Car Shopping can be daunting. When you journey for a new or pre-owned car purchase, start here before you get help buying a car with or without an expert or advocate by your side.
Do some prep work before you get help with buying a car.
1. Know your credit and budget.
Simple right? What’s your budget? This is important. You need to consider how long you plan on owning the car, how much you plan to use the car, and your credit score. Most credit cards these days report your credit score on their statements. Even easier is tracking your credit on Credit Karma for free. Download the app; log on to the website. Whatever you do, know your credit if you plan to finance. A lot of people like to pay cash because they believe they can get a better deal. However, that’s not always the case. There are various factors that play into that decision and they should all be considered. If you’re looking for help buying a car, then you are more than likely the kind of consumer who values the advise of an expert and are open to hearing all options.
2. Know yourself and your personality.
If you’re someone who likes a car to be under warranty or you trade in whenever the car is paid off you might consider leasing. Remember, the length of the auto loan term will determine how much negative equity you will have the next time you go to buy. Don’t roll over negative equity unless you really have to.
A lot of people refuse to lease, but they tend to trade in their vehicles every three years rolling over thousands in negative equity.
If you plan on driving an automobile until it’s ready for the junk yard, it’s simple; you should buy. I stress this when you’re looking for help with buying a car because time after time consumers call me and ask about buying cars outside of their budget and not understanding why their payments are X amount (due to rolling over negative equity). Know yourself and your buying habits.
3. Be realistic.
If you’re asking for a $250 dollar payment with no money down on a brand-spankin’ new Lincoln you might consider getting your head checked.
You have to be realistic. Getting laughed at by a salesperson is embarrassing but more importantly it shows your cards. This tells a sales person you are an uninformed buyer. This information in the hands of a professional salesman can be used against you to maximize profits.
One of the first things I address with my paying clients are their expectations. If they are not realistic, I’m upfront and honest. We probably shouldn’t work together.
If you’re here reading it’s because you want to know what you don’t know before buying a car and you agree you need help, so you have the right mind set. Preparation, knowledge and setting expectations is key.
4. Mark your calendar. When do you want to make a purchase? When do you want help with buying a car?
You may have heard it said the end of the month or quarter is typically the best time to buy. And it can definitely be true. That’s because dealerships get bonuses based off of sales quotas. You can often get a great deal at the end of the month sometimes simply because a dealership needs to hit a quota to earn a very big bonus. So, although they may lose a few thousand dollars, hitting that quota may have earned them ten times as much. If you make a deal around that right time, you can take advantage of a greater discount.
You don’t want to pass up an exceptional deal but you shouldn’t start the car shopping process until you’re ready to buy. Otherwise you can cause yourself a lot of headaches. More importantly, we tell our car concierge clients, the best time to buy is when you need a vehicle.
5. Know what kind of vehicle you want.
If you have a couple different makes and models you’re interested in scheduling test drives to see what you like the best is the way to go. Find out what options you want. What’s important to you? Do you need leather seats? Will cloth do? What about moon roof or heated seats? If you’ve never driven the model before, you’ll want to get a feel for the ride. Decide what is important to you.
TIP: When we arrange for test drives for our clients we give them this advise: Be careful not to give too much information to the salesperson. A good car salesman will ask you probing questions. It’s best to offer as little information as possible when talking with a salesperson for negotiating power.
My goal is to prepare consumers and equip them with the knowledge needed so they never get ripped off. And for those who don’t enjoy the car buying process or just don’t have the time, we provide a personalized car buying concierge service by expert advocates who help with buying a car in a way they’ve never experience before. Stress-free and expertly guided.
Why Trust Your Car Buying Advocate?
Watch this short video to find out why working with Your Car Buying Advocate makes all the sense in the world.