ten year, that’s only $10.00 or $20.00 more per year that you’d be paying. Before you walk away from the table, consider that equation.
Once the price is acceptable to all concerned, discuss the payment details and you’re on your way to enjoying your new car.
If you’re fortunate enough to be paying by cash or check, it’s as simple as handing the check/cash over to the finance manager. If you’re financing the car, know beforehand what your bank or credit union’s interest rates are for car loans and whether they will loan you the money. For example, the last time I checked, Bank of America’s website stated that a new car auto loan rate was at 2.49% up to 60 months and a used car auto loan rate was at 2.74% up to 60 months. To put this into perspective, your monthly payment for a $10,000 loan for 36 months at an interest rate of 2.74% will be $290.00. If you want a lower payment, a 48 month loan will be $220.00 per month.
As you sign the paperwork with the finance manager, he/she may try to sell you additional products such as window tinting, an alarm, paint protection and other items. Dealerships send the cars out to have this work done. Why should you pay the dealership more to do this when you can go to the same company and pay less?
Also know that dealerships charge a “documentation fee” for a used car. This is just more money for the dealership. This fee typically ranges from around $295.00 to $375.00 but there is no cap in Massachusetts on this fee.
The bottom line is that it’s the “out the door” price that counts. That’s the price that you’ll actually pay for the car, when all is said and done.
If you’re like many eco-conscious consumers, you may decide to purchase an electric car. They don’t use gasoline to run and as such, they don’t generate carbon emissions.
For an electric car charger or any electrical needs that you have, call WattsControl, Inc. at 508-309-6631.