As soon as you step on to that showroom forecourt you may as well have a target around your neck. If that’s how you feel about buying from a car dealership, then you need our guide to avoid being ripped off and taken in by the hard sell.
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Prepare for battle
Getting your preparation done is the key to avoiding being ripped off and paying over the odds for a car. By the time you walk through the door, you’ll want to have had a good look online at the value of cars similar to the one you want to buy. You’ll also know very firmly what your top limit is and what you need as basics. Everything else is negotiable but with those two limits in place you’ll be ready.
There are certain points during the year when sellers need to shift stock to get their end of quarter sales figures up. You’ll notice an increase in offers on their website around this time, so use this information to see if you can leverage better deals with the sales representative you chat to.
While sticking to your bottom line, you’ll probably be offered a fair number of extras that you may or may not want to consider. While heated driver and passenger seats are great, are they worth the extra money and will there be a trade off against the extra luggage space you were after? Consider if you’d be prepared to swap in the seats and use something like Roof Racks DIY to create extra storage on the roof instead.
To sweeten the deal, the seller may throw in the idea of free insurance for a year or some regular servicing options over several months. If these add up to a good deal then be prepared to take them but not if they run the risk of not being affordable after the deal runs out.
Although, in the heat of the moment, it can be very easy to say yes to a deal that’s presented as a now or never opportunity, sometimes you are going to have to be firm and walk away. There will be plenty more deals out there and plenty more dealerships offering them. If you’re feeling pressured to sign and not given sufficient time to think about it, then turn the heat off by declining and going away to think about what’s on the table. Chances are it will still be there when you come back and decide to take it and if not, well it’s not the only deal you’ll have to consider.
Don’t be daunted by high pressure sales tactics, walk in with confidence knowing how much a car is worth and how much you’re prepared to pay. Look for great deals and end of quarter sales for extra value. Then drive away off the forecourt knowing that you’ve achieved what you set out to do, with a great pair of wheels.