buying a car tell all

{Read PART I Buying a Vehicle: An Insider Tell-All}

(as continued)

Once you had the "on the road" experience, you will return back to the dealership and you will go back inside. Your sales professional might ask you questions just to gauge how you feel about the car. Questions are important to the sales people because you answering them help us help you to the best of the ability. So, if you love it, say so. If you aren't enthralled, that's okay!! Just do the best of your ability to express why.

Back at the Sales Professional's desk, usually this is where people tend to clam up again. And guess what. It's okay to be nervous. Nerves are good…. you should have feelings because they are indicative that you might be making a big decision! We get that, we totally respect that you have worked really hard for your money and that you are going to be making a very substantial investment.

But! Just communicate.

If you have a trigger that will make or break the deal: Just say so. Maybe you want X for your trade, maybe someone else gave you x, maybe you want 0%, maybe you have a magical number in mind for your monthly payment. Just say so!

(Disclaimer: It is really not like it used to be. There is not a bagillion dollars from invoice to msrp anymore. We don't have secret hidden money. As far as trade value: if you used KBB or one of those online tools, I promise you KBB has never ever written out an actual check for the value they estimate. These tools are good guides, but they do not account for seasonality, geography, or other indicators of fair market value. We will do our best to make you happy, but we can't burn the candle at both ends. I will say again: Making you happy is literally our job. When your happy, everyone's happy.)

So the sales professional will ask you if you want to buy or lease, how much you plan to put down, if you want to trade your car. Now if there is a payoff balance on your vehicle, the sales professional will call to get that exact balance so we can figure actual payments for you so that there will not be any surprises.

The sales professional will then go to their sales manager armed with all of this information. If you told them you wanted to lease, they figure out all the rebates that you might qualify for. If there is a trade they will figure that into the equation, as well as the payoff/equity of the trade/money down.

If you want to finance, you would have indicated how for how long, and with whatever incentives are available the sales manager would punch in the equation.

This is not a secret equation. It's just math. As terrible as I am in math I was able to do this kind of math believe it or not.

The remaining variable. The APR. Aka Annual Percentage Rate. The manufacturers have them advertised everywhere. Sometimes there is 0% or 1.9%. These are rates that are reliant on your credit score. The bank is the actual determinant of this variable. So if you indicated the rate is your hot point, the sales professional will make sure to verbalize that to the sales manager. Now, some sales professionals might ask you on a scale of 1-10 what your credit looks like. That is only to best help gauge the rate so that you don't get figures for a too high or too low rate and then be upset thereafter. The sales professional just wants to show you a range of what might be the best estimate.

Your sales professional comes back to the desk and very clearly and transparently explains to you the monthly payment figures, which include the breakdown of how they got there.

This is why communication with your sales professional is so important, because if you both did a good job asking questions and answering each others questions, then literally it can be that simple.

Maybe the trade was a little less than you expected, but the sales professional explained that your car does need tires, the bumper is dinged and it has a lot of miles. Maybe your payment is higher than you expected, but admittedly you are rolling in some negative equity from your current car. BUT this should be very clearly explained so that it makes sense and sounds fair.

But it really can be just that easy. Just like that. So at that point, you give the "YES!" and you and your sales professional high five or fist bump or both. Your sales professional will go and get what is usually called a "deal jacket" that includes all sorts of paper work. You will fill out the finance application, they will fill out the purchase order, which will be signed by manager and yourself. If needed, they will get the payoff form executed. They will get your insurance card copied so they can help you get that switched over. They will not ask you about the credit information on the finance application, the business manager will come over and introduce themselves. They will ask you a few questions and make sure they have all the accurate and current information that they need. They will then take the deal jacket and they will go and submit it to the bank.

The sales professional will go and they will bring the car to be fueled for you. It's exciting to get a new vehicle, it should have a full tank of gas. The sales professional will then bring your vehicle to cleanup where it will be detailed in and out.

By this time you might already be in with the business manager and signing the contracts. They will offer you warranties and other add on plans that they are required by law to present to you. You have the absolute choice to take these offers or not to take the offer. But I will encourage you to. I have another blog on that so previously posted that I will provide at the bottom of this post.

And there you go. You might be tired. You might feel a little emotionally drained by you are most certainly excited. Your sales professional will want to go over the vehicle with you, pair your phone, set your preferred music stations, make sure you didn't leave your garage door opener or any cd's in your old car.

You will probably only retain approx 35% of this lesson because you are on info overwhelm, but your sales professional will invite you back ANYTIME to go over anything they aren't entirely sure of or can't figure out. Do not feel silly for going back for another lesson. Do not. We understand, and we want you to know all of the features of your car because you deserve to!!

And off you go. Happily, maybe tired, but happily.