Don't Make These Three Mistakes When Shopping For A Car Or Truck

8 December 2017
 Categories: , Blog


No one likes paying more than they have to for a car or truck. Unless you are properly prepared, however, that's exactly what may happen when you start shopping for a new or used vehicle. Here are three things you want to avoid doing to ensure you get the best deal possible on your next automobile.

Negotiating the Month Payment Instead of the Price

One of the biggest mistakes people make when purchasing a vehicle is focusing on negotiating the amount of their monthly payments instead of the vehicle's price. You want to make sure the payments fit your budget, so it's understandable that you would focus on this aspect of the car buying process. However, you can easily think you got a good deal just because the salesperson was able to manipulate your financing to get you a low monthly payment.

It's important to focus on negotiating the vehicle's price before you even discuss financing. Your monthly payments will naturally reflect your vehicle's low price, though you can always continue working with the salesperson to decrease them even more.

Not Paying Attention to the Manufacture Date

It costs money to store vehicles on a car lot, and the longer it takes to sell a car or truck, the more the dealership has to pay to keep it around. Thus, salespeople tend to be more desperate to sell vehicles that have been on the lot for long periods of time and may be more willing to give you a lower price just to get rid of the car or truck.

Unless you've been stalking the lot week after week, though, it can be challenging to determine how long a car has been parked at the dealership. However, one trick is to look at the vehicle's manufacture date. In most cases, cars are shipped to dealerships shortly after they are made in the factory, so the date of production can be a good measure of how long the dealership has had it.

A vehicle's manufacture date is typically located on a sticker placed inside the door jamb. You can also decode the VIN to get an estimated time of production, but it will only provide you with the year (the tenth digit signifies the year, e.g., G = 2016). The salesperson can also provide you with the information you need, though this may alert the individual about your negotiation strategy, so be careful when asking.

Letting the Salesperson Negotiate Using Rebates

Another mistake many people make is letting the salesperson negotiate using rebates and coupons. It's not unusual for dealerships to list a vehicle's price based on rebates the buyer can get from the manufacturer. For instance, if the vehicle is $30,000 and the manufacturer has a $1,000 rebate available, the dealership will list the sales price as $29,000. You may think you're getting a deal, but in actuality you'll end up paying the full price to the dealership if you accept this offer as is.

To avoid falling for this sales tactic, ignore the rebate and negotiate the price of vehicle directly. Only at the end of the process should you factor in any rebates and coupons you may be eligible for. Be sure to read the fine print of any available offer to ensure there isn't a minimum amount you need to spend to qualify for it. If there is, then only take the rebate if you're unable to get the salesperson to reduce the price lower than what you would pay if you took advantage of the rebate.

For help finding the right car or truck for you, contact a local dealership that offers Toyota trucks for sale.