Whether you are in the market for a new or used vehicle, it is important to check car prices before heading out to the dealer. Thanks to the variety of tools available via the Internet, it is very easy to check car costs and suggested retail prices to make sure your dealership is giving an honest quote. The first step to checking car prices is to verify the accessories on your vehicle of choice. After you do this, you should research the invoice price if you are in the market for a new vehicle or the trade-in/wholesale value if you are shopping for a used car. The retail book values for used cars car vary wildly, so it is also important to get the suggested retail value for a used car if you are considering one. This will give you an approximation of how close the initial asking price is to actual transaction prices as reported by departments of state.
Checking prices for new cars may take more time than checking those for used cars. You may need to use a service to request a price quote on your vehicle of interest. After you receive a quote, confirm that the vehicle has your preferred accessories before comparing it to the invoice pricing information found on the Internet. In any case, the tools available to informed consumers make it very easy to get a competitive price quote very quickly. Also remember that if, during your research, a new or used car price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure to get any great offers in writing from the seller before visiting the dealership.
Judging a good car price can be difficult whether you are considering a new or used car. If you were to ask a dealership what the best price is, they might say “the one we both agree on to put this sale together today”. However, if you were to ask yourself what the best deal is, you may prefer a better informed answer that includes research completed on the Internet. Just as it is difficult to agree on a good price with a dealership, it is often difficult to individually determine if you have gotten a good price. This guide will help you complete research that determines just how good the auto pricing you have been offered is.
If you are in the market for a new car, research the invoice pricing for models in which you are interested. Remember to include any options that you prefer on your invoice pricing calculations. If you are in the market for an used vehicle, you can check the prices that your preferred vehicles are selling for in your local area. It is also helpful to use a tool like Kelley Blue Book to determine the retail and trade-in values of your preferred vehicles. Remember that dealerships try to purchase vehicles for close to the trade-in price and then sell them for a significant profit.
After you have completed pricing research and determined the approximate market values of the vehicles you are considering, it is time to consider your personal budget. Consider if you will pay cash for a vehicle or if you are planning to finance. If you are considering financing, make use of a service like myFICO to check your credit report and credit score. Knowing this information will help you approximate what types of financing offers are available. Once you have determined a monthly payment that will fit your budget, multiply the payment by the number of months you plan to finance. This will give you your total budget.
As you contact dealerships online, complete test drives and negotiate with salespeople, remember the research you completed in the first step. Try to negotiate as close to the invoice price as possible on new cars, and as close to the trade-in price on used cars. If you find that the dealership’s offers are not even close, ask to speak to a sales manager or simply leave to visit the next dealership on your list. If you are getting competitive offers that fall close to invoice or trade-in value, determine just how this vehicle will fit in your budget after taxes and fees are added onto the total. If you find a vehicle that has a great selling price relative to its market value and it fits within your budget, you have found a good car price. If the vehicle is far out of your budget, you may need to find a vehicle with lower auto pricing that will better fit your budget. In any case, following these steps can help you judge a good auto price when shopping for a new or used car.