If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed two things. One, I hung out with Batman and Captain America this weekend. We fought the forces of evil. No big deal. I also bought a new car.
My salesman actually thanked me for making his job easy. Wanna know how I did it?
1. Do your research. Know what your car is worth, if you are trading it in. I was trading in an '07 Focus with 152 thousand miles on it. The body was in great shape and the car still ran good and had never had any major repairs done. I looked up my cars value using Kelley Blue Book I don't know if there are other websites that do the same thing. I chose them because I remember my parents using them, way back when it was an actual book. Also keep in mind that this is just a guide and several factors will go into determining your cost. Its there to give you a range of what your car would be worth.
2. Make sure you take any documentation that you may need with you. Pay stubs, the title of the car you are trading in, insurance cards and your driver's license to name a few. You'll also have to know how much you make a year, last job, and last place of residence if you've moved in the last few years. Depending on the lot and lender you may also need a bill with your current address on it. Its also a great idea to know ahead of time what your credit score was. I always use Credit Karma. Its free, but the same as Kelley Blue Book its a range of what your score is. It may not be to the exact number correct. In my case it happened to be correct, but that wasn't the case when I was shopping for mortgages. The better your credit score the better interest rate you will get.
3. Have an idea what car you want. In my case I knew the EXACT car I wanted. When he asked if he could help me I lead him right to the car. If you aren't sure the exact car but you have a few in mind it will make the shopping process so much easier.
4. Once you know what you want, or have an idea of what you want. Research what other lots in the area are selling it for. Or if you're undecided its a good way to get an idea of whats out there. I used Cars.com. Ultimately I chose a dealership that my sister and ex husband had used for their focuses.
5. I also scheduled a test drive since I knew Saturday would be a busy day for car shopping.
6. Don't be afraid to ask for a better deal. You can determine what the fair market value is for the car you are buying by checking out this site. When I bought Focus #2, I asked to see the carfax. I learned the car had never actually been bought by a person. It had lived it's life there, being used as a short term rental. It was also an out dated body style and a not very popular color. I used all of those points in my negotiation. I explained it had been there for 3 years without selling, and now they have a new style so the likelihood that they were going to sell it was decreasing. I told him what the lowest I was willing to go was and he agreed. Please, don't be hateful or confrontational when doing this. They want to sell you the car, but they also want to make a profit. I can't fault them for that. Don't we all want to make money? If you go in knowledgeable you will get a great deal. If you don't feel you are being treated fairly, you can leave and go to another dealership. I was able to get my car for 2 thousand less than my ex husband did. He bought his car a few weeks ago. Same car, same color, the only difference is, he has a pin stripe.
7. If there is any after market items you want, stop in and ask the accessories store onsite. The place I used gives discounts to people who bought their car there. I can save 50 when I get my windows tinted, just because I purchased my car there.
8. Don't forget your insurance my go up. Mine went up by 200 dollars so I shopped around for different coverage and found one that was the same price I was paying.
9. Finally, my personal favorite step. Give your car a great name. I've had a Maddie, and Hanna (as in Ohanna Any Lilo and Stitch fans? Now I have a Tres. As in Spanish for 3, because its my third focus. I have a friend from high school named Tres (its a nick name his family gave him because he is a 3rd) Tres, if you are reading this I didn't name my car after you.