A San Diego Union-Tribune report some years back implied that not only were women buying more new cars, but there were more women making car-buying decisions. Fast forward to 2014, reports suggest a similar trend: according to CNW Market Research, 39 percent of money spent on new vehicles in December 2013 were contributed by women and that ladies were buying pricier rides. This is probably why auto shows are now attracting women.
Unfortunately, females still suffer from the ‘clueless car buyer’ stereotype. Many still believe women cannot buy cars on their own and that they need the help of the opposite sex. If you are a female San Diego resident out to buy a car, don’t think for one moment that this belief is true. With these tips, you can manage buying a car on your own and get a good deal too!
Start with a budget
The first step in the car buying process must start with knowing what you can afford, and this applies to both men and women. Determine what you can afford. Take into consideration not only the cost of financing but the overall cost of car ownership: make sure to compute expenses of insurance, fuel as well as maintenance and repair. The amount you should spend covering the aforementioned expenses must only be 20 percent of your take-home pay. Head on over to the website of the National Auto Dealers Association and take advantage of their cost-to-own feature when you make your computation. When you negotiate with the dealer, stick to the price you set and refuse to be swayed.
Do your homework
A smart buyer is an informed buyer. Approach the car buying process armed with information. Doing research is easy thanks to the Internet, as almost all important resources can be found there. For car prices, the best sources include Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, Autotrader.com, TrueCar.com and CarsDirect.com. Search online for financing rates, too: find out what auto lenders are offering so you can avoid being overcharged.
Shop for financing first
If you can pay for the car in cash, go ahead. If not, shop for a loan before you shop for a car. It is true that dealers often offer unbeatable deals (i.e., zero percent financing) but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider other options. Banks and credit unions may not be able to offer such deals, but an auto loan from them allows you to be a cash buyer and be in a better negotiating position.
Stick with what you need
Determine what kind of car you need and what features are a must. Once you figure it out, insist on it when you are in the dealership. Expect to be offered a lot of extras or ‘freebies’ when you are at the dealership. Accept these only if you truly need them and if you will not be charged extra for it.
Begin the transaction online
To get a good deal, postpone your visit to the dealerships. Communicate with dealers through email first. Choose about five dealerships in your area and send them an email asking for their best price offer for the car you want. Doing this will let you get a range of prices and enable you to haggle for a good one. Inform the other dealers about the lowest price quote you have received and see if they would match it. If you are happy with the price, go to the showroom of the dealership which offered you the lowest price (or that which matched it) with the Internet quote. Test drive the vehicle but don’t feel pressured to buy there.
Do business with the right salesperson
Car salesmen have a bad reputation for a reason. However, you should try to find one you can do business with without feeling uneasy. If you are unhappy with the way you are treated or you think you are not getting the information you need, ask for someone else. It would help to establish a relationship with the Internet salesman through a number of emails; when you go to the showroom to negotiate, deal with the individual who gave you the quote.
Buy at the right time
Time your auto purchase at the end of the month. If possible, time it at the end of December, particularly the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Dealers have monthly and yearly quotas to meet, and they would do what they need to in order to meet them. This means they are more likely to offer you a better deal just to get cars off the lot.
Another good time to buy is when brand new models are about to arrive. Take note of when the new rides are coming because the dealers will be more willing to negotiate on the outgoing ones.