What should I expect with new car classifieds?
Today’s new car market is crowded and very competitive, especially when it comes to selling you a new car. You will find hundreds of new cars in the classifieds. Your selections increase when you add online classifieds as part of your search for the perfect car. The price quoted in the ad is usually the sticker price. However, most dealerships are willing to negotiate for serious buyers. Knowing what to expect when searching new car classified can help you find a good car and a good deal at the same time. Once you find the car you are looking for, you will need insurance. Enter your ZIP code to compare car insurance for FREE.
Look at How a Classified Ad is Worded
It is not so much what a classified ad says, as what is left out of the ad. If specifics on the car are not included, it could simple be due to lack of space in the ad. Yet, there are certain facts that should be included in any car classified ad you are seriously considering. Some of these include:
- Make/model and year
- Mpg city and highway
- Available colors/styling/options
- Energy efficiency
- General incentives
Many new cars include incentives to gear you towards selecting a particular model. Sometimes, the cars with the most attractive incentives aren’t selling very well. The incentive is to clear the lot, not necessarily get you the best car for your buck. This doesn’t mean that all incentives are bad. Usually, incentives are offered as low-interest financing or a cash rebate. Incentives such as zero-percent financing can amount to huge savings. Credit must be good to qualify for low-interest financing incentives. Keep in mind that some dealers receive incentives themselves for pushing certain cars. Research incentives to make sure they really benefit you.
The sticker price of the car that is listed in the ad is not necessarily what the dealer is willing to accept for the car. Many dealers are willing to negotiate when you are seriously interested in a car. If you are using online classified, you usually get an email address or other method of contact for the dealer selling the car. If you have done enough browsing and are really interested in a particular car, contact the dealer directly or visit the dealership in person. Bring a printout of the classified ad with you as a starting point for your negotiations. Your power to negotiate depends on how flexible you are too, not just what the dealer is willing to offer. If you hare a specific make, model, color and set of options in mind, you do not have much leverage.
Use a Classified Ad as a Starting Point
A classified ad can be a good starting point in your negotiation efforts. If you see a classified ad with a car you like, contact the dealership and ask to speak to the Internet sales manager. Say something like “I am interested in the Honda Civic in your ad. I am not that fussy about color and only want certain options. What do you have on the lot?” The sales manager will usually check their inventory and get back to you. There may other cars on the lot not advertised that are available at a lower price than the one you saw in the ad. Keep track of the information presented in the original ad and the offers you receive on the other cars not listed in an ad.
Make Some Decisions Before You Start Browsing Classified Ads
To prepare yourself for the barrage of classifieds ads for cars, it helps to make some decisions before you start browsing. You do not have to know the exact car you want, but getting a few decisions out of the way makes your classified search much more productive.
- Have an idea of how much speed you need based on the general purpose of the car.
- Have a general price range in mind before you start browsing, including a maximum price that you will not go over.
- Check to see what rebates and incentives are available direct from the manufacturer before you start browsing classified ads to make sure you are really getting the best deal for that car.
- Look up the MSRP of the car you are considered to avoid excessive markup.
- Use a free online payments calculator to get an idea of what your monthly payments will be for the car. Apply any incentives to the listed purchase price.
- If possible, test drive any car before you purchase it.
- Once you find a car you like, solicit quotes from other dealers in the area carrying the same car. This can be an excellent bargaining chip.
- While you won’t likely get the full trade-in value of your old car, verify what that value is before you accept a dealership’s offer.
- Contact a dealership’s Internet manager to see if you can negotiate a lower price then what was listed in the classified ad.
- Go to the dealership to inspect the vehicle before making the final purchase. The photos in the ad may be out-of-date or not reflect recent lot damage.
Closing the Deal
Once you find a car you like through a classified ad, there are two ways to close the deal. The traditional method is to go to the dealership and test drive the car and make the final arrangements in person. A car purchase can be arranged online thanks to the advent of e-signing and other methods for signing all necessary paperwork remotely. How you handle the final arrangements is up to you. Don’t forget to enter your ZIP code and search car insurance quotes once you finalize the purchase of your new car.
You can get a good idea of the car you are buying through a classified ad. Don’t be too quick to accept the offer presented before making an attempt to negotiate a better deal. Think of a classified ad as a good starting point in your quest for the car you want at a price you can afford.