Insider Information for Car Buyers

Transportation has become a primary need, particularly in a metropolitan area. Employees who cannot afford to stay in the urban commercial center where rents are high prefer to live in the suburbs and drive to work every day. Some people buy cars for practical reasons, and others see cars as investments. If the vehicle being sold is cheap but serviceable, a shrewd car buyer would purchase it.

Some questions to ask if you are planning to buy a car, whether second hand or brand new, are the following. Is the car fit for your lifestyle? Will you be able to use it for years before it starts showing signs of wear? Is the warranty still good? Many buyers go for second hand cars because they cannot afford to pay the price of a brand new one. But any car purchase is important, whether the car is new or not.

Is the car worth the price?

If you’re wondering when you should buy a car, many experienced car buyers would tell you to buy at month’s end. Some rebates may be available during this time, and these rebates are no longer available when the next month starts. A dealer would want to meet his sales quota for the month, and thus, he gives out generous discounts.

Many dealers start thinking about this when the month’s about to end. Most people who want to buy cars start browsing after the 15th, as some good deals may already be available at that time.

Functionality is important

When you enter a dealer’s store, you should have an idea what kind of car you want to buy. Some people stick with their decisions even when exposed to different models that come with attractive extras. It’s easy to fall for a sales talk, especially when the dealer starts talking about features. But not all features that make a car more expensive than others are useful to you. Many dealers start hard selling their more expensive cars this way. The basic thing about buying a car is to only purchase the features that will be functional to you.

Don’t feel pressured to buy and make sure you use your common sense to see through a dealer’s sales talk. After all, the next month, the price may already change.

Sleep on your decision and decide the next day whether you still want the car or not. Buying on impulse is not always good but impulsive buying can happen to anyone, especially if the dealer states that the car may be gone by tomorrow. As we stated above, the next month’s end will bring more discounts and more cars to choose from.

Trusting your instincts

You can usually tell if the deal is good just by observing how the salesman is relating with you. Some non-verbal signs tell you that the car is worth less than its sticker price. Of course, your decision or liking for the car may be affected by the skill of the dealer. But focus on the car and your needs. If the car is too expensive for you, just walk away.

Also, look for options elsewhere. Some cities or towns have few car dealers, so you may have to wait a long time before your dealer caves in and agrees to enter negotiations that are obviously in your favor. However, there are generally more than one car dealers in an area, and their competition may be beneficial for you.

Price on the Invoice

One thing you should remember is that the invoice price may be different from the final price. The invoice price is the amount paid by the dealer to the car manufacturer. Any discount that you were supposed to get depended on the amount in the invoice receipt. Some dealers balk at showing you the invoice because it would give you a clue on how much profit the dealer made by selling you the car at a certain price. You can negotiate better if you know how much the car is really worth considering any discount or incentive, and the profit of the dealer.

Invoice price information is important if you plan on buying a later model used car. The mileage will probably be low and the car will still have manufacturer’s warranty.


The SRP stands for suggested retail price, and this usually comes from the manufacturer. The suggested retail price is the same as the price on the sticker. This amount is usually the price that is being advertised. The SRP is important because you can base your negotiation approach on this price. You can expect to pay less than this amount, but the amount you can save depends on how your negotiations go. The dealer expects a buyer to request a lower price than what’s advertised and will probably adjust their deals accordingly.

What are incentives?

Rebates, bonuses, and extras are parts of a deal that are meant to attract customers. Most of the time, these offers are for cars in the inventory that are not selling as fast as the other models. When you see these offers being promoted, you have to ask yourself why this car is offered at this price or with these incentives. Ask about dealer incentives for a car you want to purchase before buying it.

In general, dealers disclose these incentives, but some may withhold the information to make more profit. Nothing beats window shopping to compare and contrast the deals available for a particular car brand.

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