The Best Way To Buy A Car

I believe in spending time doing the things I enjoy doing. I’d rather seek professional help with activities that I dislike and am not an expert at. Many people don’t realize they can employ the services of an automobile broker to purchase a late model or low mileage car, often at tremendous savings, over what it would cost to buy a new car. 

Buying a new car can be very intimidating and as a result, most people purchase a new car with little or no preparation. Walking into a new car dealership can be a very scary experience if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Buying a big ticket item like a car is usually driven by emotion, so when consumers think they’ve gotten a great deal, there is a greater chance they will move forward with their purchase.

Dealers are experts at creating positive emotion, so they manipulate the numbers to make the buyer think they are negotiating a great deal for themselves.

Other times people have gone to dealers using their present car as a trade. Some dealers have actually sold the customer’s car to an auto wholesaler before the customer even makes a final decision to move forward with a purchase of a new car. 

Make sure you give yourself ammunition before you buy a new car by doing some homework ahead of time. Check around on the Internet. You can get a good idea which dealers have a good and bad reputation. Call the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and ask how many complaints a particular dealership has received. Registered complaints are kept on file.  This kind of information will help determine if you’re dealing with a reputable company. If you hear any complaints about a particular dealership, simply don’t go there.

The Best Time to Buy

There are certain times of the month and specific months where you can get a great deal on a new car. It is always better to negotiate price at the end of the month. That’s when dealers are aggressively trying to close out their month or make their sales quotas. You’re always better off strolling into the dealership the last day of the month. Put your poker face on and have some fun in the process.

August and September are the best months to buy a new car because that’s when the new models will be arriving. You’ll be able to negotiate great deals on the car you want and you should also shop at the end of these months. You may also be able to take advantage of local dealer incentives or rebates.

Leasing

People are often confused about whether leasing is a good deal—in a nutshell, it’s not.

The key disadvantage to leasing is that dealers make it very difficult for you to get out of one lease without entering another. You’ll end up paying sizeable penalties to change the terms or the lease. Also, if you wreck a leased car, you still have to keep it through the full term of the original agreement.

Also, don’t buy a car at the end of a lease. For a comparable price, an auto-broker can probably find you the same car, a year newer, with half the miles on it.

Kids and Cars

We don’t advocate giving cars to children. They need to know that they have to earn and save for large purchases such as a car. My children knew they had to buy their own cars when they turned eighteen!

The biggest gift you can give your children is to raise them to be independent, self sufficient, contributing members (as opposed to “takers”) of society. We chose to purchase a “spare” family vehicle. I was very clear with the boys that I owned it! It was my car that I let them borrow. This let me restrict or take away their access to the vehicle whenever I found it necessary.

I chipped in on some gas money and in return, they were expected to run occasional errands for us. However, we did not pay for all their gas purchases; they paid for their gas when they were driving for their own personal use, visiting friends, going out on dates, etc. 

We also paid for their insurance, but assumed they would qualify for all of the good driver and good student discounts that were available. If they didn’t qualify for these discounts, they were responsible for paying the increased insurance premiums.

Shortly after my oldest son Justin turned sixteen, he got a speeding ticket. The fine was over $200 and Justin asked permission to withdraw money from his long-term savings account.
(For long-term savings, we used a uniform gift to minor account at a discount brokerage. Since I was the custodian, Justin needed my permission to withdraw money from the account.) 

He was a little annoyed when I told him that he couldn’t withdraw the money. Justin barely had enough funds in his checking and savings account to pay the fine. He wouldn’t be able to do fun things like going to the movies for about a month. This was a wonderful opportunity to reinforce the concept of long-term savings. You don’t take money out of long term savings for anything except your long-term savings goal. Poor decisions or irresponsible actions are not a good reason for touching your long-term savings. Sometimes experience is the best teacher!