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How to Be Taken Seriously at a Dealership and Negotiate a Great Deal

Woman at a car dealership

You’ve saved up your down payment, you’ve been dreaming of your new ride, and now it’s time to buy. But a lot of people dread going into the dealership: the slimy car salesman stereotype, the hurdle of negotiations, and the uncertainty of how the process works can all be a bit daunting. But you don’t need to stress about it when you go in prepared. Here’s how to get dealership employees to take you seriously so you can negotiate a great deal. 

Determine Your Dealership

The first thing you want to consider is the actual dealership and salesperson you want to work with. Most people find the vehicle first and let that lead them to the dealer. But if you have a dealership and salesperson you are loyal to, they will be loyal to you. When you build those relationships over time, you know you can trust the person you’re working with, and they know that you’ve done your research and know your stuff. 

Figure Out Your Budget

Decide what you want to spend on a vehicle before you ever start shopping for one. This will keep you from being bulldozed at the dealership and pressured into a higher price or monthly payment. Keep in mind salespeople will try to sell you on the monthly payment. But you should look at the overall cost of the vehicle because it is easy to do extended loan terms on new vehicles these days. And before you know it, you are still upside down on a vehicle after five years of payments. It’s better to start with your overall budget for the vehicle and stick to it.


Learn about Your Dream Car

When you decide on the price, it’s time to do your research on the type of vehicle you want. Before you ever step foot on a dealer lot, you need to know the specifications of the vehicle you want to purchase. Include safety ratings and check out Consumer Reports. Sales staff will know you are not messing around when you can tell them more about the vehicle than even they know. While researching, you should also look at National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) values and Kelley Blue Book values. Most dealers and lenders use NADA, but it never hurts to have more knowledge about the vehicle you want to purchase. If you have a solid idea of what the vehicle is worth, the sales team will know you have done your research.


Find the Right Time

The best way to get a good deal on a new vehicle is to go at the end of the month. This is when salespeople are way more motivated to sell vehicles. Dealerships and sales professionals rely on the commission from selling, and if they don’t sell enough, their wages suffer. They want to make money just as much as you want to buy a new car or truck. The closer you are to the last day of the month, the better deal you are going to get, and the more likely you are to close on the sale.


Get Pre-Qualified

Get pre-qualified before you go into the dealership. This way, you know what rate you should be getting. If you have no idea what you qualify for, you could be shocked by the interest rate the dealer is offering. If you already know what you can get elsewhere, you’re in a better position to bargain, and you can recognize a good deal when you see it. 


Buying a vehicle should be fun, not stressful. Following these tips can help make that a reality for you. And when you’re ready to see what you qualify for with your next auto loan, RMCU can help you out. Get in touch with one of our personal loan officers, and get all the details you need to negotiate at the dealership. Happy car hunting!

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