Assistance for the Timid,
Faint of Heart, Restless, Angry or Those Who Feel Inadequate, Fearful and Just Plain Disgusted With Trying
to Buy a New Car!
In order to overcome the dread of buying a
new car, you merely need some knowledge of the business.
You are about to embark on making a purchase that is
second in magnitude only to a new home.
In order to protect yourself, you need some
information as to the tactics of the average automobile
You will be surprised at how little time it
takes to read, digest, memorize, practice and ultimately
transform yourself from "sucker" to
"expert" at negotiating for a new car or
truck, and finding your way through the dealership maze
from the Showroom, through the Business Office and out
of the Service Department.
For you who are serious about buying a new
vehicle, let's go!
- The Time of Month to Get the Best Price
- What to Do Before You Go to the Dealership
- Dealer's Cost vs. Window Sticker
- What to Do When You Arrive at the Dealership
- Handling "Two Sticker, No Dicker" Dealerships
- How to Handle Your Trade-In
- The Finance Department a.k.a. "The Business
- Taking Delivery
The Time of Month to Get the Best Price
Automobile dealers ususally pay their sales staff a
commission based upon the amount of gross profit the
salesperson develops from the sale of the vehicle. In
addition to this regular commission, there are usually
monthly volume bonuses that are paid when a certain
number of units are sold.
The later part of the month is the time that the
sales staff is eager to get the needed units to reach
their goal so as to collect substantial bonuses that are
offered. This includes the sales managers and
assistants. Late in the month is the time to make your
grand entry into the dealership to negotiate a fair
It is not time just yet. There is some homework to be
What to Do Before You Go to the Dealership
The hardest part of a car deal is determining the actual
value of your trade-in. Market Guide Books are merely an
estimate. Year model, mileage and condition of your
trade-in are the most critical aspects of its value.
To get an idea of the value of your trade, you must
go around to various Used Car Lots and/or New Car
dealers Used Car Departments and get a bid on your
trade-in. Tell them you want to sell it and would like
an offer. Do this at three or four different places and
you should have a good idea of your trade-in's value.
Do not waste your time taking your trade-in to car
lots that do not handle your type car. For example, a
used car dealer that handles late models will not be
interested in your older trade-in. If you have an older
trade-in, most New Car Dealers will wholesale it to a
Used Car Dealer that handles older cars.
Now armed with the value of your trade-in, call some
dealers that handle your choice of brand and ask for the
fleet department. If you are a member of a credit union,
work for a company or work for yourself, you can buy
through the fleet department. Here you usually don't
have to go through the games that are played out with a
Make an appointment to see the fleet manager on a day
near the end of the month.
Dealer's Cost vs. Window Sticker
Being armed with the dealers' cost for the vehicle you
want is not the answer to getting something for nothing.
The dealer must make a profit. That's pretty clear.
It will not help you to advise the salesperson that
you have the dealers' cost. Keep this information to
yourself, and you will be negotiating from a position of
power. Don't force your meeting to become a contest of
Also, your best chance for a fair deal is to not
antagonize your salesperson. You should play the
salesperson and be polite, cordial and charismatic. Yet,
keep the knowledge of the vehicle "cost" to
After leaving and applying these 8 tips, you will be
able to buy a new car at $100.00 over dealer cost. You
may have to weed out all of the dealer add-ons such as
paint sealant, windshield etching (Theft Protection) and
any add-ons that do not interest you.
If the vehicle you are looking for is extremely
popular, you have to pay more or wait for dealer
inventories to improve. On the other hand, if the
dealership has a glut of these vehicles, you may buy
closer to dealer's cost than I indicated.
If you are paying slightly over invoice and are
getting what your trade-in is worth, you will have a
great deal. The dealer won't retire to the South Pacific
on the profit you allowed him, but it is a reasonable
deal for both parties
What to Do When You Arrive at the Dealership
When you arrive at the dealership, go to the
receptionist and ask for the Fleet Manager. Never ask a
Floor Salesperson for the Fleet Manager, any one of them
may claim to be him and you are off into a maze with no
When you are face to face with the Fleet Manager,
tell him exactly what you want and/or what vehicle you
want to see.
