Ways to avoid being overcharged for your car

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Buying a new car is one of the most important financial commitments you can undertake, short of buying a new home. Naturally, you’ll want to make sure you get the best possible deal. There’s nothing worse than driving away from the dealership with the sneaking suspicion that you’ve been had. However, there are a few steps you can take to make sure that you get the best price you can on your new car.

Do Your Research

Before setting foot in a dealership, you should know about the car you’re looking for. This doesn’t mean having your search narrowed down to one vehicle – you can establish a list of alternatives. But you shouldn’t walk into a dealership “just to see what they have.” You might wind up buying a car that isn’t right for you and paying over the odds for it. Consider the features you want your car to have, including other possible expenses. Some features of the car will affect your expenses, making it more expensive to run or maintain or more possible to buy cheap learner driver insurance.

Set Your Target

Before you start the process of shopping for a car, make sure that you compare it to others and settle on the price you’re willing to pay. Use comparison sites to learn the list price as well as the typical price customers pay, which may not always be the same. Once you’ve set the price you’re willing to pay for each car on your shopping list, don’t budge from it.

Pick Your Moment

The price you pay for a car is a consequence not only of what you want to buy but when you buy it. If you’re interested in a particular model, the best time to buy is the period when it’s about to be replaced. By the end of its run, any early problems with the model will have been shaken out, and dealers will be eager to get the cars off their forecourts. This strategy isn’t without risk; if the model is popular, it may be gone before you’re ready to make your move.

Shop Around

Going to a range of different dealers and comparing their prices is the best way to make sure that you pay the price you want to for a car. If you’re going to buy a new car, this is particularly useful, since the only thing that differs from dealer to dealer in the case of a new car is going to be the price. Used cars are a little more of a challenge, as the actual cars will vary. Still, you should be able to establish where the best deals are to be found.

Take Your Time

The most common way for a potential buyer to be forced into a bad purchase is when time is a factor. This most commonly happens when unforeseen circumstances mean that a new car has to be purchased right away. If you start planning your purchase as soon as you can tell you’re nearing the end of your car’s life, you’ll be able to hold out for a better deal. You’ll also be able to compare dealers to see who can give you the price that’s right for you.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

4 thoughts on “Ways to avoid being overcharged for your car”

  1. When I bought my car I was really excited on Ebay and in spite of having set a budget I sometimes found myself bidding more to win the item. Thankfully I was always overbid and ended up with a car within budget.

  2. I always buy cars but this time my wife wants to lease. This is a tougher financial transaction because of all the terms and conditions and arcane computations. Anyway, my best advice is to get at least three quotes from different dealerships after you get some quotes from the internet. Consumer Reports has a great program that offers guaranteed quotes of a dealers best prices as a starting point. Then negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. :lol:

  3. When I bought my car, I did all of my shopping online first. Luckily all of the used dealerships had detailed pages for each of the cars they had in stock. I compared used cars from Craigslist to the ones in the dealerships to figure out which was a better deal and narrowed it down that way.

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