Car buying like a professional

Buying a car is intimidating because it feels like a game you don’t know how to play and always end up losing.

Don’t worry! Here are some tips to help up your game so you can buy a car like a professional. 

Stay focused

Buying a car is a little bit like playing a game of cards. You don’t want to reveal anything in your hand too soon. You also want to stay focused on your goal and do one thing at a time. A salesperson can juggle multiple items in their head like interest rates, negotiations for the price of the car, and your trade-in value at once because they have so much experience. There is no way for you to do all that at once, so don’t answer questions about your trade-in until everything else is done. Focus on the price you want to pay for the car before you talk about anything else with them and come across as a buying professional. 

After you decide on the price for the vehicle in question, then bring up your trade-in and negotiate on that. You should be prepared to know the value of your car, so you don’t get offered something too low. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you feel like they aren’t fair in any aspect of the purchasing process. There are plenty of options, so only do what you feel comfortable doing. 


Financing is one of the many things you don’t want to have to juggle in your head while you are negotiating for a new car. Dealerships charge high-interest rates even if you qualify for a lower one. Getting financing through your bank or another lender is the best way to go. If you already have your financing figured out, that is one less thing you have to worry about while at the dealership. 


Once you have agreed on a price for the vehicle and the trade-in value of your current car, you are still not done negotiating! Next, they will ask you questions about extended warranties and other protection plans. They may try to argue that it is a minimal amount of money each month, but throughout your loan, that money adds up. And the thing is, you don’t really need any of it! These warranties and protection plans tend to have spotting coverage, and most of it is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty anyway. Since you are not familiar with all of these plans either, they could be marking it up significantly. The best course of action is to say no to everything. 

Long-term loans

One way that the dealership will try to get you to buy a more expensive car than you need it to extend the length of the loan. This will lower your monthly payments, but it will also make sure that you pay a lot more in interest over the course of your loan. It is much better to get a less expensive car over a shorter amount of time. 

Keep it simple

Whether you are in the market for used cars or used vans, don’t forget why you are there. Decide what you want before you go in so you can stick to your plan and avoid impulse buying.