Examine the vehicle carefully as all dents and
scratches will be yours once you take delivery. Go over
the window sticker and see how and if it differs from
your Dealer's Invoice Cost that will detail all standard
and optional equipment. Your Dealer's Invoice Cost that
we provide will also give the suggested list prices for
all of the options, as well as freight.
Take the vehicle on a test drive and see if it lives
up to your dreams.
If all is in order, proceed to the office to get the
best price. Ask if there are any unadvertised incentives
that they are sharing with the customers. Also, ask
about any low rate finance deals being offered.
If you are asked to make an offer, refuse until they
commit first to a best price. Then you may counter-offer
with a figure substantially below your best price. Work
from there to the maximum you have set for yourself.
If during the negotiating they spring an invoice to
convince you of their "good deal", I recommend
you politely refuse, explaining that it really does not
matter what the vehicle cost them, you have a target
price to pay and arriving at that price is all that
really interests you. This takes away some of their
At some point, they will need to get your trade-in
appraised. When you give them they keys, tell them you
want the keys back when they are finished with their
appraisal. When they return, do not continue to
negotiate until you get the keys back.
Do not give any money to show good faith. You can
show good faith when they reach a price you can live
with. They keys and the good faith money are only to
intimidate you and keep you from jumping and running
before they have reached their best price. You keep all
that is yours and you will get to a "best
price" much faster.
The Fleet Manager, if he is real, will not have to
run back and forth to the Sales Manager for pricing. If
he does, he probably is not the Fleet Manager, but a
Floor Salesperson posing as one.
Beware of "payment" offers such as
"You can own that car for $450.00 a month, Mr.
You should know what the payment is going to be after
you decided on the price you could pay. This should be
already in your mind.
When you reach an acceptable price, it is customary
to sign the transaction sheet and leave a deposit. Taxes
and other charges will be listed at the bottom of the
sheet. Only you will know for sure if they are
appropriate. Know you state laws and your tax rate for
automobiles... sometimes the tax rate is different.
Handling the "Two Sticker, No Dicker"
Saturn and a lot of other dealerships have gone to the
"Two Sticker, No Dicker" philosophy. They have
a way of violating their own policy if they see you are
not going to buy at their price.
The way they can get around this is to give more for
your trade than the appraisal. You will never know what
they really appraised it for, so don't waste your time
getting nowhere. You will know what it is worth and
implement your own pricing policy and advise them that
if they stick to their price you must ask "X"
number of dollars for your trade-in.
If you don't have a trade-in and are buying straight
out, you may have to shop another brand or another
Many shoppers report the so called "One
Price" policy is not as good a price as you get
after going through the "grinder" at the
dealerships that operate under the negotiated price
How to Handle Your Trade-In
Your trade-in will usually cause the most haggling that
you will become involved with. As covered elsewhere in
these "TIPS", some dealer's policy is to
appraise your vehicle, then keep the keys in the sales
manager's office. This is an intimidating trick you
don't have to put up with. Merely tell them the
negotiating is over until they return your keys. You
have the right to jump up and leave whenever you please.
Get this straight in your mind, you are selling a
vehicle while trying to buy another. Call it a trade-in
or whatever, the fact is you are also a salesperson.
With that in mind, clean your car to the nth degree.
Remove all half-eaten hot dogs, papers and all personal
items. Remove all papers from the glove box. You can be
assured the appraiser will go through the glove box
looking for mortgage information, or to see if you
brought the title and for just plain nosiness. Don't
forget the trunk, make sure your spare tire is bolted
down (prevents rattles), vacuum the trunk carpet and
wipe down the entire area.
One thing you might leave in the car is brochures
from other dealerships. This let's them know, or think,
you have been heavy shopping and know your way around.
