Impressed by the 2015 Dodge Challengers, I Bought a Challenger and here are 5 Car Buying Tips
Earlier this week I added a 2014 Dodge Challenger to my garage (don’t worry the Porsche is still there as well). The car was the SXT Plus with the performance package. Since this will be used primarily on the street I went with the V6 over V8 as the performance is more than enough for public roads and it gets better gas mileage.
As you may recall we experienced the 2015 Challenger lineup (including the SRT Hellcat) not that long ago. I was pretty impressed with them and decided to add a Challenger to the garage. So, with the 2015s on their way I thought now would be the time to get a good deal on a 2014 as they make room for the new cars. By doing this I did miss out on the silky smooth eight-speed automatic transmission, but you can’t always have everything and save money.
In purchasing the car I was able to put my negotiating skills to the test. I got a good deal and below I’m sharing some tips that I learned or used along the way.
5. Have Your Information Ready
If you are planning on financing the car and don’t already have a loan lined up through a credit union or bank, then having your information handy makes the process much faster.
Before going to the dealer make sure to have this information:
- Write down the names of two unrelated acquaintances that you have known for over two years. Also, write their addresses and phone numbers.
- Write down the names of two family members and make sure to include their addresses and phone numbers.
- Write down your current employers information, including their address, phone number and your start date. Do the same for past employers going back 5 years and beyond the information above include your end date.
- Write down your current address as well as your past addresses going back 5 years.
4. Have Bargaining Leverage
It is always good to have some leverage when negotiating the price. For example with the 2014 Dodge Challenger that I just purchased I used the fact that the 2015s will be in showrooms in September and that they need to make space for them to try and get the price down more. Also make sure to do your research to figure out how much you should be paying for that car.
Sales people will usually negotiate in monthly payments as they are lower numbers. Take a calculator (or use the app on your phone) to multiply the payments by the number of months to figure out what you are paying for the car. This then lets you know how much over the sticker price you are actually paying.
3. Start Very Low
Car dealers will always try to get you to come up a bit on the price, so starting much lower than where you want to be is a good idea. When I mean low, I mean real low. If you want your payments to be $500 a month start by saying you can do $200 a month. And make them get you up to $500. If they go over $500 during the negotiation then just stay firm on that is your top price.
But having said this once they get you to the monthly payment, try to get them back to negotiating based on the price. The calculator that you bring is a great way to say, but the price of the car is actually this if the payments go that high. And them let them know what price you want to pay for the car.
2. Watch for the Second Sale
I encountered the second sale tactic when I purchased my car. I negotiated a price that I was comfortable with and payments that worked, so I was ready to go and sign the loan documents and be off in the new car.
However, once we got in the financing office all of the sudden the guy started writing stuff on a piece of paper. He said let me do something real quick that will save you money long term. Then he handed me a paper with some add-ons that raised the monthly payment by $200.
The reason for the price increase was the addition of an extended warranty, gap insurance, LoJack and 5 years of oil changes and tire rotation maintenance. We then started a second negotiation with me asking what is it if I take this off or that off, etc. In the end I decided to add gap insurance, but declined everything else (but there was some hard selling of the extended warranty, especially). This did raise the monthly payment, but only by about $10.
1. Be Ready to Leave
This is the number one thing when it comes to negotiating. There was a time during my car buying experience when the price was just too high for what I wanted to pay. I then told them that I’m not comfortable with that price and if they can’t give me the price I was asking for at that time that I would just have to leave and see if another dealership could match the price I wanted.
Most dealerships don’t want you to walk off the lot. Once you do that chances are that you won’t be back anytime soon. So, make sure not to get too attached to that car as being willing to not buy it is sometimes the smartest thing. If the dealer won’t get to a price that you are comfortable with just thank them for their time and start walking out. Most of the time your price all of the sudden is more reasonable to them.