Buying a car is one of the biggest purchases you will make, but it is also important to think about how much it is going to cost in the long run. That’s why it can be very beneficial to save money where you can when purchasing, so you don’t have to worry too much about future costs. We’ve put together a list of our top 7 tips on how you can save money so that you can buy a car stress-free.
First things first, work out your budget
It is crucial that you outline a budget for yourself, so you can determine whether you can buy new or used and how much you can afford in running costs. You have to be realistic about it. Otherwise, you could run into problems later on, particularly if you little or no savings and your income drops unexpectedly. Consider using a budget planner, and that way, you’ll have a clear idea of how much you can spend.
Bargain via the web
Most dealerships will have web salespeople, so you should take advantage of that. You can still go and test drive, but by talking to the online staff, you can avoid the dreaded add-ons and extra fees that weren’t mentioned in the great deal mentioned in the showroom. It’s also convenient for you, as you can negotiate whenever it suits you.
Try to read up on good deals
If you take some time to get educated on what a good deal looks like, you can save a lot of money. There are plenty of websites that are packed full of great information on buying cars, so it can be really beneficial to know how to spot when you’ve been offered something worth taking.
Don’t be afraid to buy used
If buying a new car doesn’t work for your budget, buying second hand is still just as good. You may be able to negotiate a lower price for a car that has been pre-loved, so be on the look-out for minor damage that may help you lower the cost.
Time the market
It is well-known that cars become cheaper towards the end of the year, from September through to December. If that doesn’t suit your schedule, however, you can sometimes get a better deal at the end of the month if the sales staff are trying to meet their quota.
Pit dealers against each other
The aim of the game here is to start a bidding war for your custom. Once you’ve decided the make and model you’d like, contact a handful of dealers via the web, tell them what you want and when you want to buy. Ask them for their best price, but let them know that you’re speaking to other dealers and plan to give the sale to whoever gives you the best deal. Try to make it a true comparison, so be very clear about what you want and what the price includes to avoid any fees added on later.
Everything is negotiable
Add-on fees are often pre-printed on auto sales contracts, giving the message to buyers that it’s a fixed cost and non-negotiable. This isn’t the case, and smart buyers know it. With enough negotiating, pre-printed numbers can be crossed out, or an equal amount can be subtracted from another point on the same form. Just be smart and recognise where you can haggle the cost.