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Buying Your Next Car


If you in the market for a new car, you have probably done your research on the vehicle you would like to purchase, but have you done your homework on the dealerships that sell them? There are a few things to consider when you enter the dealership zone. Knowing these industry tricks can save you thousands.

Trading your car? Do some research before handing it over to the dealerships. You could get more by selling it yourself, than what a dealership will offer you. Selling the car yourself may require more time and patience but the money you will save could help considerably toward the purchase of your new car. If you would rather trade it in, check www.Edmunds.com for the "true market value" of your car. Also, have a trusted mechanic inspect your vehicle first. Get written estimates for any repairs that your vehicle may need done. Do not present this to the dealership right away. If they catch the damages, then present the information you have. A dealership will charge you more for needed repairs. Should the written estimates not make a difference in price at the dealership, you may want your mechanic fixing these repairs before you trade in your car. Taxes can also make a difference whether you sell it or trade it in. Let us suppose you sell your car, on your own, for $20,000. You will have to pay sales tax on the entire amount. However, if you trade it in and get $10,000 to go toward the price of the new car, that sales tax was just cut in half.

Vehicle manufacturers have recently started offering cash rebates and special employee discounts to all consumers. These are great deals. Check with the manufacturer through their website if that is a promotion they are running on the vehicle you want. Manufacturers will also try to promote the sale of an older model vehicle or a model that did not make the most popular list. In order to see if the vehicle you want qualifies for such a promotion, go to www.cars.com. Once you acquire this knowledge, keep it to yourself. Revealing these secrets, may make the negotiation process at the dealership a little hostile.

Now, you know how much your car is going to cost before you walk into the dealership. However, they may not have the car you want without all the added features which can get pretty pricey. Spoilers, pin stripes and antitheft systems, are all examples of extra options. If they do not have the car you want without these features, request that they have one shipped to the dealership. In which case, they will charge you a shipping cost. However, this shipping cost may be less expensive than the features already on the car in the lot. You should not only pay attention to the features on the car, but also to the features on your bill. "Administration fees" are negotiable and sometimes they will remove it if the buyer questions it. However, most buyers do not know to ask. Question everything on the bill, especially if you do not understand something. Common charges are taxes, documentation fee plus the license and registration fee.

Now that you are armed with the vehicle information, order your three credit reports, with scores, so you can be prepared to discuss the financial aspects of your purchase. Know what your credit report says about you, this is your buying power. The better your credit, the more you can negotiate to get the deal you want. It is a legitimate practice for the dealership to get a cut of the loan for your car. However, it is not legitimate for the dealership to steer you toward a high interest loan or one that gives them the highest kickback. Shop around for a loan on your own. Check your bank or if applicable, your credit union for an approval. There are online sites that can assist you with the comparison of rates, such as, www.bankrate.com or www.e-loan.com.

Buying a car is exciting but it can also be very stressful. Make sure you do your research and be as educated as possible before you enter the dealership. Many of the sites that are mentioned above can also be of assistance if you are buying a car from a private seller. Lastly, do not let the dealers intimidate you. Should you have questions during your visit, ask. If you do not receive a satisfactory answer, speak to someone else. You are making a big purchase, do not succumb to their tricks. If you do not feel comfortable with the information you receive or their customer service, take your business some place else. It is your money!

Copyright (c) 2006 Debt Management Credit Counseling Corp.

Submitted by:

Pete Glocker

Pete Glocker is employed in the Education and Charitable Services Department at Debt Management Credit Counseling Corp. (“DMCC”), a 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization located in Boca Raton, Florida. Pete graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a BA in Multimedia Journalism and was a web producer Intern for Tribune Interactive products Sun-Sentinel.com and SouthFlorida.com. DMCC provides free financial education, personal budget counseling, and debt management plans to consumers across the United States. Debt management plans offered by DMCC help consumers relieve the stress of excessive debt by reducing credit card interest rates, consolidating and lowering monthly payments, and stopping collection calls and late fees. DMCC financial counselors can be reached for free education materials, budget counseling and debt management plan quotes by calling 866-618-DEBT or by visiting http://www.dmcccorp.org. Pete Glocker can be reached by email at pete@dmcccorp.org.





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