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Car buying 101


I work at a Honda-Volvo-Subaru dealership. Many of my friends do not wish to own one of those brands. I understand and forgive them for it anyway. They often ask me afterward if they got a good deal on whatever car they bought.

I will simply ask them four questions: Do you like the car you bought? Do you like the dealership? Do you like the salesperson? Does the vehicle fit your budget? If they answered yes to 3 out of 4 then they got a good deal.

Any person can use Internet guides such as Kelly Blue Book, Cars Direct, Vehix or Edmunds to look car values. These guides will tell a person what they should pay for a new or pre-owned vehicle. They can also let a consumer know a value for their trade-in. If someone looks up the same car on both guides, there may be several hundred to thousands of dollars difference between them. Is one guide better than any other guide? There is no perfect guide and no guarantee any guide will be 100% accurate.

If Edmunds states a consumer should get a $2,000 discount on a red Chevy Camaro with leather, but a dealer only has one left in stock, the dealer will not give a discount anything close to that. All pricing at all dealerships is a matter of supply and demand. The guides are only guides and they do not have the ability to actually sell anyone a car. Again, they are only  guides not dealerships.  The best price on a guide may not be valid but  just be an attempt to get more hits in order to increase their advertising money.

Next time you buy a car remember these four things. If you like the car, dealership, salesperson and it fits your budget than it IS a good deal!