Credit: Sam Pack Five Star Ford Dallas/Facebook
It�s the holiday season and if you listen to the Car Pro Show, you know what that means: it�s the very best time of the year to buy a new set of wheels. That typically means busier than normal times at Car Pro dealerships, but don�t let that deter you, otherwise you could miss out on incredible incentives that come as dealers and automakers try to make their year-end sales goals. It�s an even more critical time this year as the industry tries to make up for sales lost in the early days of Covid in the spring.
If you choose to visit a Car Pro dealership over the next few weeks, know that our dealers are adhering to strict CDC protocols to keep you and their employees safe in these times. They are social distancing and sanitizing their showrooms, as well as vehicles for test drives. While some people will choose to shop and buy online from home, others will mask up and visit the showroom in person. If that�s you, it may take a little more patience than usual, but with our tips, you�ll have a great car buying experience, especially if you visit one of our Car Pro certified dealers as a VIP, and we�ll explain how to become a VIP below.
1. Do your vehicle research before you get to the dealership. Have a good idea of the vehicle(s) you want to test drive. Bring a list of features most important to you.
2. Don�t arrive without knowing your credit score and your budget. Also understand as much as you can about finance options available to you. We have a financing guide here.
TIP: Give your dealer a chance to get you a better interest rate. It often can. If the dealer can save you a quarter to half a percent on interest, let it have the business and you pocket the savings.
3. Also have a good idea of whether you want to lease or buy before you arrive. Understand mileage limits. It�s also a good idea to know Leasing terminology ahead of time.
TIP: Don�t get caught up in a lower monthly payment if there is any risk of driving over the mileage limits. It�ll cost you a pretty penny in the end. Also, stay away from third-party lease companies.
4. Consider shopping for car insurance beforehand to gauge how much they will add to your cost of ownership. You don�t want to be hit with an unpleasant monthly payment surprise after your purchase. Liability limits are just one factor.
5. At the dealership, don�t wait to ask questions. First, you want to ask the dealership for its process. It can vary from dealership to dealership. Knowing the dealer�s process can help things move more quickly, more smoothly and without any guesswork.
TIP: Bad dealerships would never want to disclose their process to car buyers upfront for one simple reason: it is all about control.
6. Be straight-forward and up front. You don�t want a dealer to play games, and you shouldn�t either. To help things move faster, disclose trade-ins or credit issues up front. The sooner the salesperson knows about them he or she can get your trade-in evaluated quickly and also start working to resolve financial hurdles.
7. Don�t skimp on the crucial test drive. Ideally, you�ll take a test drive during the week when a salesperson has more time to give you. If you can�t make that happen, be an early bird. Schedule your appointment for first thing in the morning if you�re really averse to crowds. Regardless of when you take it, a test drive is a must before buying any new vehicle. It�s a huge factor in avoiding buyer�s remorse.
TIP: When you make your test drive appointment, ask for a 30-minute test drive at a minimum.
8. Don�t rush the finance paperwork. Always take the time to read what you sign. Make sure the numbers match what you agreed to.
TIP: Look at every line on the finance contract that has a dollar amount next to it. You will see normal charges for tax, title, and license, but if there are any added items, they must be broken out on the contract itself, so they are easy to spot.
December 17, 2020