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Tips when buying a new car

Knight Rider

Well-known member
Nov 14, 2009
I just went through the experience this week and it was very pleasent for a change, as I had done my research and gone through a car broker who was one of my friends neighbours, as opposed to a dealer when I bought my 1st car 9 years ago. Saw this topic on another board and one of the members gave some good advice, which I am repeating here. Feel free to add some additional tips.

1. Always do your research (model, make, price, consumer reports)
There are many good research publications available, such as CarCostCanada etc, which will have the wholesale/factory cost to the dealer.

2. When entering a dealership, never give them you ID or anything else you're not willing to leave behind. Many places ask for your ID and then keep it in "the managers office" to make it harder for you to walk away.

3. Always make it clear from the outset that you want to discuss all prices in terms of the absolute final costs, (taxes in, rebates included, air tax, tire tax, freight, etc.) to drive the car off the lot. The dealers won't want to play this game, but they will, if you make it clear you will walk out if they don't. Negotiating in this way makes the process much more simple and avoids surprises at the end.

4. Let them quote you a final price (as described above) on the car you want to buy. Don't ask for any after factory options or add-ons at this stage of the discussion. Once you have this price, counter with a price lower than your "real" final price and ask for the add-ons that you want to be included.

5. Don't low-ball too much or they'll think you're wasting their time but don't allow them to push you above your final number. If you've done your research, you'll know what that number is for you. If they counter-back with a decent offer, keep bargaining but, remember, don't let yourself be persuaded to exceed your budget.

6. At the end of this process, they'll either offer you a price that's acceptable or they won't.
If they DO meet your price criteria, congratulations, you've bought a new car. Remember to stand firm on the FINAL price bit because they may try to sneak in some extra costs at the last second.

7. If they don't meet your price point, don't despair. It was a good practice run and you have a better idea of what's possible in the negotiation. Now, go to another dealer for the same brand and start again with the knowledge you've gained. You may have to adjust your bargaining strategy based on the experience and you may have to rethink your price point...but never make these decisions while inside the dealership.
I have always purchased my cars late at night. To actually make the deal I walk into the dealership 20 minutes before closing. This way the pressure is on them and they want to go home, instead of their stall tactics.

I fight for a price that they actually are will to have me walk out on. Then I slowly come up from there, and viola I end up with a very good deal.
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