Monthly Archives: January 2011

New Car Buying Checklist

  • Decide how much you have to spend on your new car purchase.
  • Check to see what incentives and rebates are available on the car you want to buy.
  • Print out the Edmunds.com TMV price on the car you want to buy (adjusted for options, color and region).
  • If you are financing the car, use the payment calculators to determine the monthly payment for the car you want to buy (and remember to apply the incentives to the purchase price).
  • Contact the Internet department and simultaneously solicit quotes from multiple dealers.
  • If you are trading in your old car, check its Edmunds.com True Market Value and print out this information.
  • Call the Internet manager to negotiate the best price of the car you want to buy.
  • Once you’ve reached a good price, ask the salesperson to fax you a worksheet showing all the prices, taxes and fees.
  • Bring your worksheet with you to the dealership so you can compare these numbers to the figures on the contract.
  • Inspect the car for dents, dings and scratches before taking final delivery.

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10 Steps to buying a New Car: Inspecting and taking possession of your new car

Most dealerships detail the car and provide a full tank of gas. You will have one more chance to inspect the car before you take possession of it. Make sure you walk around the car and look for scratches in the paint and wheels or dents and dings on the body. If you are paying for floor mats or other dealer installed items make sure they are included. If anything is missing, or if any work needs to be done, ask for a “Due Bill” that puts it in writing. You will then be able to come back and get the work done later.

As you drive away inhaling that new-car smell, there is only one more thing to be done: enjoy your new car.

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Chevrolet Dealer

10 Steps to buying a New Car: Reviewing and signing the paperwork

At the dealership, you will be presented with the contract for your new car and a dizzying array of forms to sign. This might be done by the Internet salesperson you have been dealing with, or it could be done in a separate office by the finance and insurance (F&I) manager. If this happens, the F&I manager might not try to sell you additional items such as extended service contracts, fabric protection, alarms or a LoJack vehicle locator. In most cases, we recommend turning down these extras.

If you have already seen a worksheet for the deal you’ve made, the contract should be a formality. Make sure the numbers match the worksheet and no additional charges or fees have been inserted. You will also be asked to sign various forms that register your new car and transfer ownership of your trade-in. Understand what you are signing and what it means. Ask questions if you don’t understand, and don’t ever feel like you have to hurry. Buying a car is a serious commitment, and it’s the F&I manager’s job to ensure you are comfortable with every document involved. Remember, once you have signed, there is no going back.

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10 Steps to buying a New Car: Closing the deal

If you feel good about the price you have been quoted, it’s time to take a look at the big picture. Many buyers focus on the cost of the car and ignore the related expenses. Besides the cost, you will have to pay sales tax and various fees which vary from state to state.

The simplest way to estimate total cost is to ask the salesperson to fax you a worksheet and invoice before you go to the dealership. This way you’ll be able to review the figures in a relaxed environment. Compare the numbers from the dealership to those you have calculated and the TMV prices on Edmunds.com.

In some areas of the country, dealers have costs that don’t show up on Edmunds.com invoice prices. This means the Edmunds.com invoice price of the car you are researching might not exactly match the dealer’s invoice. Don’t panic – and don’t begin making accusations. Edmunds.com can’t track all regional fees, such as advertising costs. So, as a rule of thumb, consider the charges on the dealer’s invoice to be nonnegotiable. However, if extra fees are written into the contract ( such as “D&H” or “Administrative Costs”) which seem bogus or redundant, ask to have them removed, or tell they you will take your business to another dealerships.

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10 Steps to buying a New Car: Negotiating for your lowest price

Many buyers like to handle the question of price before they even go to the dealer. Internet salespeople are willing to discuss price over the phone – some dealer. Internet salespeople are willing to discuss price over the phone – sometimes even by e-mail. This wasn’t the case a few years ago when the salesperson wanted you in his office before he would get down to brass tacks and talk price.

It’s quite possible that, in your calls to various Internet departments, the selling price of the car has already come up. Often, Internet salespeople will volunteer the selling price of their car since they know this is the make-or-break factor in most buyers’ decision-making process. If the price they’ve quoted is at below Edmunds.com’s TMV, then you are already in the right range to buy the car. If you want to try to improve the deal, you have a few options.

Everyone has his idea of what makes a good deal, but most people just want to know they got a fair price. Here, TMV, will be your best guide. If you want to try for a rock-bottom price, start by getting bids from three local dealers. Follow this up by taking the lowest price, calling the two other dealerships and saying, “I’ve been offered this car at this price. If you beat it, I’ll buy it from you.” They almost certainly will. However, keep in mind that you can’t play this game forever. Eventually, they will give you a take-it-or-leave-it price.

Also, be warned that if you ask the dealer to cut their profit, they might try to take it back somewhere else. Remember, a good deal isn’t just the lowest selling price. It’s the lowest total out-the-door cost on a car that meets your needs.

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Winnipeg Mainstay

10 Steps to Buying a New Car: If you are trading in your old car..

If you are trading in your old car to a dealer, you will probably not get as much money toward the price of a new car as you would have if you’d sold it yourself to a private party. However, trading in offers some advantages. You can solve all of your car buying problems in one visit to the dealer. You can unload a hard-to-sell car with no newspaper ads, DMV lines or tire-kicking buyers involved. In some states, you will even pay less sales tax on a deal that involves a trade-in.

Begin the process by looking up your car’s trade-in TMV on Edmunds.com. After you plug in all of the vehicle’s information (mileage, options and colors) you will get a specific trade-in price. This figure will often be slightly different from the offers you get once you are on the car lot. At a dealership, the value assigned to your trade-in varies based on the time of the month, the dealer’s specific inventory and the used car manager’s mood, but at least TMV will give you a rough idea of what your trade-in is worth.

If it’s important to you to get the maximum value for your trade-in, you should visit several dealerships and solicit bids. Tell the salesperson that the sale of a new car will be contingent on the amount he or she will give you for your trade-in. Also, tell them you are visiting several dealerships. With a little legwork, you may be able to boost the price you get for your old car by several hundred dollars or more. Remember, the extra effort you spend in getting competitive bids is far less than what it would take to advertise, show and sell the car yourself.

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Canada Auto Finance

Auto Service

10 Steps to Buying a New Car: Test-driving the car salesman

As you make follow-up phone calls to dealerships to locate the exact car you want to buy, you can also test-drive the car salesman. In other words, you can determine if this is a person you want to do business with. It’s a good idea to consider this issue ahead of time, before you get to the deal-making phase of the process.

The first way to evaluate a good salesperson is to ask yourself if you feel comfortable dealing with them. Are they impatient and pushy? Are they relaxed and open? If you asked them about a specific car’s availability did they respond to your needs? Did they try to steer you toward another car simply because they have too many of that model in stock? Do they return your phone calls? Do they answer your questions in a straightforward manner? Are they evasive and confusing?

By considering these issues, you should have a sense of whether or not you want to buy from this salesperson. If you feel comfortable talking with the individual over the phone, and if the dealership does indeed have the car you’re interested in, set up a time to test-drive the car, preferably when the dealership will not be very busy, such as a weekday morning. Before heading to the car lot, review all your notes and make sure you bring your car buying folder. This might include your checkbook, registration and proof of insurance. Keep in mind that you’re bringing these items so you’ll be ready to buy a car if you get a fair deal. Don’t feel obligated to purchase a car simply because you have all the necessary paperwork with you.

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