Sunday, July 22, 2007

Buying Cars the Old Fashioned Way... with a twist

Sometimes, the best way to buy a car is to just go to the dealership, drive a few cars, and make a purchase based upon price negotiations and overall experience at the dealership.

Thanks to the Internet, we can still do it, but we can go in prepared.

Visit as many dealer sites as you can before ever leaving your house. Make notes. Find out which dealerships have the kind of vehicle that you are looking for.

Once you have a healthy list, start sending in requests for quotes. Being honest at this stage will save lots of time. Tell them exactly what you are doing so they know not to waste time trying to shoot a higher price at you, just in case you aren't comparing. Let them know that you are looking at this vehicle and you have asked for quotes from several dealers, and that your decision will be based upon your experience over the internet as well as the price.

This is an important step. Many dealers will balk at the idea of being in a price war, especially if they are in a competitive market where the closest dealer to the customer is the one who gets their business. When they know that you are considering the experience as well, it opens up the door for them to earn your business.

You should start getting emails and calls within the hour. Anyone who doesn't reply quickly or sends an auto-responder without following up with a personal email or phone call probably isn't the best place for you to do business. The hungrier the dealership and internet department, the more willing they will be to give you a great deal and a great experience.

Once you have a short list, get the specs of the vehicle they have that you want. Make sure to find out if the vehicle is currently available in their inventory or if it is one that must be ordered or traded for. Sometimes dealers will quote hypothetical vehicles if they do not have an exact match in their inventory. This isn't a bad thing, as long as they can get the right vehicle. Who cares where it came from, as long as they can get it and sell it to you within your timeframe?

Now, the visits start. Whoever treated you the best, give them a visit. Let them have first shot. As long as you are armed with quotes on apples-to-apples vehicles, you should be able to get the vehicle that you want from the dealership you want at the price you want. If not, move on.

Many car dealers, such as Woburn Toyota Dealers and Johnson City Honda, are willing to bring in or order the vehicle that you are wanting if they don't have it in stock. Make sure you have this information understood before leaving for the dealership.

Test driving can be a challenge if they don't have the exact vehicle, but as long as they have some that are very similar, it shouldn't make a difference. New cars, in general, drive the same as long as the mechanical issues are identical, such as engine, transmission, tires, etc.

From there, it should be easy. You have the quotes. They have to meet them. Drive home knowing you made a great deal.

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Car Buying Tips


Nicole Vickers said...

Very sound, detailed advice. This will definitely help first-time car buyers like myself. I did check out some Indianapolis car dealer websites firsthand to find out the best deal for the car that I want. I'm gonna meet a couple of them sometime next week.

I'll go keep the other advices in mind. I hope to get the best auto sales Indianapolis dealers can give. Thanks for posting this!

Deepa Sakthivel said...

Very useful information and resource.

Joshua Green said...

From my experience, it really starts with choosing the right dealer - either directly from the car manufacturer, or from its authorized dealers. I bought mine from a local car dealership because they've also got genuine auto parts from manufacturers and ISO registration-sealed 2nd party suppliers. Of course I should be careful when purchasing. Car tuning is quite an expensive hobby.