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How to score the best deal when shopping for a new car

People say the biggest purchase you’ll likely make in your lifetime is a house. That may be true, but it’s not to say that all the other purchases in your life are unimportant. Consider shopping for a new car, for example. Spending tens of thousands of your hard-earned dollars isn’t something to be taken lightly.

Because the truth is, there are numerous ways to save money when shopping for a new car. Let’s go over some of them and see how they can help you get the most out of such an important transaction. Here’s how to get the best deal on a new car.

Have an idea of what you want

It’s totally OK to wander into Northwest Toyota and say “hey, I want a new car. What you got?” We would be more than happy to show you the latest and greatest. But there’s this great new thing called The Internet where you can go to get all sorts of info on basically every car that ever was. There’s stuff from the brands themselves, full reviews from world-renowned newspapers, and scores of videos on YouTube. Arm yourself with knowledge, including the knowledge of what you want, before you start the actual shopping process. But then, once that shopping process starts in earnest, make sure you get out and get your butt in as many seats as possible. This is when to head to the dealership, once you’ve done some research online.

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Shop around

Took a few test-drives and finally decided on the make and model for you? Great, it’s now time to start shopping! Check out how much these vehicles go for at various places. You can use the aforementioned Internet, or the good old fashioned telephone, or even your own eyes to look for who is charging what for your future vehicle. A word of car-buying etiquette: it is considered good practice to give the salesman with whom you test-drove the car a last chance. Once you have your best internet price in hand, call him back and check with him to see if he can beat it. Most of the time, he’ll be able to throw in something extra to make sure you come back.

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Decide what to do with your old car

If you outright own your current car, you may want to consider selling it privately, especially if it’s an older model. Not only will you make much more money than if you simply traded it in to a dealership, but you can also get rid of those extra rims and winter tires for an extra chunk of change. However, if you still owe money on your ride and it is a particularly hot-selling model, the dealership may be willing to cut you a deal to take it off your hands and sell it on their used lot.

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Wait for the end of the month

This one sounds like an old wives’ tale, but it is actually true: each month, dealers have a quota of cars they need to sell. If they are one or two deals away from meeting that magic number, they may be willing to lower the price of your contract quite significantly since they get bonuses and unit allocations. In some cases, they might even be willing to lose money on a deal just so they meet their monthly objectives. If you couldn’t reach an agreement with your salesman at the beginning of the month, give him a phone call on the last Friday of the fourth week and see if his numbers have changed… you’ll be surprised by the deal they might be willing to offer!

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