After the inside is immaculate, wash and polish, if
necessary, the entire car. Clean or have the engine
degreased. Not painted with lacquer, just cleaned. If
the tires are slick, invest in a set of used tires. The
appraiser will deduct for a set of new tires if yours
are slick. The used ones will be good enough for him to
resell your car and not deduct.
Any maintenance receipts that you have for things
like tune-ups, oil changes, really anything that will
impress you prospect (the appraiser), should be left in
the glove box. Trust me, they will be found.
Make sure the power steering belt does not screech
and that the air conditioner blows cold. provided it
doesn't cost too much to repair. An air conditioner that
does not blow cold will be deducted at an amount in the
hundreds of dollars. If it only needs freon, get it
done. Screeching power steering belts can indicate a
faulty power steering, at least that is what they will
hit you with.
You see what we are after here, don't you? If they
sell you a new car for absolute dealer's cost and give
you less than yours is worth by $1000.00, you've made a
bad deal. Give the appraiser as little reason as
possible to deduct. Keep the price of the new vehicle
and the price of your trade-in separate in your mind.
Once you are satisfied, you can then talk taxes and
Make certain you have your Service Contract papers
and any transfer forms that are needed. This will make
your trade more valuable as the dealer can offer the
remaining coverage to the next buyer.
I have found a well funded old company that writes
Extended Warranties for up to 60% less. They have
coverage that exceeds the factory warranty, such as a
Rent Car, Key/Lockout and much more. Available on new or
The Finance Department a.k.a. "The Business
Arriving in the Business Office can cost you all that
you gained during the purchase of the vehicle. So,
before you make a decision as to who finances your
vehicle, be sure you shop at your bank, credit union,
Mom and Dad, Uncle Walter or anyplace else you might
borrow money. Shopping the interest rate is just as
important as shopping for the vehicle; unless, of course
you are paying cash.
Have some idea of what you can do before you let
every Tom, Dick or Harry check your credit. Each lender
will first check to see where all you have applied. A
lot of credit bureau inquiries makes you look like
you've been turned down, and although your credit is
good, each lender thinks the others know something bad.
They are a lot like sheep. This is why you should limit
the number of credit reports you permit to be pulled.
Some dealership finance companies offer, from time to
time, a low rate special like 2.5%. But, the details
reveal that you must pay 40% down and finance for 24
months and you must have a blue wart on the end of your
If you can stand the terms, the low interest rate
deal is a real buy, it's just that they raise the sticks
pretty high. But, if you're a high jumper...
You seldom qualify for the low-rate deal. So, get
their best rate with a down payment that fits your
budget, tell them you will get back to them. Do not give
a credit application unless you know you are going to do
business there and then.
After that, you are on your own. You will be offered
Credit Life, Accident and Health, (Croak and Choke),
Paint Sealant (Mop and Glow) and everything from
mechanical zit removers to hand painted neckties during
your visit to the Finance Department.
If you consider the Service Contract, remember it
does not kick in until the factory warranty expires. So,
if time is the factor, the 5 year contract may only pay
claims for 2 years, provided the Factory warranty is for
3 years. If mileage is a factor, then be your own judge.
I have found a first rate company with an excellent
claims paying reputation that offers up to 60% savings
on Extended Warranties with more coverage than the
factory offers. Including Rent Car, Key/loc out and
more. It can be used now. Check it out. CLICK HERE!
Walk around your new vehicle before going into the
Business Office to sign the papers. Check for nicks,
dents and scratches that are going to be yours forever
if you don't point them out now.
If you haven't ask to meet the Service Manager and
ask him about recommendations for service and
maintenance. Ask if all recall procdures have been
performed on you car. It's good to know the Service
This being done, you will have made a shopping
nightmare into a normal business transaction. The keys
to a good deal are, shopping your trade-in and knowing
it's value, being aware of dealer's invoice cost and
shopping the finance rate before showing up at the
Good Luck and Buckle Up!