Car Buying

Life lessons for my sons when it comes to car buying and honestly when the boys are older all of these car buying lessons could be mute.

  1. Do your research. If time permits, read as much as you can about the car that you want and the safety features.
  2. Take your time. Again, if time permits, you don’t have to have to purchase a car as soon as you walk on the lot. As a matter of fact, I would argue that you do the majority of the negotiations prior to going for a test drive.
  3. Salesmen will say anything to get you into the car. End of the month sales. First of the month sales. Have to make the deal now. It is all crap. Salesmen will make the deal if they are good and want to close a deal.
  4. Trust your gut feeling. When it comes to negotiating, be fair in your ask, but trust your gut feeling too.
  5. Walk away. ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS be prepared to walk away.

This past week, I spent I don’t know how much time negotiating a new vehicle for my wife. It had roughly two weeks since her accident and she was getting antsy to find a replacement. So, she gave me her criteria of must have features and the make and models that she wanted and off I went. I did a few TrueCar searches, both through and also through USAA Buying Services and I just could not find exactly what I wanted at first. I have always heard about buying brand new cars, so I really wanted to find a low mileage used SUV.

I did my research, as quickly as I could and found 2 options that were both affordable, low mileage and the exact features that my wife wanted. We tested drove both vehicles and liked the both, were not 100% in love with either, but they would have worked, but because we were in a rental, I didn’t exactly know how much time we had with it.

So this past Wednesday, I started negotiating for a 2017 Kia Sorento LX with 9 miles on it. The price, I felt was a little high, but was whiling to trade that because of the mileage, but I was ready to make the deal but the dealer would not negotiate. My Plan B had only 6,000 miles and was $1,500 less than the brand new car and they too were not negotiating either. I was ready to walk away.

Thursday night, I felt defeated. My wife was upset because she didn’t get the SUV that she wanted and she was really frustrated with me. Not mad, but disappointed. But, I kept saying over and over again, that these were not the right ones. Something just didn’t feel right and I just kept thinking that the price was too high.

I walked away from the first deal because of a gut feeling and I am so glad that I did. The salesman tried to do what he could and we were literally $350 apart and they didn’t want to come down in price and I was already above what I really wanted to pay. And I’m really glad that I did walk away from it, because after not sleeping on Thursday night, as I got settled in on Friday morning I got an email from another deal with the exact same model we wanted, more safety features than the other two, the color that we wanted and best of all, the exact price that I wanted. Literally. It was exactly where I thought the SUV should be priced and my wife was happy.

I emailed the salesman that reached out to me a few questions, confirmed that it only had 6, that is right, 6 miles on it and the features and I was sold. I knew how the SUV drove and rode and with the other factors, this was going to be one of the easiest sales this guy had to make. And it was. We drove it for 4 miles and closed the deal. No negotiations were needed, as they got to where I wanted in 1 single email.

So, guys here is the moral of the story, trust your gut. There are other cars, it just sometimes takes a little while.