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Buying a car: any tips or tricks to assuring your getting a good deal?

I am currently going through the process of buying a car, it is so incredibly time-consuming and I am constantly questioning if I am getting hornswoggled by the dealer or wondering if there is a better deal out there. I have spent weeks and weeks doing research and narrowing in on the right car for me and my family but, I am still left wondering if i am leaving money on the table. Are there any tips or tricks that you would recommend to ensure I am getting the best deal before I commit to the final sale? 


Catalyst V

Buying a car: any tips or tricks to assuring your getting a good deal?

In my experience, guts don't lie. Go with your gut. If it doesn't feel right, walk away. Remember, there are over three trillion cars on this planet and no one car was made specifically for you, and you alone. There's other deals out there.

I know back in the 90's when I purchased a car (this one was not my first) I had already gone to the bank to see what I would qualify for loan-wise. I think it was something like $13K. Walked onto the lot and found a brand spanking new 1990 Nissan Sentra LE I liked. Sticker on it was $13,500. I went into the dealership, waiting for a salesman to approach and didn't play any games.
"Good morning! I'm here to buy a car. I know you call this place a dealership, but I'm not here to deal. I'm here to buy. I want that car out there and here's a check for $13K that I will pay you for it right now, in full, including all your extra charges of tax, tax, title and anything else you normally tag on."

 The salesman started in on his spiel, and about 2 seconds in I did a 180 and headed for the door. "what's wrong sir?" he asked.

"I'm here to buy a car, not to listen to a Broadway production of what it costs you to run a business. A simple NO to my offer is all that's required, and it's apparent that's what you're eventually going to be saying. Have a nice day" and I departed.

By the time I got to my car another person has approached me (don't know if it was another salesman or not) and we talked for a bit about car shopping in general. I gave him my card and departed. When I got home there was a message on my answer machine that my offer was acceptable. Went down the next morning and gave them the check for $13K and picked up my newly purchased car after lunch that same day.

When I walk into a car dealership, unlike the name implies I'm not there to deal. I'm there to buy a car. If I want to deal, I'll go to an auction.

Visitor I

Buying a car: any tips or tricks to assuring your getting a good deal?

Research what you want as well as study the car year/make/model price trends. There are apps out there like CarStory CarGurus iSeeCars vincheck that are all free. The more you know the better off you will be. The less you know about the car the more you will pay.