auto Archives - Common Trust FCU

Dealership Don’ts: 5 Tactics to Get the Best Deal on Your New Vehicle

Car dealerships, like all businesses, are out to make as much money as possible — and as soon as you enter the showroom, their target is on you. There’s a reason in-person vehicle negotiations average about 3 hours: The dealership assumes that once you’re captive, you’re there until they make a deal. But don’t let this process force your hand. Strategize up front with these 5 “Dealership Don’ts” to ensure you have the right defense and tactics to successfully negotiate the right car for you at the right price for your budget.

Don’t Talk Too Much

Dealerships know how to make you more comfortable — friendly smiles, soft chairs, weekend tryouts, even free popcorn for the kids. But take care not to let your guard down: Every bit of small talk offers a salesperson more insight into how much they can manipulate a vehicle’s price. Just changed jobs? Trade-in not in great shape? Kid going to college? Absolutely in love with the test drive? Not great at math? Really, don’t mention it.

Don’t Agree to an Up-Front Credit Check

Six out of 10 shoppers are undecided when they walk into the dealership. Don’t agree to a credit check until you are sure that you’ve found the vehicle you want because every “hard pull” lowers your overall score by a few points. It’s also important that you know your credit score before negotiations begin — shady dealerships can sometimes manipulate that number to increase your payments and their profit.

Don’t Be Oversold

You walked into the dealership looking for mid-sized hatchback; don’t leave in an overpriced SUV. The salesperson’s job is to upsell you with fancy features, fully loaded extras, and “exclusive” deals, but don’t buy into it. Studies show 59% of car buyers research their purchase online before walking into the showroom; staying confident in your purchase decision will make you less susceptible to suggestion.

Don’t Discuss Payment Options Too Soon

Dealerships make a lot of money on financing deals. If you’re not using their financing, they will try to compensate by raising the price, lowering your trade-in, or bundling add-ons (keyless entry, free oil changes, etc.) that you didn’t ask for. If you are planning on paying cash or have come to the table with your own pre-approved financing deal (we offer those at CTFCU!), it’s in your best interest to keep that to yourself until you’ve locked down a price.  

Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away

There’s a lot of power in being able to walk away from a deal that won’t suit your needs — even if you’re still tempted to sign off. Your trade-in value is low-balled, the monthly price is higher than you’d like, the color isn’t for you — whatever your reason, know that you can at any stage leave when you’re not 100% happy with a proposed deal. The dealership might be upset, but knowing they are losing business could entice them to lower your costs or add free incentives.

The best tool to take with you while vehicle shopping is pre-approved financing from Common Trust Federal Credit Union. Our ongoing auto loan promotion offers you rates as low as 2.49% with terms at 60 months, 72 months for 2019 models, or 84 months for loans of $50,000 or greater. Visit our auto loan promotion page or stop by the branch today to get started!

Start Your Engines: 5 Great Sites for Finding Your Perfect Car

Searching for a new or new-to-you vehicle can be daunting: Intimidating salesmen, pressure-filled decisions, and countless sunny hours wasted in the artificial AC of dealership waiting rooms are enough to put anyone off the process. And all those makes, models, reviews, and negotiations? Forget about it.

Thankfully, online resources are available to help you find the vehicle that best fits your lifestyle and budget before leaving the house — or even your comfy chair. In fact, Google estimates that nearly 50% of car buyers start to research their potential vehicle purchase online before heading into the dealership! Here is a list of 5 great sites to help get you started.

1. MyProductAdvisor.com

Looking to fast-lane your potential choices? This simple, effective quiz guides you to your best car match down to the make and model with targeted questions aimed at your needs. And, it offers instant customization with priority slide bars to help you weigh your answers based on what matters most to you.

2. CarMax.com

This all-in-one online auto dealer lets you digitally buy, sell, or trade in your car, but it also offers an extensive library of educational articles that can act as your own personal car-buying GPS, leading you in the right direction. It’s the perfect pit stop to get your car-search engine in top shape.

3. AutoList.com

Looking for your new ride while on the move? This mobile-friendly website and accompanying app give you on-the-go access to the databases of other car shopping sites and even local dealerships within a single user-friendly interface. You also get intel on price fluctuations, potential accident reports, and how long particular vehicles have been on the market.

4. Autotrader.com

Once you have a general direction of where you want to go next in your car search, this site can help you solidify your vehicle choices with advanced search functionality beyond just the make, model, and price. Parse results for fuel economy, navigation systems, keyless entry, etc.

5. KBB.com

Kelley Blue Book is a household name — and for good reason. This highly respected site offers the most accurate trade-in and purchase values for vehicles, giving you a solid idea of how much you should be spending on that new SUV before you start negotiations. You can also browse their extensive review section and even check your credit score.

When you’re ready to close the deal on your new car, Common Trust Federal Credit Union is here to help with our ongoing auto loan promotion! Get rates as low as 2.49% with terms at 60 months, 72 months for 2019 models, or 84 months for loans of $50,000 or greater. Visit our auto loan promotion page or stop by the branch to get started.


Give Feedback