How to Get the Best Price for Your Trade In

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A car, truck, SUV, or minivan is typically the second largest investment you will make next to a home or condominium. Unfortunately, the depreciation clock starts ticking on a vehicle the moment you drive off the lot. The reality is that over a five-year period, the value of the brand new car you paid $25,000 can depreciate by nearly $15,000, even with average mileage and normal wear and tear. While you typically are not thinking about depreciation when you are wrapped up in buying a new car, knowing what it may be worth in five years can be a valuable negotiating tool. While it is impossible to stop the depreciation clock, there are things you can do to slow it down and get the best price for your trade in.

 

Maintenance is a Priority

The proper care and maintenance of your car, truck, SUV, or minivan is a key factor when you want to get the best price for your trade in. Check your owner’s manual and sure to follow the schedule it provides for routine maintenance. The old standard of changing you oil every 3,000 miles may or may not apply, so it is important to know what the specific manufacturer’s recommendations are for you vehicle.

Aside from routine maintenance, you also want to be sure to address any other concerns as soon as possible. A small squeak or rattle can turn into a major repair in no time, so instead of turning up the radio to drown it out, take a minute to make an appointment to have it checked out by a certified mechanic. In the case of vehicle ownership, it is always better to have a small issue taken care of before it becomes a major problem, which equates into an expensive repair.

You also want to be sure to always keep your repair and maintenance receipts. Most repair facilities have a computerized system that they can access to print out a repair record for your vehicle. While it may take a phone call or a quick stop to get these records, they can very easily convert to cash when it is time to trade in your vehicle.

 

Take Advantage of Internet Resources

Before you even start shopping for a new car, truck, or SUV, spend some time online researching the best price for your trade in. There is a variety of online resources that will give you an estimated trade in value for your vehicle. Most are simply an online form you fill in with you vehicle information, geographical location and specifics such as mileage and options. Use a few different sites so that you can get an average of what the trade in value of your vehicle is in your specific area.

It is also a good idea to run a vehicle history check. Many websites provide vehicle history reports free of charge and can provide you with a complete history of your car, truck, SUV, or minivan. This is especially important if you purchased the vehicle used. Vehicle history reports show accident damage, maintenance and repairs completed at authorized facilities like a dealership and the mileage history. The dealership will typically run its own history report as part of evaluating your trade in, but it is always better to know for yourself before you turn your keys over to an estimator.

 

Learn To Negotiate

As was mentioned before, maintenance records can be easily turned into cash when it comes time to negotiate the best price for your trade in. When you are armed with maintenance records, vehicle history and a few online vehicle valuations, you have more leverage than the typical consumer does when it comes to getting the price you want. Keep in mind that the dealership is a business and wants to make a profit, but being an educated consumer can help you get a price you are happy with instead of just depending on the dealership to offer you what they think your vehicle is worth. The more time you spend online researching your current vehicle and the vehicle you are interested in purchasing, the happier you will be when you drive off the lot in your new car. With all the tools available online, consumers have more power than ever to walk into a car dealership and walk out feeling good about their investment.

 

Getting the best price for your trade in may take some time and research, but when it comes time to head to the dealership, it will be well worth it. The internet and its available resources have completely changed the car buying process and it is important to take advantage of these resources. You also want to be sure that you take care of your car nearly as well as you take care of yourself. Always remember that your vehicle is an investment and the more your put into that investment, the more it will reward you when it comes time to trade in your car, truck, SUV, or minivan on something new.

 

The 4 Things You Need To Know Before Financing A Pre-Owned Car

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You’ve found the shiny, pre-owned car of  your dreams. So now what? Financing a used car can be intimidating. Below are some money saving tips which can give you the upper- hand in making the best financing deal for you.

1. Check your credit:

Credit gives you buying power. It determines the rate and the total amount you will pay over the course of a loan. What a lender looks at isn’t just the FICO score, but how you pay your bills. One late payment can raise your rate as much as half percent. Make sure you get a copy of your credit report before you go shopping. If you’ve had credit issues and need a co-signer, make sure the co-signer has good credit. Even though the co-signer isn’t driving the car, technically they own it too. If you fail to make the payments it will affect your co-signers credit because they will be financially responsible for making the payments on your car, so make sure that you both understand the obligations of that relationship.

2. Come in with extra cards to play:

If you can come in with a pre-approval from an outside lending institution, such as a bank or credit union, you already have the upper hand. According to Nathan Casillas, Finance Manager for Momentum Chevy, “Having pre-approval from a bank or credit union gives the customer an advantage,”  he said. You can play this card in negotiating a good deal. It’s the goal of the dealership to not only sell a car, but to provide financing too. Many times a dealership will beat or match the rate of an outside lending institution. Other factors that will also affect a car purchase to keep in mind are the term or length of the loan and the age of the automobile.

3. Don’t get too hot in the seat:

Even though the shiny car of your dreams is sitting on the car lot, you have to be willing to walk away from it. Negotiation isn’t a one-way street, it means every party gets a part of what they want in the agreement. You may not get everything you want, but the question you should ultimately answer is do you feel you got a fair deal? If you can positively answer that question it will make all the difference in your overall purchase experience.

