Aaah, that new car smell, so, so seductive. If you’ve decided its absolutely time for a new set of wheels, there are steps you can take to make buying a new car way more affordable.
By adopting a few crafty approaches in your new car buying process you really can avoid paying top dollar for the privilege of enjoying that new car smell. Whatever you do, be smart and you’ll soon discover you don’t need to spend as much as everyone else does to put a brand new car in your driveway.
Here are five ways you go about landing that red-hot deal:
- Timing Is Everything
Even when it comes to buying a new car, timing counts. The time of the year you go on the prowl for those new wheels can have a significant impact on how much or how little you pay for your fabulous new car.
If you time your run to coincide with the end of the financial year or the end of the quarter and you could score yourself a lovely deal indeed. In the run-up to the end of the financial year, dealers are often desperate to hit their sales targets for the year or in some cases, to beat last year’s record.
The same goes for the end of each quarter. Dealers have quarterly targets and you could be the difference between hitting their sales target and missing it. Regardless of their motivation, dealers are much quicker to offer great deals or load you up with free extras at this time of the year.
Similarly, if you don’t mind paying for an older model, you can also get good deals in December as manufacturers push dealers to sell that year’s overhanging inventory before the calendar year ends and new year stock hits the sales room floor. So think December and June to maximise your chances of a great deal.
2. Look For Demo Model Cars
Demo models are the working stock dealers use to take prospective buyers on a test drive. These cars usually spend most of their time sitting in the showroom and typically have low kilometres.
Usually, they come fully equipped with a full complement of the top of the range accessories. At some point, the dealer changes over their demo fleet to bring in new models. That’s is your golden opportunity to score a bargain.
When shopping for a new car always ask the dealer if they have any demo models for sale. These cars represent incredible savings compared to new models. While a good demo car may not be as cheap as a brand new base model vehicle, it will come loaded all of those additional features ensuring you more bang for your new car buck.
Just be careful to check all handles, buttons, and levers as these may have experienced a bit of wear and tear depending on how many test drivers have played around with them while they were in the showroom.
3. Engage A Finance Broker
Finance may not be your idea of the best way to save money. However, very few of us have sufficient money in our account to buy a car outright for cash. So, if most of us are going to finance our new set of wheels, we may as well be smart about how we do it.
So, saving money on your loan is a good place to start and using a broker is a great starting point. Using a broker allows you to cut down on your financing costs by avoiding dealer finance, which is often overpriced and comes laden with unfriendly terms and conditions.
When you use a broker, they will go to the market to source a range of competitive rates giving you the option of choosing the finance package that best suits your needs.
Once you have your finance arranged, you can head to the dealer secure in the knowledge that your buying power is safe in your pocket.
This gives you great leverage when negotiating with the dealer. You may even be able to finesse a few add-on accessories as a deal sweetener. Something many dealers are notoriously reluctant to do when they are doing you the ‘favour’ of organising your finance for you.
4. Shop Around
Once you have done your research and have a feeling for the standard price range for your car, the next thing you need to do is get free price quotes. The more dealers you work with, the greater the likelihood that one will sell it to you at a lower price than their competitors.
Hop online and let your mouse do all the work through online websites such as CarSales.com.au and discountnewcars.com.au
Once they contact you, advise them up front you are looking at multiple dealers. Provide them with all the details on the car you are looking for and ask them to give you their best price including all dealer fees.
5. Never Do A Deal Based On The Monthly Payment
Car dealerships love nothing more than to discuss a deal based on monthly payments as they know most people are looking to get the most car for their buck and budget their car expenses on a monthly basis.
However, this is a guaranteed way to let the dealer take you for a ride. There is a range of tricks a dealer can use in finessing the financing element of the deal to make the regular monthly payments for your car more affordable.
Unfortunately, this usually results in the total costs of ownership being increased dramatically over the life expectancy of your new car.
Whenever a dealer or finance staff member starts talking monthly payments bring them gently but firmly back to focusing on the total purchase price and stay focused on that point.
You will likely frustrate the staff, which usually means you are doing exactly what you need to be doing to get the best deal available!
Bonus Tip: Watch Out For Dealer Additions And Hidden Fees
Before signing anything, always double check all the paperwork to ensure the price quoted and trade-in value reflect your agreed prices. Always add up the numbers personally, don’t rely on the dealer.
Avoid being lured in accepting options extras such as tinted windows or rust-proofing. These are often the most profitable part of a deal for the dealership and heavily premium priced and far more expensive than comparable after-market services.
Consumers frequently rate negotiating over a new car as being one of their worst buying experiences and there’s a good reason for that. From the moment you step onto a dealer’s lot, you are faced with a flurry of great sounding options from accessories to financing. Being smart about how you approach the process can make the difference between getting a great deal, or being taken for a ride. So, remember the next time you’re in the market for a new car, get your timing right, use a finance broker, inquire about the demo models and shop around. In isolation, any one of these tips will save you money. Use all of them and you’ll be surprised at how much you can shave off the cost of a new car.