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Common mistakes people make when buying a car at a dealership

By Paige Filler

No one ever said buying a car is easy. However, it doesn’t have to be hard if you do a little homework first. There is tons of information about how to buy a car from a dealership, but here we thought we’d try a different tactic. Here we will show you some of the common mistakes people make at dealerships and how to avoid them.

Common mistakes
We may not cover them all, but here are some of the most common mistakes that will probably cost you money.

1. Falling in love
Lets face it, emotion has no place in any business transaction. Unfortunately car shopping and purchasing can easily be guided by emotions.

I’m not singling women out, because I am one, but the fact remains we tend to be the more emotionally driven gender. I must confess that emotion played a huge part in my last vehicle purchase.

Needless to say that now, as I tear up every time I have to fill my gas tank, I wish I had purchased with my head instead of my heart.

Keep your emotions in check. Be sure to react to fact rather than feeling. It is important to love what you drive. Like with people, superficial feelings don’t last but that uncomfortable drivers seat, or the squeaky sound under the hood will.

2. Not planning ahead
This is self explanatory. Research is king folks, the more you do the more you know, and knowledge is power. Car salesmen pressure will be easier to resist if you know your product.

3. Not taking a drive
Truly the most important part of the process is a test drive. Anyone who skips this vital step should not have the luxury of complaining when the vehicle they purchase doesn’t suit them.

4. Focusing on monthly payments
One of the oldest gimmicks in any sales mans repertoire is selling the package (full of stuff you don’t need) by breaking it down into monthly payments. It seems like they are being helpful when they ask you how much you can afford a month, however this is all part of their selling process.

Frankly waiting until you hit a dealership to consider your financing options is like showing up for a midterm unprepared. Have a ceiling price in your head, and make sure you have a calculated feel for the associated monthly payments.

If you can, apply for bank funding before you begin to shop. This will not only get you the best interest rate, but will also allow you to shop independent of dealership finance departments.

5. Good and bad options
No car dealership purchase would be complete without the salesmen pushing extras and options. Some of which are worth it, some not. Things such as rustproofing, stain resistant treatments for fabrics, and paint clear coats are all extras that carry a hefty price tag and no real economical value.

Safety features are a different story and clearly worth the money. Options like side airbags, anti-lock brake system (ABS), and electronic stability control (ESC) could potentially be worth all the money in the world.

Use your salesman
The person trying to sell you a car doesn’t have to be your enemy, keeping your emotions out of the equation will help to ensure a smoother purchase. Your salesman is a wealth of information about the brand, the model, not to mention the options that you do want.

Ask questions, gather information from all possible sources. Chances are the salesman has driven every car on the lot multiple times. Ask their opinion, ask why, knowing what you want will help you zero in on important information that could influence your purchase.

About the Author:
My name is Paige Filler and I’m a creative writer with a love of all things that go vroom. I do my homework to bring thought and innovation into everything I write about the auto industry.
You can find more of my stuff at, and our blog.

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