cars, utes

Hansy Mannil Jul 10, 2023

David and Goliath. Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed. Donald Trump and common sense.

Sure, going up against a car dealer when you’re trying to buy that new car may not be as epic a battle, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be just as prepared – if not even more so.

Unfortunately, real life doesn’t come complete with a motivational song and montage scene and boom, you’re ready. But the following pointers will definitely give you the leg up you need to get the best deal (feel free to play ‘Eye of the Tiger’ in the background while reading to ensure the optimum dramatic setting). 

Do your research

Don’t go in blind. Spend a bit of time searching for the make and model you want across several dealerships so you have a good idea what the car’s worth. Bear in mind that although manufacturers try to get dealers to sell to customers within their area, you can still go to any dealership for servicing. So don’t let the location affect your final decision. And remember that things like added extras and drive-away price tags will change the price, so do your best to compare ‘apples with apples’.

Get pre-approved for finance

This is like having a beautiful golden piece of sandpaper in your pocket as a spin bowler at a cricket game. You’re ultimately there as a cash buyer, ready to make a deal – if the price is right. Our team of finance specialists have years of experience in getting our customers pre-approved to get in them in the best negotiating position, as well as helping them best understand the pros and cons of alternative solutions.

Leave emotions at the door

“Take a seat, adjust the mirrors, now adjust the seat until you are comfortable. Turn on your favourite radio station, and flip back the sunroof. Oh and how good is that new car smell?” the dealer says.

Is your heart beating faster and your excitement increasing? You are unknowingly getting excited and your mind is taking mental ownership of that nice new vehicle. As our excitement builds, the emotional part of our brains begins to take over. When this happens, we are much more likely to make a choice based on emotions. Don’t just take our word for it though, even this Harvard Professor will tell you it (and he has a degree in this stuff!).

We know - it’s an exciting experience looking for your new car! But take a few deep breaths and calm down before you start talking numbers, because if emotions get in the way you may end up overpaying.

Be ready to walk away

This very much ties into the previous point about emotions. Remember, you don’t need to drive it off the lot today, you want to. Be ready to get up and walk out if they’re not playing ball.

Don’t trade-in

Bringing your current vehicle as a trade-in against the price of your new car? Think again. This is just another way for dealers to confuse the numbers during negotiations. Plus, they can low-ball you on the trade-in purchase price. More often than not, it’s best to sell it privately.

Focus on the important number

Finance, warranties, trade-ins, added extras and other costs can confuse the bottom line price. Tell them you want their best price on the make and model you’re after. Full stop. No floor mats, no window tint, no extended warranty, no paint protection; their bare-bones best drive-away price. If there is something you simply can’t live without, then consider aftermarket accessories instead of dealer installed ones as they are often cheaper. Do your research though as they may affect your manufacturer’s warranty.

Adding to this, if what you want is in stock, ask to see the invoice of the car. That is, what the dealer paid the manufacturer for it. Any reputable dealer will show it to you.

It’s all about the timing

A rainy day. Wednesday afternoon. When there is a big event happening over a weekend like the Melbourne Cup. Like any business, a car dealership has targets they want to hit by the end of each month and especially the end of financial year. This means that if you’re clever with your timing (and a little lucky), you could pick up a great deal as they look to hit their sales goals.

Each dealer will be a little different (and some may hit their targets earlier and won’t offer any deals) but if you search around in the last ten days of the month it’s one of the best times to shop!


Pick a colour, any colour

Does it have to be essence of arctic white with a mystic polar pearl? If you don’t mind too much about the colour, this is another bargaining chip in your favour. It might be an idea to pick a few colours you like so if they have one of those in stock, you’ll still be happy with your purchase.

Say ‘bugger it’ and let us do the work

Best tip here? A definite possibility. Remember Dealers often advertise low interest rates (think 1-2%) which are a lot lower than other loan products, but this doesn’t mean your overall repayments will be lower. In fact they’re often higher because of upfront and ongoing fees! We’ll sort out your vehicle finance, and we have a huge partner network we can tap into to find your dream car for a great price, allowing you to relax throughout the whole process and catch up on some Netflix.

Call us for a chat now on 1300 787 288, apply online or touch base with our new car buying specialists at carconnect and find out how we can simplify the process and get you driving your new car sooner – for less!

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