10 Cheapskate Secrets to Buying a New Car
Buying a new car can be an expensive endeavor, but there are ways to save money and get the best deal possible. Whether you’re in the market for a brand-new vehicle or a used car, these cheapskate tips can help you get the most bang for your buck. From being a cash buyer to considering older models, here are 10 secrets to buying a new car on a budget.
1. Be a Cash Buyer
One of the best ways to save money when buying a car is to pay in cash. By paying the full cost of the vehicle upfront, you can avoid paying interest on a loan and other lender fees. While you may miss out on building credit and possible dealer incentives, some dealerships offer discounts for cash buyers.
2. Get Pre-Approved
If you decide to finance your new car, it’s important to get pre-approved for an auto loan. Dealerships often mark up the rate on financing, so having a pre-approved loan amount can help you avoid extended loan terms and dealer upsells. It may even force the dealership to try and beat your quote.
3. Avoid Extras
When buying a car, it’s important to know which options you want and which ones will cost you extra. Dealerships often offer pricey add-ons like rustproofing, VIN etching, fabric protection, and extended warranties. Remain skeptical about these add-ons and only purchase what you truly need.
4. Know the Total Cost of Owning
Before buying a car, it’s essential to understand the total cost of owning it. Use car calculators provided by websites like Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and AAA to estimate a car’s total cost. Consider factors like depreciation, fuel costs, maintenance and repairs, loan interest, taxes, fees, and insurance premiums.
5. Consider Older/Other Models
If you’re willing to consider older models or alternatives, you can potentially save thousands of dollars on your car purchase. Look into certified pre-owned models or comparative vehicles that have similar features and style to the car you desire. Sometimes, vehicles that have been on the market for only a few months and are selling slowly can be bought for a steal.
6. Go for Manual Transmission
Choosing a manual transmission car instead of a standard one can save you money. With the decreasing market for manual vehicles, you’re likely to score a sweet deal on a used manual car. According to a 2022 Cars.com report, you can save an average of $1,416 by choosing a manual transmission car over a standard one.
7. Time Your Purchase
Timing your car purchase is crucial to getting the best deal. December, the end of the calendar year, is often considered the best time to buy a car as dealers try to push inventory out and meet their sales goals and bonuses. Focus your shopping on the last week of the month, Mondays, and even New Year’s Eve for potential deals and rebates.
8. Buy Below Invoice Price
While it’s unlikely, it’s sometimes possible to buy a car at or below the dealer invoice price. Having multiple competing quotes or taking advantage of customer cash rebates or dealer cash incentives can help you pay under the invoice price.
9. Try a Membership Warehouse Store
Membership warehouses like Costco, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and Sam’s Club offer pre-negotiated pricing and a transparent buying process for cars. They’ve done the legwork for you, providing a guaranteed discount on your car purchase.
10. Walk Away, Literally
If you can’t agree on a fair price with a seller, don’t be afraid to walk away. By walking away, you may receive the dealer’s best offer or find a better deal elsewhere. Salespeople don’t like losing business, so holding out for that final offer when you’re walking out the door can work in your favor.
Bonus Tip: Hold Your Smartphone While Negotiating
Utilize your smartphone to verify market value and financing terms when negotiating with a seller. Having instant access to websites like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book can prevent salespeople from making false claims and help you make informed decisions.
In conclusion, buying a new car doesn’t have to break the bank. By following these 10 cheapskate secrets, you can increase your chances of getting a great deal and saving money on your purchase. Remember to do your research, be prepared, and don’t be afraid to negotiate.