Don’t put yourself in a bad position!
There is a litany of information out there that speaks to what you SHOULD do when you’re looking to buy or lease a car? But, what about all of the things that you SHOULDN’T do? That said, here are some tips and tricks of what NOT to do if you’re out there shopping for a car…and these are just a few:
1) Don’t ever let a dealership run your credit, unless of course you’re already through negotiations, and ready to actually leave with a new car. Running your credit isn’t necessary to quote pricing. Be armed with information and know your credit score before you even get to the lot. Any dealership should be able to give you approximate payments or finance rates based on the score you say you have. And, when giving your score, be honest – being dishonest will only set you up for disappointment later in the transaction.
2) You don’t need put all your cards on the table. This means, you don’t necessarily need to say what you plan to spend. Allow the dealership to pitch you a price first. For all you know it may be well within, or even below your budget. Also, and if you can avoid it, don’t give an indication of your ‘need’ for a new car or any time sensitivity around it. The pressure’s on when you do.
3) Unless an incentive program is coming to an end – which you can find out by looking online before your dealership visit – know that ‘this weekend only’ or ‘today only’ is almost never true. It is, however, something that is frequently (and falsely) said to create the sense that there is the risk of losing an opportunity.
4) Don’t believe everything you hear. If you’re at a Honda store, you’re bound to hear why their product is superior to their competitors’. That’s because they can’t sell you or help you with those products, so they have no choice but to tout their own. That’s understandable, but be sure that if you’re looking at multiple cars, that you do your research in advance of making a decision, or that you work with an unbiased 3rd party.
5) Don’t count on pricing you’ve been quoted over the phone. It’s all too often that when pricing is given over the phone, that important pieces of information are missing (like sales tax, registration and other fees) or that words are misunderstood. In a lease, for instance, a ‘down payment’ is money that is paid on top of what are called normal lease drive-offs. Don’t make the trip unless you’ve crossed your ‘t’s’ and dotted your ‘i’s’.
6) Don’t hide things that you know about a vehicle you’re trading in – like previously repaired damage, things malfunctioning or not working, or previous accidents. Believe it or not, every dealership has trade disclosures stating that if you misrepresented your trade-in, and even after closing the transaction, that your trade value is subject to change. Be honest about what you know.
7) If you haven’t done any research in advance of your visit to a dealership, don’t make any decisions on the spot. Gather the information you need, leave, think about it, do any appropriate research or comparisons, and then make a decision.
If you have questions about any of the above, and you’re looking for some strategies around your next visit to a dealership, feel free to call us. And, know that over the years, we’ve learned from our clients about the things that people don’t like that dealerships do, so we just don’t do them. Happy car shopping!