You should do your new car research before even heading to a dealership. If you're well-prepared before you buy your next new car, you'll save money. New car research includes things like figuring out what price you can afford, looking at different auto loan or lease options based on your credit score and researching different makes and models of vehicles to determine which one fits your needs.
How much car do you need in your new vehicle? Do you have a large family and need a big SUV or van? Do you have a long commute to work and need a fuel-efficient vehicle? Do you live in a state that gets a lot of snow and need to rule-out rear-wheel-drive cars? Make sure your new car research includes several makes and models in your price range. As you test drive each one, you can eliminate the vehicles that don't work best for what you currently need.
Have you researched your trade-in vehicle and/or down payment? If you are in the market for a new car, you need a down payment. Have you looked up the value of your trade-in vehicle? Have you saved 20 percent for a down payment? Is your trade-in vehicle paid off? Make sure you've covered your bases with your trade or down payment before you go to the dealership.
What price should you start the negotiations for your new car at? Look up the vehicle's dealer invoice price before you head to the dealership to see what the dealer paid for the car. This is usually a good starting point for negotiating the price of your new car. You'll also want to see if there are any dealer incentives for the new cars you're considering. These are offered by the manufacturer to the dealer to sell more of a certain vehicle. The dealer won't tell you about these incentives though. These allow you to negotiate more of a discount on the new car because the dealer is already getting money from the manufacturer to sell that car.
What incentives are there right now for your new car? Once you have your choice narrowed down, look up the current incentives and rebates for the new vehicle. Is there a 0 percent auto loan incentive? What about cash back rebates or discounted lease deals? Do you qualify for the manufacturer incentives? Most 0 percent auto loan or discounted lease incentives require a high credit score to qualify. If you're on the fence between two new cars, sometimes the current monthly vehicle incentives can help you determine which new car you'll get a better deal on.