Getting a good deal on a car – either a new car or a used one, can be a long and challenging process. I’ve talked about it a length in a previous post – How to Negotiate a Good Deal on a Car. However, I now have a new resource to help you get the best deal. My biggest tip was to do extensive research prior to making your vehicle purchase. Cars.com has some terrific resources to help you accomplish that whole research step. This is a critical step BEFORE you enter into any negotiations with a dealer or a private party.
Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post from Cars.com. I was compensated for this review, but as always, my opinions are always my own.
How MUCH Can you Save on a Car Purchase with Cars.com?
There is a big gap between getting a great deal on a car and paying too much. It can literally be thousands of dollars. I found that out first-hand when helping my middle son buy his car. I went with him. We’d done our research and negotiated the deal very well to get him the best price we could.
When we got the car home, we found an invoice in the glove box from the previous owner. This girl had bought the car about two months previously and apparently couldn’t keep it. She had paid THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS MORE than we’d paid. Exact same car, same time frame – HUGE price difference. That really drove home to us the value of doing our research and negotiating hard on the price, even if it’s a little uncomfortable for you.
Start Out with the Facts in your Pocket from Cars.com
Especially if you are working with a dealership, these are trained sales professionals who know all the tricks to get every dollar possible out of your pocket. You do NOT want to step foot on that lot until you know exactly what type of vehicle you want, what other dealers are offering it for, how many are available in your area, etc. That is where Cars.com can be really helpful.
Then you are coming into the car dealership with an air of confidence and maybe even a notebook or a spreadsheet with some good data. That is going to ensure you are treated much more respectfully than the average buyer who is willing to let the salesperson take charge of the negotiation. That never ends well. It doesn’t end well for the buyer anyway!
Play the Game to WIN!
Even if you are dealing with a private party, you can still prevail in the negotiations. If you come prepared with the data on exactly what their car is worth and what similar cars are selling for, that will help a lot. Really, how much is your time worth when making a car purchase? If you get on Cars.com and spend a couple of hours comparing different models and checking the pricing, that can be worth hundreds of dollars per hour in the negotiation! So, I think that is an excellent use of your time.
It definitely is a game and I have no problem in playing the game. I bring along a tablet and when the dealer steps away to “ask his boss” about the deal. (Really, they are just talking about the sports scores from last night’s game). I make sure to whip out my phone or tablet and pull up a website like Cars.com to show him some data and tip the negotiation back my way. I can’t say I like the process, but I do LOVE being able to help my son save $3,000 of his hard-earned dollars.