For many, the thought of entering into a car dealership to purchase a new car is very intimidating and unpleasant. While car dealers are professionals who know how to persuade, you shouldn’t let the dealership scare you away from purchasing your dream car. By sticking to the following tips you can make the car buying process run much more smoothly and get the price you want.

Be prepared

In order to best negotiate with a dealer, one of the most important steps is to do your research beforehand. Experienced dealers know how to convince prospective buyers to settle for the price that they want, even if that price is much higher than the car’s going rate. Do your research in advance to learn everything there is to know about the car, such as the sticker price and what other shoppers have paid for it. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to stand your ground against a dealer who is offering too high of a price, and you’ll know when it’s time to walk away.

Be polite

When negotiating a deal, you might think that it is a good strategy is to act like you are in charge or to threaten to walk away; however, one way to receive the price that you want is to treat the dealer politely. Car dealers work with shoppers every day who are stressed and who take their frustrations out on the dealership’s staff. By remaining respectful and polite, they will be more likely to give you the price you are looking for.

Avoid showing your emotions

While it’s important to remain polite, avoid showing your hand right away to the dealer. If you openly gush over the car and let the staff know how much you love it, they’ll know that they will have the power to convince you to purchase for any price. Present yourself as someone who is in control and rational, rather than emotional, to help keep the power in your hands.

Separate your trade-in

One trick that many shoppers fall for at the dealership is negotiating their trade-in in the same transaction as the new car. This is a trick used by dealers to low-ball your trade-in’s value and disguise the real cost of the car. For example, they might tell you that they dropped the car’s price by $1,000 so it appears that you are getting a great deal; however, they are really making a profit off of your trade-in. To avoid this, treat your trade-in as a separate transaction. Once you have settled on a purchase price for the car, then negotiate the price of the trade-in. Handling the trade-in and purchase price separately is the only way to ensure that you are receiving good deals on both.

Avoid expensive add-ons

Once you’ve settled on a price and you are almost to the end of the car-buying process, don’t let your guard down. This is the stage where dealers will attempt to convince you to purchase costly and unnecessary add-ons such as extended warranties or fabric protection. When you are in the researching phase of car shopping, decide on the extras that you will purchase and politely say no to any other add-ons that the dealer tries to sell you on. While it might be hard not to be persuaded in the moment, you’ll thank yourself later when you have saved thousands of dollars.

Secure financing beforehand

One trick to negotiating with a car dealer is to receive a pre-approved auto loan before you head into the dealership. A pre-approved loan lets dealers know exactly what your budget is so they won’t be able to push the price higher. Typically, the dealer will work to find a price that works with your pre-approved loan or they risk losing your sale. Securing your own financing beforehand is also a good way to avoid the stress of negotiating with the dealership’s financing department.

From now until the end of March, CTFCU is offering an auto loan promotion with rates as low as 2.75% and terms up to 84 months. With the help of an auto loan from CTFCU as well as these tips for negotiating, you will be able to best bargain with a car dealer and receive a great price for your new car.