#6: DON’T GET GREEDY
Unfortunately, you’re not always going to get a sweetheart deal, so if you’ve hit a number on or below what you budgeted to spend, seriously consider closing the sale. “There’s nothing wrong with asking for a discount even when the price is at fair market value,” Geraghty says. “But don’t automatically walk away from a deal simply because the car’s priced at its value without being marked down.” Before you buy, it’s good practice to pay a mechanic you trust to give the car a once-over to make sure you won’t be driving off in a lemon.
#7: LEAVE THE HOLDBACK ALONE
The holdback is a hidden rebate dealers get from the manufacturer for each new car sold. (You can find out which cars offer them by going to Edmunds Data Base of Current Holdbacks.) It allows them to sell a car below the invoice price and still make money on the deal. Your best bet is to leave this alone; most salespeople aren’t willing to dip into the holdback, so pushing the issue might turn things sour. However, if you’re in the final stages of negotiations and the salesperson pulls out the old “I’m not making any money on this car” routine, let them know you know they’re getting additional profit via the holdback.
#8: ACCEPT THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE TO WALK AWAY
Finding the right car isn’t always a quick process, so prepare for the long haul. It sounds insane, but some people end up signing the paperwork simply because they’re worn out or tired of looking at cars. Don’t fall into that trap and get stuck paying for something you’ll hate driving. If you feel uneasy about what you’re buying or think you’re getting rooked, politely thank the salesperson or seller, and walk away. If they contact you with a better deal, great. If not, it’s back to square one.