How to Buy a Car

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So, you have decided to get a new car. If you are like the majority of prospective car buyers, you will dedicate hours and hours of your leisure time doing the rounds of various dealerships and test driving different models.

Because that is the way to do it, right?

Wrong.

That is what dealers want you to do. That is why they keep sending all those text messages to your cell phone, offering free and no-obligation test drives. They know that buying a car is a highly emotional exercise and that you are more likely to relax your projected budget when sitting in a driver’s seat that feels just right.

The last thing you want to do is let emotions cloud your judgment. Buying a car is an important step which usually entails a long-term financial commitment. That is why you  need to approach it with scientific methodology.

In that name, instead of rushing off to visit a car dealership, take a seat in front of your computer and navigate to the bidorbuy car section. Select the brands and models that fall within your budget and study each listing carefully. In the unlikely event that you cannot find “your” car among thousands displayed on bidorbuy, by all means visit the web sites of individual dealers, though most of them are likely to be present on bidorbuy anyway.

If you do your internet research properly, you will spend much less time doing the dealership rounds. But that is not the only reason why searching the internet is a must. We are talking here about a whole new strategy which, executed properly, will revolutionise your car-buying experience.

When you browse bidorbuy for the car of your dreams, don’t just scan the options and note down the prices. Choose the exact vehicles you want and then dispatch an email to at least three dealers, asking them for a quote.

After you receive the replies by return email, you may be again tempted to sprint straight to a car dealership, this time the one that made the best offer, perhaps hoping to squeeze a bit of extra discount in face-to-face negotiations.

Resist the urge. Instead, resort to a bit of digital negotiations. In other words, fire off the next batch of email messages, and ask all three dealers for discounts. Play dirty. Set them against each other. If necessary, tell each of them that so-and-so is offering a better deal (don’t lie, though – they may be sneaky enough to actually talk to each other).

Can you then rush off to the dealership to hug and test drive your chosen means of transport?

Definitely not. Now is the time to take your next car-buying step, the car still unseen. You have all the information ready. You know which car you want; you know how much it costs; you know that your bank will extend you the credit… but do you know at what rate? Probably not. If you go to the dealer unprepared, you may put yourself in the position to accept his finance option. Therefore, first check with your bank. It just may happen that the institution you have been associated with for years will offer you a better rate than the dealer’s finance office – but don’t bet on it. The truth is, in most cases dealers are able to come up with better interest rates than your own bank is ready to offer. That is just one of those injustices of life. Still, you never know, and in any case you need to leave no stone unturned in your quest for a clear-headed, scientific car purchasing strategy.

Only then are you ready to visit the showroom…. and hug and test drive that car? No, to engage in some serious negotiations with the car dealer who has offered you the best deal. If you can, schedule your visit for the end of the month. Just like everybody else in sales, car dealers too have quotas, and your car dealer may be desperate to up his sales for the month by letting you have the car you are after at a further discount. Early Saturday morning will probably work best for you, because car dealers are programmed to sell, sell, and sell over the weekend. Your dealer may agree to drop the price further, if for no other reason than to get you off his back and free him to sell a car or two to clients ignorant of the scientific car purchasing strategy.

Only after your inner voice tells you that you have squeezed the last drop of discounts, you are ready to take the step that makes or breaks the deal: that is, you are ready to take the car for a test drive.

As an added bonus, here is a bit of advice from the web site Beat the Car Salesman:

“If your car salesman likes you, then you're more likely to get the good car-buying deal and service that you want. (That's just a fact of human nature.) So be nice and friendly to your salesman. It pays to treat him with respect.”

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