Thursday, February 2, 2012

Top 10 Ways to Shop for a Car Like a Pro

Have you ever been negotiating at the car dealer and felt like your not sure what your next move should be? Here are a few tips that can help everybody get a fair deal!
  1.  Always buy or lease on the price of the car, NOT the payment. The agreed price of the vehicle is how you know your getting a good value.  Do NOT rely on the dealer to educate you. Do your homework.
  2. Do NOT depend on the dealer to inform you about your credit. Know your FICO and reporting history before you go in. One out of every four credit bureaus has something reported incorrectly.
  3. Know about GAP insurance. Most leases include it and you don’t need it if you’re putting a large amount money down on a purchase.  You can usually get it for less through your agent instead of the dealer. It is important if you have negative equity.
  4. Weigh out the pros and cons of a warranty. Warranties are expensive. I recommend checking out the cost of the warranty vs. the repair reviews on the used car your looking to purchase.
  5. ALWAYS take a used car to be inspected by your mechanic. It will be well worth your time and money. It could save you considerably. Even if it is “certified.”
  6. As you go into the finance office to sign papers, remember you are  buying or leasing a vehicle. NOT INSURANCE. It’s a vehicle loan and could put you in a negative equity situation when you add all that extra stuff into your financing.
  7. If you have a lease that is up, check to see if you have equity. The residual on your car could be under market value. You can use that money to put towards another car.
  8. While negotiating your lease, be honest with yourself about the miles per year you drive. Miles cost less upfront usually. The difference in payment is minimal over the term.
  9. When trading in a car, have an idea of value. While nobody pays for emotional attachment you want to get a fair number. is a great tool.  You can also go to other dealers and ask what they would pay for it. You don’t have to buy a car from them.
  10. FOLLOW your GUT! It is your best meter. If something does not feel right, walk away. It’s your money and I promise you that there is another car out there that will fit your needs!

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