How can I avoid being taken advantage of at a car dealership?

I’ve been shopping around for a new car and have heard many stories of people getting ripped off by car dealerships. I’m not the most car savvy and wondered how I could avoid being taken advantage of by the dealership?

Answer
Purchasing a new vehicle can be stressful and confusing especially if you are buying from a dealership trying to profit the most they can on each sale. However, there are a few things you will want to ask and do to ensure you are getting the best deal.
First, don’t just think about the monthly payment. If you purchase the car in full, this may not be as applicable, but there are many costs associated with owning a car, like insurance and routine maintenance.
So you want to make sure you are purchasing a vehicle you can truly afford. Keep in mind, before driving the car home, you will likely need insurance. Consider using Jerry to compare rates and purchase the best car insurance policy for you. The average Jerry driver saves $879 a year on car insurance!
Secondly, just like most other purchases, you are going to want to shop around. You should check out different dealerships’ prices either online or in-person before deciding on a vehicle. The same goes for financing. Before signing a car loan agreement on a car, you should check in with local banks or credit unions to ensure you receive the best rate.
Thirdly, look closely at what you are paying for and avoid adding those small and often unnecessary extras at the end of your purchase. They may seem practical at the time, and a few dollars a month may not seem like much, but they add up and can lead you to overpay for services you can find elsewhere. Items like gap insurance are often much cheaper when bought through your insurance company than at the dealership.
Finally, don’t be afraid to negotiate or walk away! Car dealerships expect customers to negotiate, and if you feel you aren’t getting the best deal, don’t hesitate to walk away. Also, certain times of the month or year may be better for purchasing than others. If a new model is coming out soon, or the dealership has a quota to reach, you may be able to negotiate an even better deal than you would otherwise.
Good luck!
Jack Walsh
Answered on Oct 22, 2021
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