Moving into the holiday and post-holiday season of big sales, prospective car buyers will be relieved to know that end-of-the-year discounts are real. That does not, however, negate the need to be on the look out for some “fast ones.” salesmen can and do pull to up their numbers and empty your pocketbook just a little more.
Above all else, do not get caught up in the understandable excitement of getting a new car and forget — or neglect — to read all the paperwork associated with the purchase. In particular, make sure there are no blank spaces that can be filled in later. If you find a blank, ask about it. Either complete the space with “n/a” or a zero dollar amount. If the salesman says it’s a figure or a detail he’ll “get later,” don’t sign until later.
There are definitely some items you don’t want to pay dealer prices for, starting with “fabric protector.” That’s Scotch Guard and they put it on at the factory. There is absolutely no reason to pay for it again at the dealership. Ditto for “paint sealant.” The dealer will already have put on a coat to protect the car while it’s on the lot.
Before you sign on any dotted line make sure the financing is pre-approved. Get a fixed price to work with and don’t let the dealer tack on a lot of extras the bank won’t finance. When a dealer says “we can beat that rate,” he probably can’t — especially in this economy. If you fall for that one, expect a phone call in about a week telling you the bank wouldn’t go for it. Then sit down and steel yourself for the higher rate number.
Just remember, recession-era Ameria is a different place. The auto industry is coming back from a bleak period, but they still need those sales. Expect good prices during the holidays, but remember, you still have to cover the car payments and the insuranc premiums. Do not be afraid to haggle and to get the car salesman to justify every nickel on the invoice. Don’t pay for things you don’t want. Walk out. Trust us. The salesman will come after you.