A lot of decision-making goes into buying a car.
You can expect negotiations, financing, testing driving, all to find the perfect ride. Most car dealerships realize this and make the experience as hassle-free and straightforward as possible. But, it’s still important to be a savvy buyer and feel prepared before you walk through that door.
Keep reading for the insight you need to plan and prepare for your next car dealership visit.
Preparing for a Car Dealership Appointment
Before your car dealership visit, make sure you’ve done your homework. It will help you save time while there and make the overall experience a lot more enjoyable.
Know What Cars You Can Afford
Before you start shopping, decide how much you can afford to spend on a car. This will help you narrow the selection down, and keep you from wasting time test driving cars that are over your budget.
If you need financing, check your credit history and credit score first. These reports will give you a good idea of what to expect from lenders.
We also recommend looking into financing options before your car dealership appointment. This will ensure you get the best interest rate.
Read Car Reviews
The Internet can be your best resource when preparing for your car dealership appointment.
Some dealers really know their stuff, but don’t take their word for it. The more educated you are on the cars before walking in, the better. Who knows, you might even find a car you never considered while reading online reviews.
Understand Car Pricing
Anyone can read the MSRP or invoice price, but understanding these terms will help you when it comes to negotiating a fair deal. Other tools like the Consumer Reports Car Value Estimator can help you understand your current vehicle’s value, as well as the ones you’re shopping for.
Tips for Your Car Dealership Visit
When you arrive at the dealership, you’ll likely be greeted by a salesperson. Don’t be surprised if they ask you for information on your budget, car-buying goals, and how to get in touch with you later.
Try to stay focused and keep the following tips in mind:
- Allow for plenty of time at each dealership. Between gathering information, fetching car keys, taking test drives, and calculating prices, these visits can range from 30 minutes upwards of 5 hours. Be prepared to stay awhile.
- Make sure to test drive before purchasing. If possible, test drive on both highways and back streets to see how factors like acceleration, ride smoothness, and outside noise measure up.
- Compare, compare, COMPARE. Make sure you test drive at least three different vehicles before making a final decision. Write down what you like and dislike about each car immediately after test driving it.
- Make a purchasing appointment later. Your test drive appointment and car purchasing appointment will likely be two separate trips. This gives you time to think about your options, research financing, and make the best choice. When you’re ready to buy, revisit the dealership, and get ready to negotiate for the best deal.
The Choice is Yours
Remember, the choice of purchasing a car is yours.
Never let a salesperson intimidate or pressure you into purchasing a car that you can’t afford or don’t love. Most car dealers are honest people and have your best interests in mind. But, it’s still ultimately your big decision to make.
And, if you can, take a few minutes to enjoy the process and excitement that goes along with purchasing a new car.
If you’re ready to start shopping, contact us with your questions about the car buying process. We are happy to help!