Many women love the shopping experience, but according to research, the shopping experience most women would love to skip- is buying a car. From haggling, to tacky sales lines and pushy salesmen, women are having a harder time than ever. And what a shame! The idea of buying a brand new (or leased, or used) car with that new car smell and squeaky clean interior is so much fun.
So we’d like to give you a little help by sharing some important tips and tricks to having a more enjoyable and successful car-buying experience:
1. Come Prepared. Most people, including myself, spend hours upon hours researching vacation spots, searching for the best dress for an upcoming wedding and investing in a brand new computer. Why then, when it comes to a $20,000+ investment are so many of us unprepared? The bottom line is to do your research. Take time to learn about the car features most important to you, like the non-negotiable safety features for your family, or the price point comparisons in your city, and don’t forget to peruse the various makes and models so you can begin to recognize them when you’re on the go and allow yourself time to determine which cars or SUVs really appeal most to you. This purchase is a big one, so don’t rush to the finish line so quickly.
2. Timing is Everything. There are particular times during the year that you’ll be more likely to get a real steal, so listen up! During the months of August to October dealerships are trying to clear out old inventory to make room for the new inventory, so this time is optimal. Some would argue an even better time to shop is toward the end of December. At this time, dealerships have end-of-year quota they want to meet and are most eager to break year-end sales. This motivates salesmen to cut prices, which means less haggling- and lower prices!
3. Be a Smart Negotiator. It’s only fair that the salesman makes some profit- that’s how they get paid, after all. With that said, it’s also not fair when you are taken advantage of or ripped off. We want you to be informed of some tactics so you don’t fall victim. Firstly, don’t negotiate a deal based on a monthly payment or by doing the financing prior to locking in a price for the car. Otherwise, while you may be getting a low or 0% APR, the total cost of the car they may set at full price. Negotiate the final purchase price of the car first, and then negotiate down your financing options.
4. Bring a Buddy. Having your significant other, a family member or a friend accompany you to the dealership, will help you talk through options and keep you level-headed so that you don’t make any hard and fast decisions. Plus, when you’re in the moment and going through negotiations, you may not notice an additional discount that could have been discussed. Or perhaps they will be there to help you talk through what ‘extras’ are and are not necessary or important to you. Either way, it’s a big purchase, so having someone else there with you will be a great support system.
5. Choose Wisely. Be informed of the ‘America’s Best Dealerships’ that have earned the Women’s Choice Award designation for providing an Outstanding Customer Experience. While no one can guarantee a perfect experience, it’s wise to start off on the right foot. These dealerships across America must go through a qualification process that requires an over 85% recommendation rating among their female customers.
We invite you to check out our Top Dealerships Announcement in USA Today. We are so proud to spotlight the dealerships that have earned an outstanding customer experience rating. We also wish to thank our national sponsors, General Motors and Toyota for being a great partner to the Women’s Choice Award and supporting our mission to empower women across America- and around the globe, to make smart car-buying choices!