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Even at car dealerships in Langley, BC, you may find pushy salesmen, confusing business practices, and a shopping experience that can be very frustrating.
So don’t go it alone! We’re here with some simple tips you can use when shopping for a new car. Follow these simple rules, and you’re sure to have an easier time at the dealership!
1. Determine Your Budget Beforehand
This is the most important thing you can do. Before you do anything else, determine a reasonable, realistic budget – not only for the total price of the car, but for your monthly payments.
Ideally, your car payment shouldn’t be more than 15-20% of your monthly take-home pay. You should also bear in mind that car insurance usually costs around 10-15% of your monthly pay – so build that into your calculations.
It’s best to use an auto loan calculator to determine your budget. You can see how your monthly payments may vary depending on things like your down payment, the value of trade-ins, the total price of a car, and other factors.
2. Do Your Research – Before You Go In
Once you’ve have a solid idea of your budget, it’s time to start researching which car to buy. There are hundreds of useful resources for doing so, such as the Kelley Blue Book, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power Cars.
You’ll want to look at consumer reviews, product reliability, and overall cost. You should also try to find out the invoice price of the particular model you’re interested in.
Also known as “dealer cost”, the invoice price is the price that appears on the invoice that manufacturers send to dealers when a car is received from the factory. This price gives you a good idea of the true cost of a car without any bells & whistles, so it’s useful to know when negotiating with dealers.
3. Choose Only One Or Two Models To View And Test Drive
Even if you’re interested in 5 or 6 cars at a used cars in Langley, you should only view one or two at a time. Buying a car is tiring and exhausting – and car dealers know it. If you’re trying to test out a half-dozen cars at once, you’re going to end up distracted and weary, and you may end up not making the best financial decision.
So narrow your selection down to only one or two cars – and come back later if there are others you want to view. If you do so, you’ll be able to stay focused, and make your experience much easier.
4. Try To Get Pre-Approved For A Loan
Most auto dealers have particular lenders that they prefer to use, but it’ still a good idea to get pre-approved for an auto loan by a bank or credit union – even if you don’t end up using their services.
There are several benefits to doing so. First, it lets a dealer know that you’re serious about buying a car – and that you’re ready to do so immediately.
Second, providing a dealer with a pre-approved auto loan from another lender may allow you to get a better interest rate, or more favorable lending terms. They usually benefit from using their own lending partners – so they’ll try to sweeten the pot in order to win you over.
Finally, loan pre-approval provides you with some leverage when negotiating. A salesman is more likely to work with you to lower the price of a car if they’re aware that you’re ready to buy. If you don’t have pre-approval, you’ll have less powerful negotiating capabilities.
5. Be Ready To Negotiate
Contrary to popular belief, most modern dealerships are not trying to rip you off with expensive “clear coats” or junk fees on their invoices – but it’s still possible to negotiate a lower price on your car.
So, armed with information like knowledge of the invoice price of the car you’re interested in, the fair price of your current car for trade-ins, and any discounts you may have uncovered during your research, be prepared to negotiate.
You probably won’t be able to knock off a couple thousand dollars – but with proper preparation, you can easily save some money when signing a final sales contract.
Follow These Tips For Dealership Shopping Success!
If you follow this simple, step-by-step guide, you’ll have a much easier time shopping at car dealerships in Langley, BC – and all over Canada! By doing your research, getting pre-approved for a loan, and choosing only a few cars to try during each dealership visit, you can make the experience much less stressful. So follow this guide, make use of our helpful tips, and start the journey towards finding the brand-new car of your dreams!