The Car Book Blog: Getting a Good Deal
The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
With the release of the 39th edition of The Car Book—now available online—we’re sharing some of our best tips for car buying and maintaining your vehicle after you buy. The Car Book 2019 provides today’s car buyer with in-depth ratings of the 2019 vehicles, The Car Book’s unique crash test ratings, comparative complaint ratings, and all of the information needed to make a smart, safe and informed vehicle purchase. For online users only, the site also includes over 1,000 used car ratings going back five years.
You’re in the showroom…you just found the car of your dreams…and now all that stands between you and a fair price is a half hour negotiation with a slick, experienced car salesman. Sounds like a nightmare, right?
That’s why the Center for Auto Safety wants to help you get a fair price on your next car! Use our guide below and make sure you walk away with a good deal–and your dream car.
Beware of silence.
Silence is often used to intimidate potential car buyers into settling on a price. If you are told to wait while the salesperson “speaks to their manager,” bring something to do. We’d recommend bringing a newspaper and circling car ads in the classified section.
Don’t fall in love with a car.
Never look too interested in a specific car. If possible, bring along a critical friend who tells you that the price is “too much” or mentions that they saw the model for cheaper elsewhere.
Keep your wallet in your pocket.
Don’t leave a deposit, even if it’s refundable. You’ll feel rushed to finish your shopping.
Shop at the end of the month.
Salespeople anxious to meet sales goals are more willing to negotiate a lower price at this time.
Buy last year’s model.
Most new cars are the same as the previous year, with minor cosmetic changes. You can save considerably by buying in early fall, when dealers are clearing space for “new” models. Make sure to check for safety updates, though.
Buying from stock.
You can often get a better deal on a car that a dealer has on a lot. These cars may have expensive options that you don’t want or need, but you should ask the dealer to remove it or sell you the car without charging for the option. They’ll probably be glad to get the vehicle off the lot.
Ordering a car.
Cars can be ordered from the manufacturer with exactly the options you want and no negotiation–you just offer a price over the phone. When you get your car, though, make sure it has the options you want.
**Beware of mandatory arbitration agreements**
Mandatory arbitration agreements are popping up in more and more dealerships. If you sign one, you waive the right to sue or appeal any problem you have with the vehicle. In addition, the dealer often gets to choose the arbitrator. Before you name a final price, ask if the dealer requires a Mandatory Binding Arbitration. If so, and they won’t remove that requirement, buy elsewhere.
Read More from The Car Book Blog.