How to pay less for the car you want

If you are looking to buy a new car, you are certainly getting towards the right time of year to be on the market.

As the end of the year approaches, car dealers are desperate to clear out stock, knowing that all those 2017 models will become last year’s stock on 1 January, 2018.

Whether you wait to pick up those old models in the new year, or snatch up a bargain beforehand, this is one of the prime times for buying a new car.

Other tips that can save you money when buying a car include:

Purchasing the display model
The biggest vehicle-related expense isn’t fuel, or maintenance or servicing costs: it’s depreciation. The minute you drive your car from the lot and the odometer flicks from zero and starts counting the kilometres, you have just seen significant value drop from your car. You can use that factor to your advantage by purchasing the test drive vehicle from the lot. It won’t exactly be a brand new car, but the cost saving can be enormous.

Sell your old car privately
Car dealers will attempt to convince you to trade-in your old vehicle. This may be quicker and easier, but more often than not, you will be able to get a much higher price for your car if you attempt to sell it privately. If you do not want to endure the hassle of selling your own car, don’t mention the fact you are looking for a trade-in when you are initially negotiating the price for the new car. Otherwise, you will not be able to tell if you are getting a good deal.

Don’t fall for financing deals
You will always secure a better deal if you shop around for your own finance rather than falling for a dealer’s financing options. Some of the financing options available exist purely to obscure the real cost of buying your new car. Look closely at the total cost over the term of the loan including fees, rather than focusing on the interest rate or monthly repayment amount.

Start low and walk away
Do not be afraid of going too low with your initial offer. If you show that you want to buy today and are prepared to walk away, the car dealer will do everything possible to secure your signature. If the negotiations reach a sticking point, simply stand up, shake the agent’s hand and walk off. If they let you go, you have most likely gone in too low, but chances are they will come in with something approaching their best offer before you reach the door.

Don’t pay for unnecessary extras
Dealer-extended warranties, window tinting, paint protecting and rust-proofing: All of these things are largely unnecessary. New cars don’t rust and the paint doesn’t really lose its shine these days, either. The dealer-extended warranties usually tie you in to manufacturer servicing deals that are extremely expensive and inconvenient, compared to getting your car serviced by your local mechanic. Make sure you only pay for the extras you need.

What are your tips for buying a new car? Are you a gun negotiator or nervous when dealing with car salespeople?

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Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.
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