Most people hate heading down to the car dealership. Car salesmen have a reputation, either earned or assumed, for being pushy and less than honest. Of course, not all car salesmen are that way and the dealership doesn’t have to be such an intimidating place if you remember a few key facts. If you’re ready to shop for a new car, and are looking for all dealerships that carry the make you’re interested in in your area, check out the dealership locator tool on Cars.com. The more shopping options you have, the more money you will save, and the more satisfied you’re likely to be with your purchase.
The number one rule when approaching the car lot is to commit yourself to walking away if something doesn’t feel right. If you get a bad vibe from the salesperson, if something seems off about a particular car, if they don’t have what you want in stock, if the dealership staff is being pushy or suffocating, or if they just aren’t willing to budge on the numbers, remember that you can walk away. They really do need you more than you need them.
By having several dealerships in your back pocket that sell the car you’re interested in, you can leave one dealership and head to the next. Perhaps you click more with the next dealership’s staff, maybe they are more willing to negotiate the purchase price of the car or the trade in value of what you currently drive, or maybe they have the exact car you’ve been looking for. Whatever the case, having options is never a bad thing. And remember, dealerships do trades with one another all the time. So if the car you really want is on that lot with the pushy salespeople, ask the dealership you do like if they can get it or one identical to it. Chances are they can.
There are so many car buying tools on the internet these days that you really do have all the negotiating power. You can research the make and model before ever setting foot on the lot. You can arrive armed with information like what people just like you actually paid for the car you’re interested in, not the number listed on that window sticker. With knowledge, there is little chance that the dealership will succeed in pulling a fast one on you. It is important to remember that car dealerships are businesses whose sole purpose is to make money. That’s not a bad thing, or a personal thing, it’s just business. Don’t expect to get the car you want for the price they paid. And, don’t settle for getting less on your trade than it’s honestly worth. A successful transaction is one in which everyone walks away happy.