Ever wonder why you feel you didn’t get the best deal after your first car purchase? Are your car payments too high? Here are 5 tips to being a better negotiator when purchasing your first car.

  • Know the value of the car you are about to purchase

Don’t leave it up to the sales representative to explain all the ins and outs of the vehicle you are interested in. Do not rely solely on the information they describe. Dealers will ALWAYS try to win. In many cases whether its your first purchase or your second dealers will attempt to hold 10-15% above their projected MSRP to account for negotiation.

  • If you plan to trade or sell your vehicle, understand the value of your current car

There are many tools available online besides comparing your current car to other cars on popular classified websites such as cargurus or cars.com. The most famous website known for valuation is KBB.com. You can input your vehicles condition, model, year and more. This is an important step in making sure you don’t lose out on potential value of your vehicle. Dealers love taking advantage here and will offer 10%-20% less to account for profit that they will make after reconditioning the vehicle and putting it back on the market. This has a huge impact when you are calculating your monthly car payments.

  • Do not say yes to the sale immediately.

Take your time! Dealers will love to have the sale be done right there on the spot. Do not rush as you may have the opportunity to walk away and come back after looking around at competing dealerships. It many locations brands compete against the same customer and their retail prices and offerings could be drastically different. The goal is to make sure you continue to negotiate down so that your car payments are less.

  • Avoid excess costs that may add to your monthly car payments

Just when you thought you were done with the deal. A finance manager brought you to the back to discuss a vehicle service contract. These contracts act similar to “insurance” and sometimes are heavily under utilized by consumers. Know what you really need because it could save you thousands.

  • Always consult the general manager

In many cases dealers will assign a sales representative who may have little to no experience. Also, they won’t have the same amount of leverage when it comes down to finalizing the deal. Usually the boss or “general manager” has the capability to pull strings if the deal is right. Dealers know the market is very competitive and depending on whether you are a first-time customer or not you could leverage the possibility of being a long term customer to get the deal you want. General managers will do their best to keep your monthly car payments low if you communicate to them your monthly budget.

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