Have you been avoiding buying a new car because you have anxiety about haggling and are afraid of paying too much? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.
A survey determined that 33% of Americans would rather suffer through filing taxes or go to the DMV before going through the process of buying a car.
Luckily, in this day and age, you can research your options, find their true price, and read customer reviews all before stepping onto a car dealership lot. You can also find plenty of resources (like this one) to learn about the best questions to ask and why.
Let’s dive into the top five questions to ask before buying a car
1. Can I Test Drive an Older Model?
If you’ve found a new car model that passed the test drive, it’s a good idea to take the same model that’s 3 or more years old on the same route. This will give you a good idea of how the vehicle will feel once the newness has worn off.
Make sure your test drive includes the highway and in the city to see how it handles both constant braking and maintains higher speeds.
2. What Will You Give Me for My Old Car?
Most dealerships will buy your old car from you or work the value of your current car into the price if you are willing to part with it. Use the Kelley Blue Book to know the value of your current car so you can back up your counteroffer if the dealer lowballs you.
3. What Can You Tell Me About the Warranty?
Most new cars come with a warranty, but some may have circumstances that void the warranty or lessen the quality of the coverage. It’s important to find these things out and consider if it’s the right warranty for the expectations you have for your car.
4. What Kind of Financing Do You Offer, and Are There Special Interest Rates?
Most places, like this Buick car dealership, offer financing based on your credit and work with you to set up a payment plan. Going through their bank instead of your own may give you a lower interest rate, saving you money in the long run.
5. Is This Price the Best You Can Do?
The dreaded haggling. Take a breath, you can do this.
It’s important to remember that when a car dealership sets the prices, they specifically factor in this aspect of sales. They know people are wanting to pay less than the sticker price, and bump up the cost accordingly.
The dealer working with you is prepared to meet you somewhere between your request and the set price, but it’s up to you to know if they are presenting a fair counter offer. Use the Kelley Blue Book before going into the haggling process to research what your desired car is worth. This will help you get a better idea of what you can realistically ask.
When you phrase the question, “Is this the best you can do?” you come off assertive yet hesitant to buy from them. Asking in a form of pleading (“Can’t you do anything to lower the price?”) comes across as desperate for their product, which gives them the power.
Prepared for the Car Dealership
Doing your research and arriving prepared is half the battle. Be confident in your questions and willing to leave in your old car if the car dealership isn’t willing to work with you. Now go get your new car, you well-informed consumer!
For more help when car buying and being a car owner, check out our Tips & Guide section.