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