Make sure you do your homework before stepping into a dealership. Uneducated buyers are what most salespeople salivate over. Not knowing what you should be paying in your local area and what special lease or finance specials are running could end up being a costly mistake. Thanks to the Internet, consumers can know all there is to know about a certain vehicle before ever even laying eyes on it. Check what the vehicle is selling for in your area. Sites such as edmunds.com will show you what others are paying for the same vehicle in your area so that you are better informed. It will also show you what rebates and incentives, if any, are currently available from the manufacturer.
Compare Similar Models
Take a look at all available options you have. Say, for instance, you are considering a new Toyota Corolla. You might also want to look at a Mazda 3 sedan. You might be able to get a comparable car for much less. Of course everyone has their own personal preferences when buying a car. So make sure whatever you choose that it not only makes sense financially but also emotionally. You want to buy a new car that you will be excited to get up and drive six months from now, as well as tomorrow morning.
Sometimes when we are doing our research all we do is read what the manufacturer has to say about a particular car. Find out what you can expect from your new car by reading reviews from others who have the vehicle(s) you are interested in. Make a list of all the pros and cons. If the pros outweight the cons than chances are you're on the right track. Car magazines are also a great source for unbiased information on a particular vehicle.
Be Ready to Walk Away
After you've collected all of your data, don't rush down to your local dealer and take the first offer you get. Dealers are expecting you to walk in with some type of knowledge about the car, but there are always things they might know that you do not. If you are uncomfortable with the negotiating process with your salesperson, or if you feel he is trying to push you to buy the car now, which he will try, just get up and walk away. Chances are the car will still be there tomorrow, and you'll have had a good night's sleep to calm your emotions about getting a new car.
A lot of folks nowadays have been going to the Internet not only for research but also to negotiate their purchase from the comfort of their own home or office. Most dealerships have either an Internet sales department or a fleet department, which are pretty much interchangeable. After you've done all you research, driven the car and know what you want to pay, you can just email a few different dealers in your area and ask them for their best price. Not only does this save you time from driving down to handle the negotiating, but it also puts your emotions on the side lines, since the vehicle is not staring you in the face while negotiating.
Very few things compare to the feeling of driving off the lot with your brand new car--the smell of it, how everything is nice, new and shiny. But for many of us it is the second biggest purchase we will make next to a home. There is some key information you should gather before sitting down and signing the paperwork.