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Car Buying 101: Volume 2

When to go to the Dealership

So now you've chosen the car and the options you want!  You're not ready to go to the dealership just yet! You've got a lot more research to do!  Is this the car you really want? You want to be sure, it's the second biggest investment in most people's lives.

Consumer Reports says...

Well consumer reports is a good source of old information. Consumer Reports is at least two years behind the market.  I suggest you read a few reviews, from the web given in VOLUME 1 to see what impressions of people in the industry are.  Also be sure to check this web site out for any known safety related problems:

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/ivoq/default.htm

I suggest that you go to your local car rental agency and see if they have that car available, and rent it for a weekend. Take it some where for a nice long drive. Be sure to drive it up and down steep hills and in tight parking areas. You're going to have this car for a long time so spend some time and a little money. If you buy the car and the seats give you leg cramps or the armrest isn't right, it's too late.

So now you've read a few articles and you haven't found any safety related problems that bother you.  You think you're ready for the Dealership...

STOP!

You're still not ready. You need to dig up last month's Sunday Newspaper and the latest Sunday Newspaper. heck out the NEW car sales adds. You're looking for the best deal.  What are the dealers advertising that vehicle for? You want to compare the prices to see if they're staying the same or changing. You're going to need a magnifying glass because you will need to read the fine print. You want to see if there's any special factory back financing. We are not going to go into leasing at this time. You've looked through the newspapers and found some great deals! The prices you've found are way below the wholesale price. How can the dealers afford to sell cars at below wholesale? Ah ha! You've done your research. You are now an informed consumer. You now think you know what the dealers paid. But guess what? You still don't know and you never will!

So, you think you're ready to go to the dealer now? NOPE! Not yet. You need to make a few phone calls first.  The first one is to your insurance agent. Find out how much this new car is going to increase your premiums. The next call is to your bank or credit union. Find out if there are any credit union sales coming up on that make and model. See if there are any special rates available, for 2, 3,4, and 5-year loans. Never go over five years - that's way too long to pay for a car and the interest will kill you.

NOW you're ready to visit the dealer. You're going to need a briefcase for all the stuff you need to take with you! Here's the list:

  • Today's newspaper
  • Calculator
  • Pen
  • Thick red marking pen
  • The loan information from the bank or credit union
  • Note pad
  • A friend (Note: it's not a good idea to put this friend in the briefcase!)

Bring your friend/significant other along as a sounding board.  It's best to bring someone that doesn't care if you get a new car or not.  Sales people hate that!  Most of the above items you know what they are for! But why do you need a Thick RED marking pen! I'll tell you in the next article. (It's worth the wait)

That's enough for today. The fun has just begun. Look for VOLUME 3 soon.

Tim

This page was last updated on 05/28/2001 by HYPRACTV

                           

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