Buying a car

I won’t say I’m some kind of genius buyer or that I have a bulletproof system, but I think I’ve done pretty well when I’ve gone shopping for a car, and this article backs up some of my ideas. I don’t think any tricks or deceptions are really going to help you, your opponent in this game is likely to be much more experienced than you. My rules:

  1. Make it clear to the dealer that under no circumstances, no matter what, will you be making any decision today, and that you need real numbers, in writing. This is not a trick, you really do need to walk away and sleep on it. The pressure will mount when he realizes you’re serious, and it’s hard to resist, but it’s well worth it. You’ll have real numbers to review, show someone else, fit in your budget. If you get the “I can’t hold this car for you for any longer” line, ignore it. Either he’s bluffing or he’s going to sell the car to someone else. Either way it’s no big loss for you, there are always other ones out there.
  2. Say as little as possible (not difficult for me). The article mentions not talking about credit or how you’re going to pay for your car, which seems obvious to me. Don’t talk about trade-in (if pressed, be indecisive, “my sister might buy it off me”) or how long you’ve waited for this model to come out, or anything like that, until you get the numbers from #1. Do your research, but don’t go in with a bunch of stuff you found online about invoice cost and think you’re going to get the guy to sell the car and not make a profit, you’re not.

Other tips: If you’re leasing, buy early in the model year. If you’re buying, buy later. And try to take something off the lot, you lose alot of wiggle room when you need to order it.