Friday, September 10, 2010

Car Buying

I recently read an article in CNN money talking about the way to buy a car. The main lesson was to do your research on the internet first. Pretty much the whole process can be done on the internet minus the signature.

If you're planning to buy a car in the future but not right now, go to TrueCar and find out when is the best time of the year to buy. For my Mustang, sales are slowest in May so the prices are lowest at that point in time. It shows you how much the car costs, how much it costs after the dealer pays all their fees, and how much is considered a good deal (always under MSRP). It gives you a suggestion on where you can expect to end up in the long run.

Edmunds is a great place to find out if prices of your car is going up or down and get info about the dealer you're thinking about buying from.

Once you do decide it's time to buy, DO NOT GO TO THE DEALER. They will try to lock you down for two hours and twist your arm to buy. First go to Zag.com and get several quotes for the car you want. Doing that over the net lets you shop around for a good price with out being a pro haggler. Also, call the dealers. If they won't give you a price over the phone, hang up and call someone else. I wouldn't trust a dealer that won't give you a strait up price.

Finally, decide on a price, get it in writing, and make sure you're pre-financed. Dealers make money buy selling your loan. They do that by selling you a 6% loan even though you qualify for a 5% loan. You're better off going through your bank majority of the time.

Check your contract before signing. The monthly payments shouldn't matter. What matters is the final cost. If the final cost is correct, the monthly payments work themselves out. If they are too much, you can always re-finance.

So there you go. That's how I plan to buy my next car so I don't get scammed like I did at Tom Smith Ford.

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