Buy a car like a pro

Imagine showing up at the dealership with no information about the car you’re there to buy. No idea of the sticker price and no clue about dealer invoice cost. You don’t even know how much the loan payments will be. Financial suicide, right? Not anymore.

In the current age of smartphone technology, being elbow-deep in books to get the necessary information is definitely a thing of the past.

These days, phone apps and internet sites exist to put all the information you need literally at your fingertips, all while you’re standing on the showroom floor.

For example, a site like moneysupermarket.com is good as moneysupermarket compares car loans. These sites give the prospective buyer a series of quotes from leading financial institutions.

Knowing how much you have to spend on a new car and what each payment will cost per month is vital to the negotiation process.

Compare interest rates on your phone while a dealer is quoting their own financial loan package. Suddenly, knowledge is a whole new kind of power as you negotiate a better rate based on real-time data.

Calculate in mere seconds the difference between wholesale cost and the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. You’ll be able to use that knowledge effectively when negotiating a lower price.

Also, do you really need those extras? Salespeople often try to tack on expensive features to improve their bottom line. Fabric protection, rustproofing and other options will add to your final cost.

Free phone apps can assist buyers in researching automobile features and add-ons, once again placing the power of knowledge back in the hands of the consumer.

Phone apps can also show exactly which dealerships in your area carry the car you want to purchase. If one dealer seems unwilling to meet your price, or give decent value for your trade-in, try another dealer.

Sometimes, just heading for the door is enough to stimulate a stalled negotiation process. Knowledge of the latest data can give you the confidence to shop around for the best deal.

Phone apps can save you time and money once you buy your car as well. State laws vary when it comes to car insurance requirements. Know exactly what is necessary for insuring your car and receive side-by-side rate quotes with apps that compare insurance providers and plans.

Most car insurance companies also offer apps for roadside assistance should you ever get in an accident. They provide information about local police stations, hospitals and auto body shops, giving you peace of mind while you’re on the road.

Salespeople prey on the unprepared. Knowing the exact value and features of a car and what loan options and insurance packages exist, only serves to empower the buyer.

Armed with real-time data, automobile purchases become less of an emotion-based, impulse-buy. Instead, the process becomes one in which the buyer is always in control.

When it comes to the cost of big-ticket items such as cars, forewarned is definitely forearmed. Utilize the latest in technology and information to return the power where it really belongs – with you, the consumer.

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