4. It’s all on paper:

The last part of the process is putting your name on the dotted line. Read the contract carefully. You don’t have to read the small gray print, but make sure the contract has the agreed upon terms and the numbers make sense. There are no stupid questions , don’t be afraid to ask the finance manager if you don’t understand something in the contract. It’s all about doing your homework. A little research goes a long way. If you follow these tips you will not only drive away in the shiny  pre-owned automobile of your dreams, but you will feel good about the purchase you’ve made and the financing you’ve agreed to.   Now that you know how to finance your car, search for one!

Don’t Fix That Car! (Well, don’t fix it yourself…)

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We all know that “one guy” who is looking to save money by taking the DIY route. He’ll google how to change a break light, or watch a YouTube video about fixing his breaks, or maybe he just uses good old-fashioned duct tape! Now, there’s nothing wrong with trying to save a little money, but generally this at home repairs are quick fixes that end up costing you more in the long run.

Automobiles are far more complicated these days, and many require a knowledgeable mechanic who specializes in a particular brand. Some people believe the price of maintenance is expensive at the dealership, but it’s important to remember you get what you pay for. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) products are so important. Although they might be slightly more in cost these products are always available at the dealership and often the equipment comes with a warranty unlike aftermarket products.  If the dealership doesn’t have the part often times they can get it from another dealership or have it shipped over night from the warehouse.`

We’ve noticed that most people don’t know the cost of service at a dealership can sometimes be negotiated, especially if you have established a friendly working relationship with your preferred dealership. Often, a service advisor will knock off 10 percent, or give you an additional service, such as washing your car, for no cost.

Dealerships have the right tools needed to do the job. We all know what happens when you try to use a hammer to secure a screw in the wall, eventually the screw will fall out of the wall breaking all your Aunt Edna’s fine china (Sorry again, Aunt Edna). The same applies to car maintenance. The professional mechanic has the proper tools and the right knowledge to not use a hammer and a screw.

Many dealerships are also a one-stop shop. They have everything from after-market products to tires, making it super convenient for customers. And if you don’t feel like waiting for your car while it is being fixed many dealerships have a service which will take you home or they might offer a loaner car.

Dealerships are trying to find new ways to keep customers happy. Some Chevrolet dealerships have café’s inside that serve full meals such as hand-pressed hamburgers and spun shakes. Lexus dealers have a cappuccino bar stocked with bagels and pastries. Some dealerships even have a safe place for kids to play. At the very least, most of them offer free-wifi so you can get some work done while waiting!

It has been said that it isn’t “what you know, but who you know.” the same applies to working with a service advisor. Customers who regularly request to work with a particular advisor which they have established a relationship with, find the service advisor works hard for them to get back on the road in a timely manner.

When thinking about car service don’t go for DIY, instead go for DIR (Do It Right), and call you dealer service!

Guest post by Shanna Web

How To Find A Great Car Salesperson

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Automobile shopping isn’t always a fairy tale. There are so many options for purchasing a vehicle today, that the process itself can be discouraging and often overwhelming. When it comes to a car Salesperson, we all know the stereotype; sleazy, pushy, and more concerned about their own salary then getting you the type of car you want. Of course, like all stereotypes, that picture we have in our head of a car Salesperson isn’t always true. If you find the right Salesperson, who is willing to work with you and help you find what you’re looking for, it can change your entire experience of purchasing a car.

To help you when it comes to determining if you’ve found a good Salesperson, we’ve put together a short list of tips and tricks for finding a Salesperson that will work for you!

1. Personality:

A great salesperson will greet you with a smile and a warm welcome. They won’t be pushy or anxious. They will shake your hand firmly and make eye contact.

2. Listening:

A great salesperson will use qualifying questions to lead you straight to your dream car. Asking valid questions shows that salesperson is listening. Not listening is one of the biggest complaints customers have about automobile shopping, and understandably so! You are about to make a big purchase, and you should be able to get what you are looking for, not what the Salesperson thinks you’re looking for. That being said, if you feel like you’ve found a good salesperson, be open to their suggestions! They may have some options that you don’t know about, and it may be a good fit for you and your lifestyle!

3. The “Walk-A-Around”:

You want to make sure the salesperson shows you the cool, exciting features of the car you chose. They’re also proving they know their stuff. They’ve continued their education on the product shows they are serious about their craft and that’s the kind of salesperson you want on your team.

4. The Test-Drive:

This is the point in which most buyers determine if they love or hate a car. A great salesperson will take a drive with you and continue to talk about the features and benefits. There is nothing wrong with “soft selling,” but some Salespeople see at as an opportunity to close a sale. A good Salesperson understands that Test-drives are an opportunity for a customer to become acclimated to the vehicle, and that should be their first priority.

5. Negotiations:

Many dealerships employ the “let me check with my manager tactic”, which usually means the buyers end up in long winded negotiations. Look for a salesperson who will be up front, let’s you speak with their manager directly, and doesn’t prolong the signing process.

6. Proper Delivery:

So you’ve bought your new/new to you car, and you are at the dealership to pick it up. Does the car have a full tank of gas? Is the automobile cleaned? And lastly, does the salesperson reiterate that he/she is always available if you should have questions? Does the salesperson follow-up no later than three days after the purchase to make sure you are happy with your purchase?

Buying a car can be a stressful process, and your Salesperson is there to help, not hinder. It may not always be a fairy tale, but with these tips, you can find the right Salesperson to get you your happy ending!