08 October 2011
The Art of the Deal: New Ways to Buy Your Next Car

The days of heading down to the car lot for some bare-knuckle wheeling and dealing may soon be over. Savvy consumers are tapping the incredible power of the Internet to negotiate buying and financing a new vehicle in entirely different ways.

Start with the Facts

Salespeople cringe when they see a potential customer arrive with competitive price quotes in hand. You can gain the competitive edge by doing your research first. Yahoo!Autos, for example, gives you free, no-obligation new car quotes from up to three local car dealers. Other popular free sites offering similar services include Cars.com, Edmunds.com, MyRide.com and CarsDirect.com.

Seal the Deal

You can prearrange a discounted price on a new auto through club car buying services, such as those offered by USAA, Sam’s Club, Costco and AAA. Typically, you’ll be matched up with a participating dealership that offers specially pre-negotiated prices. On the plus side, you get the car you want at a reasonable price without the stress. On the downside, there’s no negotiating for a better price. It is what it is. You will probably not get any rebates.

Drive an Online Bargain

A dealer’s lot is no place for an unprepared buyer (that’s how the unwitting lose money on their trade-in, financing and buying unneeded aftermarket products). You can skip the hard sell with an online service that locates your car and does the negotiating for you. CarsDirect.com is rated the #1 site for buying new cars online by Forbes, Time, PC Magazine and PC World, and features a 360-degree view option. Another popular service is InvoiceDealers.com, which has the top deal-closing rate of free online car buying services. For used cars at new-car dealerships, try Carsala.com.

Another approach to online shopping is to contact a dealership’s “Internet sales manager.” More on-the-ball dealers are designating a web-savvy salesperson to work exclusively across the Internet.

Put Someone Else in the Driver’s Seat

Another way to hand off the stress of negotiating a deal is to work with an auto broker (some call themselves “car concierges”). These folks typically are former car dealers, so they know the jargon and how the dealership wheeling and dealing works. They typically charge either a flat fee for their expertise or a percentage of what they save you. For that fee, they will advise you on your choice of vehicles, negotiate the best price, review the contract and arrange to have the vehicle delivered to your home or office, where contracts are signed.

Put the Power in Your Corner

Getting pre-approved for a car loan through your bank can also make your car shopping experience much easier. When you are pre-approved, you know how much you can spend and how much your monthly payments will be. You don’t have to worry about haggling with the dealers over how you will finance your purchase.  Ultimately, having pre-approved financing allows you to buy like a cash buyer, increasing your leverage for negotiating the best deal!

Whether you’ve done your research and you’re ready to head to the dealership or you’re looking to shop and buy from the comfort of your home, Nevada State Bank is there to help with auto and vehicle loans, as well as RV, motor home, boat and ATV loans. We offer competitive terms on financing for all new and used vehicles and we can also work with you to refinance your current loan. We’re able to help with other types of loans as well, from mortgages to personal loans. Visit your local Nevada State Bank branch today to get started.

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