An Insider Report - 5 Car Buying Tips
1. Looking to improve your credit? Many dealers that handle “in-house” loans claim to report
to the credit bureaus, helping you improve your credit. A large percentage of these dealers DO NOT report to the credit bureaus. Ask for proof that they do, if this is important to you.
2) Don't agree to give the dealer money you don't have now. Sometimes called picky payments or hold checks, this policy makes it easier to get financed, and easier for the dealer to make more profit. If you have bad credit this might be the only way to get you a loan. Don't do it. Be patient, save your money and look for better financing, with money you have now, not money you think you will have in 30 days. Often you will be surprised when the dealer gets you financed without the “picky” payment.
3) Beware of dealers that don't provide an AutoCheck or Carfax promptly. I want one before I drive any used car. If they hesitate, move to the next dealer. Its cheap and easy for them to do. Lets get it out of the way early. Smaller dealers often get the big dealers bad vehicles. Here's why: bigger dealers typically don't want the liability of rebuilt titles, “framers” (frame damaged vehicles), or multiple accident rides. Smaller dealers often do what it takes to survive.
4) Have your credit report in your back pocket. No need to run multiple credit bureaus all over town. Inquiries stay on your report for 2 years, so keep the credit pulls down. If you find a vehicle that might work ask to speak to the finance manager. Show them your bureau and ask for his/her opinion on the rates their banks will probably do. There are a large number of secondary lenders available to car dealers. Your interest rate might vary by 10% or more. If the guesstimate is 30%, I'd try to find a dealer that would do 20% before pulling the trigger on that new ride.
5) If you have a specific vehicle in mind, research it prior to leaving home. AutoTrader.com, Cars.com, Edmunds.com, Kelly Blue Book (kbb.com) are my favorites. Take note of where the vehicles you are interested in are located. Have a drive route planned, before you leave. Good sales reps are experts at keeping you on their lot, switching you to other vehicles and getting you to drive several cars. Nothing wrong with that, it's their job and you came on their lot. They have a plan, do you?