When shopping for your new vehicle it should be a pleasant experience. Bringing home a new car is exciting and something you should look forward to, not dread. If you’ve ever purchased a vehicle before you know that you can spend all day at the dealership. From looking, talking and test driving to applying, paper work, getting quote on your trade-in and finance. The process is a long one because the car note is a big commitment, that is unless you are paying cash then it’s a little simpler.
I recently bought a new vehicle, a 2010 Chevy Malibu to be exact. I want to share some of my time saving strategies that I learned in the process.
- Google is your best friend. Do some research. Once you know which Manufacture you are interested in look online for your closest dealership. Example: Chevrolet lists all their dealerships through a ‘Find A Dealer’ tab at the top of their site which goes by your zip code.
- Build your own. Most Manufacture websites have the option for you to build your own vehicle on their website. For instance Chevy shows all three models of the Malibu and you can select options or de-select them depending on your preference. This also helps you get an idea of cost of the vehicle you are looking at. It’s another great way to read about each model of vehicle before going into the dealership so you get a better idea of what’s important to you.
- Decide on options. When browsing the website for the car you love look at all the options. Make note of the ones that are most important to you. Only drive red vehicles? Make sure you let the salesman know that up front, it cuts down on time. My requirements were: remote start, OnStar, Taupe Gray Metallic, DVD players installed in headrests and the 1LT model. Once I had decided on the Chevy Malibu having those options confirmed narrowed down the search drastically.
- Contact a Salesman. You would be surprised at how much you can accomplish through emails and phone calls. By contacting the dealership closest to you they will be more than happy to put you in contact with a Salesman. And if they aren’t?… then you don’t want to go there, call another one. The Salesman can help you locate the vehicle you are most interested in and discuss any questions you have. Although you can find all the Manufacture sales/rebates online, he can go over that with you also. They had $3000 off MSRP on the 2010 Malibu when I purchased it and it was ending that week, thank goodness I found out and pushed my sale up two days.
- Schedule an appointment. Make an appointment. Just like anything else in your busy schedule, fit it in when it’s convenient for you. The Salesmen love appointments, they help them plan their days as well. So instead of going into a dealership asking for the next available person, you know someone will be ready.
- Torn between two? A serious car buyer but just can’t decide? No problem. 9 times out of 10 the dealership will be happy to loan you a vehicle to test drive for a day or two. You love the Malibu but you think the Impala may work better for your family… Explain your debate to the Salesman and I’m sure he’d be happy for you to try them both. You never know what you may decide after driving it more than ten minutes.
- Take steps. Don’t feel pressured to accomplish everything in a day or two. You don’t want to have burn out from the experience where you aren’t excited about your new car. Break up the steps above in the order which best fits your needs and on your schedule. You want to be happy with your decision.
Recently buy a new car or planning to? Have a great tip you want to share? We’d love to hear it in the comments below.