Salesmen are more willing to haggle prices to close the deal when in the holiday season, as most people are too busy to think about buying a car at that time.
Another time that is the best for getting a good deal is the period from July to October. Dealerships are trying to get rid of their inventory to make way for the new year models.
Do some research online, and get some quotes optimally along with some good rebates or incentives. Print out your results from the lowest quotes and bring it with you to your local dealer. Showing them the lower quotes might compel them to give you a better deal. If not, shop around some more.
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A good tactic is to bring a copy of your credit score with you to the dealership. It can lower your interest rates on your car loan.
Be suspicious of any ‘bait and switch’ tactics, such as some odd change that occurred after you initially discussed the car with the dealer. Some unscrupulous dealers will use your preference for a particular car as leverage in convincing you to stay with your choice; although, unfortunately there has been some ‘unforseen’ change in the price or deal you originally discussed. Stick to your guns and remind them that is not what was agreed. If they don’t back down,or at least give you a concession, then it is up to you if you want to accept the difference.
A rule of thumb is to never wait until your car is broken down and you are desperate not only are you not thinking as clearly at a time like that, but the salesman may sense your desperation and take advantage of you. On such a major decision, try to force yourself to take action when you realize your car has issues, but while it is still running.
Do your research before going in and subjecting yourself to high-pressure tactics. Don’t fall for any deals where you are required to make an on the spot decision. This is a big commitment and you need to be on top of the game.