Getting a Great Deal at the Dealership

Buying a new or used car can be a lot of fun, especially at a dealership with plenty of selection. But it’s easy to get swayed by the shiny newness and miss some of the dealership add-ons that increase the cost of the vehicle and your monthly payments. Here are some tips to help you avoid spending too much on your next dealership purchase. 

Do Your Research

Narrow your search for the make and model of the vehicle you want. The more specific, the more focused you will be at the dealership. If possible, decide on the must-have versus nice-to-have options you want in the car or truck.

Secure Your Financing

You can certainly finance a vehicle at the dealership, but you could lose a lot of your leverage to negotiate price. Instead, consider pre-financing at Transportation FCU. We’ll help make sure your payments are affordable and you go to the dealership knowing exactly how much you can and cannot spend. In other words, we’ll give you a budget, which makes it difficult for the dealership to over-charge you.

Call Three Dealerships (that have the vehicle you want)

Ask for the total selling price (out-the-door price), including accessories and taxes, of the car or truck you want. Additionally, ask about any warranties (even on used vehicles). Then, visit the dealership with the best total selling price. Be prepared. That price will go up once you’re at the dealership.

Look Carefully at the Window Sticker

Note the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), warranties and incentives, aftermarket add-ons, and destination charges. While it’s difficult to remove already installed add-ons, you can negotiate based on the MSRP.

Here are 5 Tips for Better Dealer Negotiations:

  1. Stay focused: Don’t talk about monthly payments. Your only concern is the total price.
  2. Take a friend (spouse): Together, you can remain vigilant, looking for back-end added costs.
  3. Watch the back end: Many dealerships are honest, but they still need to make a profit. One way to do that is with back-end add-ons that increase the cost of the vehicle. Do not agree to pay for prep and advertising costs, credit insurance, rust proofing, fabric protection, paint sealant, or service agreements. Transportation FCU offers cost-effective auto insurance with TruStage, GAP insurance to protect your financial future in case your new car is totaled or stolen, as well as loan insurance.
  4. Don’t consider the trade-in during the negotiations: You can trade in your old car, but it should not be part of the price negotiations.
  5. Feel pressure? Walk away: There are plenty of dealerships in the area. You can find a better deal somewhere else.

Finally, don’t buy the first car or truck you find. There are thousands out there that are right for you.

Get Financed at Transportation FCU
We offer
financing for both new and used vehicles. Additionally, we could help you save money on auto insurance with help from TruStage

Starting July 10th we will be sunsetting our Packaged accounts (Express, Concorde, Premiere50). All interest-bearing checking accounts or Performance Checking accounts may incur a $2.00 monthly fee based on new balance requirements. Please see our fee schedule for details. Fee Schedule