Lately, I’ve been thinking of what we actually buy when we buy a car, and the things that can help us in making the best financial choice when buying a dream car. So can you buy your personality at any car dealership?
From birth, we’ve been taught that our car is our personality. Is that true? Are you Audi Sporty? Ford Tough? Toyota Dependable? GM Patriotic? Lexus Svelte? Mercedes Classy? Volvo Safe? BMW Quick? Hyundai Cost-conscious? Or Volkswagon Quirky?
Well, you may be surprised, but I can easily conjure a car to match any of these adjective as quickly as I type all these words.
Here, I would also like to tell you that your car is not your personality, but a simple mode of transportation for moving you from one place to another, via paved roads. Therefore, the more you’d try to buy your personality at any car dealership, the more you’ll pay for something that you really don’t need.
How to minimize fleecing at any car dealership?
Most of us know that buying a car is nothing about buying our personality, and is actually a financial trickery. To reduce chances of personal fleecing, you should try to limit the transactions you enter into with your chosen car dealership.
When you visit any car dealership, most of the people there think that you are interested in buying a car. Most of the times, you are not only buying a new car, but also selling your old one, negotiating a loan, and setting your monthly payment, choosing automobile accessories, and discussing various dealer services and warranties.
Usually you do all these transactions every few years, but your counterparts at these dealerships do that several times a day. So there is a considerable skill disadvantage between you and any car salesman at a dealership and each transaction presents a perfect fleecing opportunity.
My advice: Try to do just one thing at a time.
If you are interested in a car loan, you should try to your loan lined up much ahead of time, either from a car loan specialist or a local bank.
If everything goes as per your plans, you should begin shopping for car within a prescribed price limit, monthly payment amount and interest rate. If your chosen dealer offers you much better terms than you bank, you can choose the dealer. However, you should leave all your loan negotiations until you finalize the price.
If you want to trade in your old car, it would be best to drop off and pick the car at the same place, therefore, I don’t from too much on this practice, mainly for non-financial reasons.
Car loan – It’s your mortal weakness!
The best way to fleece the car buyer is to somehow focus his or her attention on the monthly payment for the car loan. Obviously, the aim of car dealership is to shift focus from the interest rate of the loan and price of the car. This helps them in closing the deal at favorable terms.
“How much money you can afford per month”? this is the most common question that your friendly car salesman may ask you when you’ll show interest in buying any car. If you’ve already got approval for the loan from your bank, then this question is irrelevant that you can ignore.
Ideally, you should review the maximum you’d have to pay for the car, your interest rate, and monthly payment, away from the scary and charged atmosphere at any car dealership.
When you were unable to arrange loan from a bank, and need car dealer’s loan, you should still try to ignore that monthly payment question when inside the dealership. Instead, try to focus on the price of the car. Once that amount is firmly set, you should move your focus on the interest rate of the dealer’s loan, because that reflects that cost of borrowed money.
If you are successful in getting the best possible price for the car, and even the rate is acceptable, then most probably your monthly loan payment will also be affordable. Sometimes it won’t, but it will still be the best one that can get on the market. In any case, you should know the acceptable interest rate and car price based on your monthly income, local value of money, and your credit rating, before walking onto any car dealer lot.