The Worst Advice we’ve ever heard
You’ve heard it before, but we will say it just to make things direct and to the point. Everyone has an opinion, and we all have that one friend who thinks they know everything about everything, especially car negotiating.
We thought it would be fun to go over some of the worst car buying advice we’ve heard over the years at Tristate Auto Champs. As the expert car buying professionals, we would like to disclose that this is our expert opinion and you can take it or leave it. The choice is yours.
Thinking in Monthly payments instead of price
Some customers say: I can’t afford to buy a house, so I pay rent month-to-month. If I can make my car payments every month, what’s the difference? Sounds fool-proof to me.
We say: Wrong again. Just because you can afford a monthly payment on the car doesn’t mean you can or should buy that particular car. Salespeople typically break down the cost of a car to monthly payments over a 5-6 year loan period. The problems here are that the value of your vehicle is likely to drop over that period of time, not to mention any additional interest you may have to pay. Before you agree to a loan think about the depreciation of the vehicle over time and whether or not you’d be trading it in somewhere down the line. Also, if you are too focused on monthly payment, a good salesperson will pick up on that and pack your up-front costs with additional profit for the dealership.
Don’t mention your trade-in until you’ve negotiated your new car price
Old School Advice: “When I finally settle on a car I figure I’m going to schmooze it up with the dealer and get the nicest possible deal I can. Then, and only then, will I pull out my ace-in-the-hole: I’m trading in my old car. BAM! That’s another pretty penny saved.”
We say: Neglecting to mention your trade-in like this is called “parachuting.” We cannot stress this enough: DO NOT DO THIS. First off, by keeping your trade-in secret until the last minute proves that you were lying to the dealer. Secondly, the dealer will have to go back and rework everything to include your trade-in car; wasting their time and yours. Being upfront about your trade-in is the best route.
It’s in the dealer’s best interest to give you the best price possible. Buying a new car is a process that is not to be taken lightly. Take your time, weigh your options and plan ahead for your own personal finances and the inevitable depreciation of the vehicle. Most importantly, don’t listen to people who don’t negotiate the best car deals on a daily basis.
Dressing poorly will help negotiate a car price
Step one of buying a new car: arrive to the dealership in a beat-up old vehicle dressed in your finest combo of bedhead, stained t-shirt and flip-flops. Looking desperate will get you a big discount from the salesman and save you some major coin.
We say: This is so not true, please just be yourself. Where do people get this stuff? The way you dress when shopping for a new car doesn’t have any effect on your discount. In fact, sometimes trying to dress up/dress down might have the opposite effect.
According to one salesperson “It’s the guy wandering around the lot in shorts and a T-shirt at two in the afternoon on a Tuesday who has money. The guy who comes in a suit at noon and has to be back in his office by one? He’s working for somebody.” All of that aside, they’re going to run a credit check on any potential buyer.