Want To Buy A New Car? 2 Strategies That Can Save You Money

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If you need a new car, you might be ready to head to the dealership and strike a deal with a salesperson. Unfortunately, if you show up at the wrong time or with the wrong information, you might pay more than you need to for that new ride. Here are two strategies that might save you money, so that you don't experience buyer's remorse:

1: Find Out the Dealer Value

Everyone knows that a little research helps when you buy a new car. After all, how can you negotiate a fair price if you don't understand what that car is worth in the first place? After a few quick Internet searches to uncover the book value of your car, you might feel like you have done your research. However, those easily-accessible consumer valuations might be inflated, which could create a few unhappy surprises during negotiations.

Fortunately, you might be able to learn the true value of your car by using some of the same information dealers use to determine sales price. Believe it or not, Kelley Blue Book, a trusted vehicle valuation company, publishes more than just the run-of-the-mill blue book that you might be familiar with. In addition to the standard version meant for consumers, Kelley also publishes two other versions: a yellow book that analyzes data from annual dealer retail sales, and a super exclusive black book that issues the weekly going rate for each make and model.

Although it might be impossible to get your hands on a copy of the black book, which is only accessible to dealers and lenders, checking out the yellow book is as easy as making a trip to your local library. Commonly found at the reference desk, the yellow book will give you a more realistic idea of what you should pay for a new car or expect for a trade in.

In addition to issuing a standard market price for your chosen make and model, the yellow book also gives estimated price increases for additional features and deductions for issues and mileage. For example, the book might list a "+750" for a sunroof add-on, or a "-1000" if the car you found has over a certain number of miles. By using this book, you can determine a very accurate idea of any car's value so you can negotiate with dealers intelligently.

2: Visit the Dealership At The Right Times

If you want to gain a little negotiating power, try to visit the dealership when the dealers would be most motivated to sell. Here are a few examples you should try to stop by:

  • During the Day: Since most prospective car buyers work during the day, car dealerships are typically slow and uneventful before 5 pm. In addition to attracting a dealer's full attention, you might also be more likely to negotiate a better price. When other patrons aren't around to eavesdrop, you might feel more comfortable negotiating aggressively and your dealer won't have to worry about other people asking for the same deal.   
  • The Last Day of the Quarter: Car dealerships have inventory and sales goals, just like any other business. To monopolize on your dealer's need to get rid of extra stock, stop by car dealers the last day of the fiscal quarter. Business quarters typically end the last day of December, March, June, and September.

On the flip side, try to avoid visiting dealerships during times when a lot of other buyers might be on site. Examples might include holiday sales, end of the year specials, and weekends. When you are simply another face in a crowd, dealers can simply turn to another buyer if you decide to play hardball.  

By being smart about your next car purchase, you might be able to score the deal of a lifetime. For more information on new and used cars that could fit your needs, contact a dealer in your area.