Daily Dupaco

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let's make a deal: Car shopping 101

You've found your next vehicle, but are you ready to talk numbers with the dealer? Before you make an offer, do your homework so you're prepared to walk out with a fair price. Bob Nicks, indirect senior lending consultant at Dupaco Community Credit Union, offers these tips to give you an edge on negotiation day:
  • Edmunds (http://www.edmunds.com/) offers a wealth of free information for new-vehicle shoppers. Find out what the dealer paid for the vehicle, the manufacturer's suggested retail price, what rebates are available and more.
  • If you're trading your current vehicle, go to NADA (http://www.nadaguides.com/) or Kelley Blue Book (http://www.kbb.com/) to learn what it's worth. Used vehicles are in short supply, so they're worth more these days.
  • Consider selling your current vehicle yourself if you think you can get more. But be aware that you won't get a sales tax break on it.
  • Shop around for rates before you deal. And know your credit score. The higher your score, the lower your rate will be.
  • Some vehicles come with zero-percent financing. Calculate whether the zero-percent financing or the rebates is the better deal. Zero-percent financing isn't always better, especially if you won't keep your vehicle for long.
  • If you don't plan to own your vehicle beyond the manufacturer warranty, think twice about extended warranties.
  • If you're buying a used vehicle, get a vehicle history report from a site like CARFAX (http://carfax.com/). You'll find out, for instance, how long the vehicle has been sitting on the dealer's lot. If it's been there awhile, ask why.
  • Consider negotiating the price of your vehicle online through the dealer's website, rather than in person. You can sometimes get a better price that way. Plus, it can be less intimidating.

By Emily Kittle

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