Know the General Dealer Cost or Invoice Price
Websites like Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com), Edmunds.com, and MSN Autos (autos.msn.com) show the dealer cost or invoice price in addition to the list price or manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Start negotiating from the invoice price, not the MSRP. Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds also show what typical consumers actually paid for a given model in your region based on your zip code.
Don’t Allow the Rebate to be Used in Negotiations
Make sure you don't let the sales person bring the rebate into the negotiations. You're entitled to that from the manufacturer no matter what price you negotiate.
Consider Slow-Selling Models
If you are shopping for a slow-selling model, you can aim for a deal near invoice price and sometimes even lower. But do your research on that model first. There may be a reason that model is “slow-selling” that you may want to avoid.
Shop at the End of the Month
Dealerships and individual salespeople have monthly quotas to meet. In the last few days of a month they're especially eager to make deals.
Shop When the New Models are Coming Out
As auto companies get ready for their annual new-model introduction, dealers are eager to get rid of the old models—especially since dealer volume targets set by the manufacturers track the model year. Usually such model-year shopping works best in July, August, and early September ahead of the traditional October 1st start of the model year.
Shop When it Gets Lonely at the Dealer
It can get lonely on the sales floor of a car dealer, especially in late December when almost everyone is at the mall rushing to finish holiday shopping. If you show up at the dealership during a slow selling period with a well-prepared plan, you may get a great deal for Christmas.
Go in Already Pre-Approved
Don't forget a cardinal rule of car buying: Plan ahead for your financing. Get financing pre-approved from Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union before you ever go car shopping. Being pre-approved is like being a cash customer, placing you in a better negotiating position.
If you are looking to buy your first car, here are a few financing tips:
Tip 1: Save for a down payment
It's sometimes possible to finance 100% of a vehicle purchase. But why not save money in the long run by making a down payment? When you make a down payment, you borrow less. This means your monthly payment decreases, along with the total amount you pay in interest charges on your loan.
Tip 2: Find a co-signer
Usually, if you're younger than 18, you will need to have a co-signer for the loan. Even if you're 18 or older, you might need a co-signer, especially if you're just starting out on your own and don't have an established credit history. A co-signer is someone who agrees to pay back the loan if you don't. Not just anyone will be willing to do this for you. Often, a parent or an older sibling will.
Tip 3: Arrange your financing in advance
Put yourself in a strong position by arranging your loan financing at the credit union ahead of time. Arranging your financing in advance is like having the money in your pocket when you go car shopping. Dealers sit up and take notice. This gives you the upper hand when you start negotiating.
Tip 4: Have a plan
Work out a plan for making the loan payment as well as the other car expenses such as insurance, gas, oil changes, and repairs. Ask your friends or family members how much they pay to keep their cars running. Ask a lot of people so you can get a better idea of what your car will cost you.
If the card in your wallet doesn’t Earn You Rewards and Generate Charitable Donations from the proceeds of your qualified transactions (at no extra cost to you), then maybe it’s time for a change to a card that is focused on you and your community!
Charities to select from include:
Cy-Hope, Boy Scouts, CFISD Lunch Super Hero Program, Habitat for Humanity, Texas Water Foundation, Boys & Girls Country, Cy-Fair Educational Foundation, Reach Unlimited, Relay for Life – Breast Cancer Research, and Texans VFW Foundation.
*Reward points, as well as proceeds generated for charities, are earned through qualified transactions (signature-based transactions of $5 or more). All credit products are subject to credit approval and all CFFCU policies and procedures. Other terms and conditions apply.