1. Buying a New Car: Introduction
  2. Buying a New Car: Signs It's Time to Buy
  3. Buying a New Car: Getting Started
  4. Buying a New Car: The 5 Best Safety Options
  5. Buying a New Car: Smart Strategies at the Dealership
  6. Buying a New Car: 5 Common Mistakes
  7. Buying a New Car: Sneaky Tricks Car Salespeople Pull
  8. Buying a New Car: Financing Your Purchase
  9. Buying a New Car: How to Spot a Great Car Deal
  10. Buying a New Car: Websites, Tools and Apps to Use
  11. Buying a New Car: How to Maintain a Car's Value
  12. Buying a New Car: Top 10 Takeaways

It can be difficult to know whether you’ve gotten a good deal on a new car you’ve bought. Even the most experienced automotive haggler is prone to self-doubt when it comes to negotiating the terms of a lease or purchase. We walk away from the dealership wondering, did we really got a good deal or did the salesperson get the upper hand?

Fortunately. there are signs that can tell you the vehicle you purchased was a wise decision. Here are five of them. 

0% Financing

As previously discussed, there are many ways to finance the purchase or lease of a vehicle. However you go about it, financing with a  0% percent interest rate is the best. Essentially, 0% interest is free money. It keeps the total cost of the vehicle lower and likely saves you thousands of dollars over the payment period.

If you are going to finance through the dealership, be sure that they aren`t charging you any interest. Even if 0% financing isn’t advertised, you can often negotiate it with a salesperson. But beware of tricks car dealers play with their no-interest offers. Many will offer no interest for two or three years and then apply an extremely high interest rate in the final years of a contract – interest rates of 7.5% or higher. This allows the dealer to recover the interest you didn't pay in the first years of the deal. 

If you absolutely can't get 0% financing, negotiate the lowest rate possible and do the math to see if it's low enough to accept.

A Dealer Willing to Negotiate

Many salespeople at car dealerships will tell you that they don’t negotiate. Do yourself a favor and walk away from those individuals. Getting a good deal on a car requires a negotiation or back-and-forth. Make sure you find a car lot staffed by people who are willing to answer your questions and negotiate with you on all aspects of the purchase – from the interest rate to the tire rims. The reality is that most things related to a car are negotiable – from an extended warranty to having a DVD player installed. If you find yourself speaking with a salesperson who is inflexible or unwilling to meet you halfway, then end the conversation and leave the dealership. 

Some car dealerships market themselves as no-haggle lots with flat prices to save you the stress of negotiating. If your research shows that the price they are offering truly is reasonable, then go with it. But watch for dealership add-ons and realize that, even there, you may be able to negotiate for a lower interest rate on financing or some other perk, like a free oil change.

An Extended Warranty – For Free 

Speaking of negotiating for extras, how about an extended warranty? An extended warranty can be extremely valuable – especially if there is no manufacturer's warranty on the vehicle, or one that expires after 12 months. Chances are you'll end up sitting in the office of the business manager at the dealership being urged to purchase an extended warranty for the car you want. Try to get the price of the extended warranty lowered – to zero, if possible. Getting an extended warranty for free would be extremely beneficial. And the price of an extended warranty is always negotiable. Just watch how fast the price on an extended warranty drops when you reject the first price quoted by the business manager. 

Lots of Standard Features

Increasingly, the base model of various cars, trucks and SUVs come with upgrades as standard features. Rear-view cameras, keyless entry and even satellite radio now come standard on many lower model vehicles. If you can find a car that includes bells and whistles that you would normally pay extra for, then chances are it’s a good deal.

Additionally, you can negotiate to have other features added to a vehicle at the time of purchase. Items such as a remote car starter or a set of winter tires can be thrown in free of charge with persuasive bargaining. The key is to be direct and ask for the extras you want thrown in. If persistent, you’ll be surprised at what you can have thrown in to close a deal.

A Vehicle That's Been Sitting on the Lot

If you regularly pass a car lot and notice that a particular vehicle has been sitting there for a long time, chances are there's a good deal waiting to be had. The longer a vehicle has been on a lot, the more likely the sales team will be to lower the price to get it off their books.

It is therefore important to know when vehicles arrive at a car lot. Salespeople are always under pressure to reduce their inventory and make way for new vehicles that arrive weekly or monthly. You’ll be amazed how willing a salesperson is to negotiate the price of a vehicle that has been lingering on the dealership lot. 

The Bottom Line

Getting a good deal on a car requires flexibility and a keen eye. Knowing the signs to watch for is important: 0% financing, lots of standard features and a salesperson who is willing to make concessions are indications that you're in the driver's seat and on your way to getting a good deal on a car. 


Buying a New Car: Websites, Tools and Apps to Use
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