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Artical originally published atÂ http://thechronicleherald.ca/wheelsnews/284270-wheels-boxing-week-it-s-the-most-wonderful-time-for-a-discount
Preparationâ€™s key to snagging deal in limited time frame. (Source: 123)
OK, New Year's Day is just days away. You hope to capitalize on Boxing Week with a new toy in the driveway, but time's short. So what do you do?
Make sure you hit the ground running. Preparation is the key to success in so many things in life, and itâ€™s no more important than when youâ€™re trying to snag a deal in a limited time frame.
Here are some tips to help you through:
Decide what you need.Â Do you need a new minivan for hockey-parent duty? An economical car for commuting? A sedan to combine fuel efficiency with enough comfort for road trips? Knowing what you want helps with...
Go online.Â Look around at the various car manufacturer websites and get a feel for what cars appeal to you and what cars you can afford. Check out the home pages for any special incentives. Once youâ€™ve narrowed down your choices, build a few. The online car configurators will help you select option packages, paint colours, interior selections and accessories. Youâ€™ll get through this a pretty good idea of how much the carmaker wants you to pay, which is key in helping determine what you want to pay.
Once youâ€™ve found a few vehicles, research some more.Â Go to places such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (iihs.org), the U.S. National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (nhtsa.gov.us) and European New Car Assessment Program (euroncap.com) to check out safety ratings. Lots of cars score very well in crash testing, but there are still a few laggards. Itâ€™s your familyâ€™s safety at stake. Look up things such as the JD Power Initial Quality Survey, JD Power Dependability Study and Wardâ€™s 10 Best Engines list. Cars that rank highly on the first two, with an engine that ranks highly with Wardâ€™s, should be more reliable than others.
Once youâ€™ve narrowed down your choices, find the websites of some local dealers.Â Often, dealers will have models they want to move and will have promotions specific to those cars and distinct from promotions that may be on the manufacturerâ€™s website. If the dealer offers a link to a spreadsheet of its current inventory, take a look. You should be able to see if the dealer has the car you want with the options you want in a colour that you like. Do this for a few competing vehicles.
Realize that your greatest bargaining power lies with vehicles that youâ€™re helping the dealer move off his lot.Â The dealership pays interest on all cars on the lot, so it is obviously under pressure to move what it has and will be less likely to move on a model you want them to order. It helps you if you can find a dealer that has exactly what you want already on the lot. When you order a vehicle he doesnâ€™t have, itâ€™s a clear sign youâ€™ve made up your mind that you want that specific vehicle. In other words, heâ€™s got you.
Prepare a list of a few competing vehicles, from a few competing dealers, and use it for shopping.Â Donâ€™t be afraid, when visiting a dealer, to let the salesperson see that youâ€™re indifferent to a few things: buying today, buying a specific model or buying from a specific dealer. Donâ€™t be afraid to make them work for your business. Work up your best poker face.
A resource you may wish to consider is Car Cost Canada.Â This service, for a $39.95 membership, proposes to show you the dealerâ€™s invoice, with the intent of being able to use this at pre-screened dealers to arrive at a price that includes enough profit for the dealer and a comfort factor for you. Car Cost Canada also takes the lid off any factory-to-dealer incentives you might not otherwise know about.
Work out in advance with your bank any financing you may need.Â You should be able to get your bank to tell you the interest rate and a sampling of payments. This will be helpful in a few ways: you can identify which carmakers, if any, have rates that beat your bankâ€™s. Often, they do. You can also use your bankâ€™s rate to negotiate with the dealer. But be honest with the rate: the dealer will know, given that the bank doesnâ€™t have a vested interest in the underlying product, if the rate you quote just isnâ€™t possible.
Find out your credit score.Â Go to Equifax CanadaÂ www.equifax.caÂ or Trans Union Credit Bureau (www.transunion.ca) to find your credit rating. Ben Spatafora, national director of Car Cost Canada, says car buying is an emotional process, and you donâ€™t want to get emotionally invested only to find out you donâ€™t qualify for a good rate.
Remember, at the end of the day, this is only a business transaction. Try not to get emotional. Once you give yourself emotional buy-in to the vehicle you want, youâ€™ve given away a lot of your bargaining power.