Buying a Car? Check With Your Bank!

July 31, 2009
I've been shopping for a new or a slightly used car lately, because I need one. I've been to dealerships, and I've also been to my bank to see where I can get the best deal. While on this cycle, I discovered something I think others should know about, if they don't already.

Now, we all see dealerships and car salesmen as evil wallet butchers, waiting to pounce on your checking account and basically rob you. Your bank, however, does things a little differently. The importance of a bank is to keep money in your account.

So, two different mentalities - which one should you side on?

Well, here's what broke the ice for me. The dealers put the price they want on it. Let's say you're shopping for a new Mitsubishi Lancer. Good looking cars, and if you want the mid-range, it'll be about $18,000. Then, with all the taxes and feels, you'll be lucky if you can get away with $20,000 or so.

Now, there is something that the dealers won't tell you. That is that the banks have the official price tags of all the cars sold wherever you live. It's like a secret sheet of prices. They also know everything that comes standard with the car, and all the optional extras and how much they cost. Another thing they won't tell you is what comes as standard and what comes as an option. Today, most new cars have alloy wheels as standard, but the dealers will put hubcaps on the car, and tell you it's so cheap because it doesn't have alloy wheels. But, you can contact the bank and ask them about it. If the alloys are standard, you can either fight the dealer to bring the price down by about a grand (typical cost of alloy wheels) or put some shiny ones on it.

Before you agree with the dealer, and before you cut a deal on a car you want, check with your bank. Especially if you're going after a used car. They know all the prices. Now, if the dealer won't back down, and the banker says that the value of the car is higher than what the dealer is offering, you have two choices, either fight the salesperson until they either sell it or tell you to leave, or just go to another dealership.

These days, dealers hate sending their customers away because they need to move metal. Especially right now, when the market is at its slowest. If you stay consistent, I'm sure you'll be able to bring the dealer down to what you want to pay for it, and what the bank says is fair.

Happy shopping!

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