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Tips for Buying a Car From a Dealer

Tips for Buying a Car From a Dealer. Buying a car from a dealership? Check out these tips and tricks to help you save money on your next car purchase!

I recently shared our car dilemma and how both of our cars decided to give us problems at the same time. We decided to replace one vehicle and fix the other since one of our cars was not worth pouring money into. Luckily, my husband’s cousin is a former car salesman and gave us tips to help us prepare before facing the car dealership.

We wound up buying a car that had a exactly what we needed and below our set budget. Along the way we hit some road blocks because car dealers are not always used to dealing with people that come prepared. It meant an extra week with no vehicle, but I’m glad we took our time and made the right choice for our family.

Tips for Buying a Car From a Dealer

Figure out exactly what you want

Don’t go to a car dealership to figure out what you want to buy. We did go to a local dealer and drove the model that we wanted, but we didn’t make a decision right then and there. In fact, we figured out what features, color and model we wanted by doing the bulk of our research online. It made the experience less daunting and we didn’t waste time test-driving cars.

Financing tip:
Although we had no intention on doing dealer financing, I suggest that you apply for a car loan with a local credit union or bank prior to stepping into a dealership. This will give you leverage when it’s time to negotiate. This will also ensure that you’re not offered inflated rates since you’ll know where you stand financially.

Set a budget before negotiating & say no generously

When dealing with a car dealer, you will be offered and tempted to add on extras that cost big bucks. The car salesman is trained to word things in a way that will make you feel like what you’re being offered is necessary. We encountered this several times even after we voiced that we were not going over our set budget. We were offered extended warranties, add-on car services along with a slew of things. I don’t think they liked us very much after the fact, but we never budged and stuck with our original plan.

Don’t be loyal

I know some people like to stick with a specific car dealership due to customer service, past experiences, etc. That’s great, but if you want to get more bang for you buck, let the car dealers fight for you. Once we knew what car we wanted, we found a handful of car dealers that had the car for sale. We called each of them, told them what we wanted to pay and let them make us offers. We wound up saving close to $2,000 by going this route. We purchased our car from a dealer that offered us an exceptional price that was below our budget. Had we gone with the first couple of dealerships that called us, we would’ve potentially paid more than necessary.

Skip the options!

Like I mentioned previously, we were offered several add-ons even as we were signing documents to finalize our purchase. Car dealers train everyone including those in the financing office to upsell. So don’t think that you’ll be in the clear once the price has been negotiated. You’ll be offered extended warranties, fabric and paint protection, along with several other add-ons. These all can add thousands of dollars to your bottom line and most aren’t even necessary. Read everything carefully and don’t be afraid to simply say no.

What tips did I miss? Feel free to chime in and share with others!

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Sharon Wilson-Smith

Thursday 17th of January 2019

It was ideal when you said that you called car dealers to provide you with their offers based on what you wanted to pay for a car. My husband and I are interested in buying a pre-owned vehicle. We want to make sure that we'll be able to buy the car that our son wants without having to shell out a lot of money. Maybe, it will be helpful for us to talk about our budget first.

Mina Edinburgh

Tuesday 26th of June 2018

Thank you for mentioning that in order to make the car buying process less daunting, the person must research first the features that they want the car to have and go to the dealer fully prepared. I am sure that my brother has decided on the car that he wants a long time ago, but I will still mention this to him. The reason is that he made it clear that he wants the car buying task to be done as quickly as possible. I think this will help in making that happen.


Thursday 21st of June 2018

Hello Jesenia, This is an extensive tip, I’m sure many people will appreciate how in-depth you went by car purchasing advice from a dealer. Seriously, thanks for all these awesomeness. Keep more update and more share.

Emery Jean Chambers

Wednesday 6th of June 2018

I do like it when you suggested setting a specific budget when it comes to buying a car, ensure that we do not go over our budget, and say no if their offer does not it. My sister is planning to buy a car in the near future, so it might be a good idea to share this with her. Although I am pretty sure she already has the first part planned out because she is financially strict. All she needs to do is learn to say no because, as far as I know, she can't do that.

Schiro Ackermann

Tuesday 17th of April 2018

It sure was nice when you suggested letting the dealers fight for the person and that they consider buying a car from someone who offers the most reasonable price. That is one way to save money on the car buying project. I will be sure to note that down and mention it to my sister. She wants to buy a car next month, and she wants to know what she can do to save money. Thank you for the info. I appreciate it!