Labor Day Weekend Car Sales– Getting a Good Deal on a New CarAug 27, 2013
By Staff Writer State Farm™ Employee
Labor Day signals the end of summer. While this may mean an end to vacation time and fun in the sun, it can also be a great time for car sales. Many automakers offer cash incentives and low interest rates for long Labor Day weekend car sales, and with next year's models hitting showroom floors soon, dealers are anxious to clear out their current inventory.
But before you head off to the dealership, it really pays to do your homework. Doing research on the car you want is now much easier thanks to online tools, and now it's also easy to learn how to negotiate the best price.
Do Your Homework
- Figure out your budget. Calculate how much you have for a down payment and what you can afford to pay each month. A vehicle payments calculator can help keep you within budget.
- Find the right car. It's best to think about what your needs are instead of your wants when searching for the right vehicle. Learn as much as you can about the vehicles you're interested such as driving experience, reliability, fuel economy, safety, features, and owner experiences. Edmunds.com has comprehensive information on finding the right car for you.
- Take a test drive. Once you've narrowed your choices, make an appointment to test drive the cars. Make sure you test the exact model you are considering buying, as certain options and power trains can greatly affect how the vehicle handles. See how to get the most out of your test drive.
Negotiating the Best Deal
- Know the invoice price. This is roughly what the dealer paid for the car. Edmunds.com can help you determine this as well as the True Market Value® (TMV) price — the average amount that other buyers in your area are paying for the car. This can give you a good starting point when negotiating with the dealer.
- Shop for your own financing. Almost all dealerships offer financing, but it's a good idea to check with your preferred lender to see what interest rate they offer. It may be better than the dealer's and, at the very least, give you an idea of what rates you qualify for.
- Research rebates/incentives. Go to manufacturers' sites to see what incentives and financing they offer. If you don't see any listed, you can also check Cars.com, AOL Autos, and Edmunds.com for special offers. The two main types are cash rebates (money directly from the manufacturer) and low APR financing.
- Check trade-in value. If you have a used vehicle to trade, Kelly Blue Book can give you an estimate of what your car may be worth to a dealer. Also, consider selling your car yourself as it usually gets you more money.
- Get several quotes. Instead of going into a dealership, emailing the Internet sales manager at several different dealerships can be a great way to negotiate. You can get several quotes quickly and have the dealerships compete for your business.
- Make an offer. No matter how you bargain — in person or through email/phone — always negotiate price before discussing incentives. Cash rebates come directly from the manufacturer and don't impact the dealer's profit. Do not be reluctant to make a low offer, as your goal is to get the best deal possible.
- Decide which incentive is best. If deciding between cash back and a low APR, you'll need to determine the best deal for you.
- Do not negotiate based on monthly payments. For many people, the most important part of purchasing a new car is how much they'll be paying each month. But do not negotiate the purchase price based on this number. Dealers may stretch the term of the loan or increase the interest rate to lower your monthly payment. This will not help you get the best deal in the long run.
- Make them pursue you. Don't be afraid to walk away if you don't get the price you want, or even if you do, you may want to think about it for a day or two. There's a good chance the dealer may contact you with a better offer.
Buying a new car is definitely a challenge. But if you do your homework, narrow down your choices, and get your financing in place, it can be a fun and rewarding experience.
New Car Negotiating Strategies
Car-Buying Negotiating Guide
How to negotiate effectively
How to Test Drive a Car
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