I can't think of too many things less enjoyable than shopping for a car. Hemorrhoids? Maybe. A tax audit? It's a toss up. The fact is that I can never seem to shake that feeling that I'm about to be swindled when I'm buying a car, especially if it's a used one.
I know that buying between August and October or at the end of a calendar month means more discounts. And I plan to settle for a smaller model and to make sure I get blue-book value for my trade-in. But I started wondering if there were other ways I could save even more money, which is when I came across these tips you may also find useful the next time you go car hunting.
Sign Up for Carperks
Haggling is part of the experience of buying a car. But if you're like me and would rather have a bikini wax than haggle with a car salesman, Carperks is for you. They work with over 5,200 car dealers nationwide and help you save money whether you're buying used or new or leasing. When you register with the site, you start a search for your vehicle of choice at a dealer near you. In turn, Carperks sends you a certificate with their pre-negotiated discounted price, so all the haggling is already done for you. You can also download their Carperks app at iTunes. Best of all, the service is free.
Another way to get over your fear of face-to-face haggling is to do it online. It's easy to be intimidated when negotiating in the showroom office, and you may sign up for all types of add-ons and upgrades you don't need. As a virtual car buyer, you're removed from the high-pressure environment of a car lot and can easily find the courage to get the deal you want. It's best to haggle online after you've already inspected the car and done the test drive. Also, so you never have to return to the lot, have the salesman bring the papers to your home to sign off on the deal.
I've been guilty of thinking that the only thing I could get a deal on is the sticker price of the car. Don't make my mistake. Negotiate everything included with buying your car, such as warranties, interest rate, add-ons such as rust proofing, and all those not-so-hidden fees. The salesman may make it seem like their prices are fixed, but remember, you hold the power. If they won't budge, hightail it to another dealer.
Maximize Savings When Taking Over a Lease
If you prefer to lease rather than finance your vehicle, you can save money with programs that are designed to allow you to take over another person's lease, such as AutoLeaseBreakers. Think about it: The previous owner has already made payments on the lease and other upfront fees and taken most of the brunt of the depreciation. But, to make the most savings out of lease takeovers, find out if the initial lease-holder made a substantial down payment — about $2,500 to $3,000 — or look for distressed owners who are motivated to pay you to take over their leases. And, of course, don't forget to negotiate the value of the lease you're taking over.
This has been a guest post by Andrea from Ontario, Canada
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