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October 28, 2017

Top Tips For Women Purchasing A Car

Top Tips For Women Purchasing A Car, By Barbie's Beauty Bits and Cars.com

Buying a car can be intimidating to a lot of people, especially women. But it doesn’t have to be, being prepared is the key. While you can’t know everything, coming across confident and knowledgeable, will help give you the upper hand or at least be on the same playing ground, especially if you are going to a car dealership.

I know this, as there was a brief time in my life where I sold cars, so a lot of this is from my own experiences.  Unfortunately, at that time there were not a lot of public resources for women or men for that matter to educate themselves. But nowadays, many resources can help you get your ducks in a row, like cars.com for instance.  This online company can be a great resource to help you navigate every turn of car ownership, from purchasing to selling, as well as service and repair.

So if you want to find out my top tips for women purchasing a car continue reading.

Budgets
This is so important, and some people do this last, I suggest doing this first as you need to know what you can afford.  And when determining what you can spend, you also need to consider your car insurance as this will go up with a purchase of a new car. Even gas is an essential factor, as well as car service and repair.  All of these are things you need to evaluate when determining what you can or can not afford. Once you have that in mind you can start playing around with cars.com affordability calculator to see what vehicles will fit in that price range.

Tips to budgeting for a car purchase by barbies beauty bits and cars.com

Finances
You need to start with your credit score, as this plays a vital part (unless you are paying cash) as to what your payments will be.  Your credit score is yours and is your responsibility and will impact your monthly car payment and what you can actually afford.

Shop around when it comes to getting a rate. There are some great offers out there, but make sure you read all of the fine print, like what is your monthly payment, length of term, prepayment penalties, is it a fixed or variable rate, etc. That best option for most buyers is a fixed rate with a short-term loan, and payments that you can afford, comfortably.

IMPORTANT: Although some lenders have recently started offering car buyers variable loans, personally I would not do it, get a fixed loan instead.  The only benefit to a variable rate would be if you planned to aggressively pay down your car loan. But if you lose your job or something happens financially you could get screwed! So, I always consider the what ifs!

Lastly, I prefer to get pre-approved for a loan, and this can be your negotiating tool at the end of your sale at a dealer, as you can tell them, "Oh I will be paying cash, I got a loan from my credit union for ___%, unless you want to BEAT it..." Dealerships make money from financing as well, so some may be willing to offer you something through one of their approved lenders.

Rebates and Incentives
A lot of car manufacturers out there offer manufacturer deals and discounts. Do your research on these as not all dealerships will share these with you. I suggest calling a few dealers around the area and asking and look online at the car manufacturer to see what is available in your area.

Keep in mind most rebates have nothing to do with the price you have negotiated.  This is important as some dealers may say that the rebate is taken off the full invoice price to benefit them, so do your research.

Rebates for new cars by barbies beauty bits and cars.com

Don’t Show Your Cards
This is the most important step when negotiating!!! So, what do I mean by not showing your cards?

This statement relates to if you have a trade-in, a budget, or an already approved loan, do not share this until AFTER you have negotiated the price of the car. I am not saying to lie, but be evasive.

What is your budget? If you are asked what your budget is, I would focus on a particular car you already know you can afford based on the pricing you've found in your research, and respond with something like…“I know what my budget is, and I’m looking for a (name of the car) as this is in my price range."

Don’t discuss a payment or down payment either. Your goal is to get the price of the car locked in first before revealing any of your other cards. Salespeople always focus on the amount per month to sway you away from seeing what the actual purchase price is. For instance, let's say your budget is $550 per month and you share this information. The dealer will work to get your payments within your budget, but to do so, they may spread out the payments over a long term such as 72 or 84 months and at a higher interest rate. The result is that the car will be a lot more expensive at the end of the term.  They will also use this as a closing tool, for instance..."What is the problem Miss Ritzman, your payment is where you want it to be", while all along the price of the car is too much and my interest is higher than I what I should be getting based on my credit score, as they are hooking up their F & I people too! SO NEVER REVEAL YOUR MONTHLY PAYMENT GOALS before agreeing on a purchase price.

Don't let them know you have a trade in upfront. Once you negotiate the price, then you can come back and say: "Well maybe I will trade my car."  KEEP in mind; you will get less then you think.   However, cars.com has a great car price estimator that will let you know how much you can get for a trade in, to sell yourself, or just to find out the value.  IMPORTANT you will notice the trade in value and resale will be different, and you will be getting less if you are trading your car in, PERIOD. If you need a specific price to afford your car, then sell it first.

Bottom line, you want to focus on each part of the transaction separately. (the car/budget, trade in, rebates, and financing).

Car buying tips for women by barbies beauty bits and cars.com 
Don't Be Impulsive And Make Sure To Shop Around
If you have done your research, some may think, well I am not impulsive, but I beg to differ. Always look at all factors, including reviews and never come across as needy. I usually say to a salesperson: "I am happy with the car I have." I don't let the dealership know that I need or want a new car, more that I am just shopping. 

Shopping around is crucial as you can use it as a negotiating tool yourself. I always share the price from another dealer, and if the new dealer wants my business, they need to offer me a lower deal. I do that at a few locations before making my final purchase. And remember you can always walk away.

Shop At The End Of The Month
Car dealers have goals and budgets, and if they have not met their quota for the month, they are better to work out a deal towards the end to get that number of cars sold.

The Car Salesman (person)
All car dealers are not dishonest, they are however making a living, AND THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND. They need to pay their bills too and are just doing their job and so do you, by being educated on the car buying process. Considering you make the final decision, you do have the ability to walk away and believe me I have many times! You are ultimately responsible for your purchase decision, and nothing irks me more than a person blaming someone else for their ignorance. So take responsibility by educating yourself.

Tips for women to purchase a car by barbies beauty bits and cars.com

So there you have it, tips for women when it comes to purchasing a new car.  As you can see like anything in life, you need to do your homework. While not all car dealers are crooks, you need to be prepared by doing research, and this is why I was excited to partner up with Cars.com for this post as they can be a beneficial resource.
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