Six things car dealers never tell you

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Six things car dealers never tell you

Six Things the Dealer Doesn’t Want You to Know When Buying a New Car

Some things change, and some things seem to stay the same.   While the auto industry has undergone a shift in consumer pricing with the debut of the zero hassle, zero bargaining car sales places, the majority of new car dealers are still offering its customers the big hassle, lots of the bargaining process for buying a new car.
Most people don’t want to go toe to toe with the car salesmen when negotiating a price but in the effort to get the best possible deal they run into the dealership cubicle with a check book in hand and play let’s make a deal.

Image credit: mangostock / 123RF Stock Photo

If you’re one of the hardy souls who is planning on charging into the dealership and wrestling a reasonable price from a salesman, here are six things you should know that the dealership doesn’t want you to know while buying a new car.

  1. The sticker price isn’t the real price.   The dealer knows that they’ve built in a bunch of extra charges into the sticker price that are nothing but pure profit.  Destination fees, acquisition fees, dealer prep fees and advertising fees are all profit centers for the dealer.   They know it, and now you know it.  Be willing to settle out of those fees.
  2. Zero Down, Zero Payments for the first year will probably burn you down the road.  Your car isn’t free.  You might have decent enough credit to drive the car for free for the first year, but chances are when you do have to start paying the fees the interest rates that you will be paying will include the interest rate you didn’t pay in the first year.  Also, oftentimes the balance of loan is so high you actually end up paying much more for the loan.
  3. Get your own loan.  That acquisition fee of a thousand dollars that the dealer wants you to pay?  That the fee the bank charges the dealer for creating the loan.  Get your own bank loan and kiss that charge goodbye.  Also, chances are your bank is going to offer you a much, much better deal than the dealer is going to offer you.   If you truly want to play it smart, shop the loan you want at several different banks and get the best loan.
  4. Dump the pricey extrasSimonising the fabric for $500 or whatever they are choosing to call it means little more than spraying a decent fabric protector on your seats.  Chances are you can find a fabric protector of equally high quality and make it yourself for about $25 or even less.  Ditto for window tinting and small “extras” you never asked for a don’t really want or need.   Don’t let them tell you otherwise.
  5. Extended Warranties.  Extended warranties are enormous profit centers for dealers.   Modern cars come with extensive warranties that don’t need to be extended.  Be careful when looking at the contract. If you see these suckers get them out of the contract.
  6. Time.   Most people walk into a dealership fall in love and want to run out with a new car right away.   Salespeople will tell them stories like “this is the only one like it that we have left”.  You’ll feel that sense of urgency to buy.  Salespeople are skilled at creating a sense of urgency.  If you fall for this false urgency it’s going to cost you, chances are there are two or even three dealers of the type of car you are looking for.   Find the make, model, color and year of the car you want.  Then, play them off of each other.  Get the lowest price from one dealer, then take that quote to another dealer and ask if they can beat it.  See what they have to say.  If they can, take that dealers quote to the next one and give them the opportunity to beat it.   If you have the time, show up in person for the process.  It will take some time but in the end it will be time well spent. 
About the Author-

Allen Jones writes for, where you can design your own checks the way you want them.

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