10-15-19

Automobile Negotiations: How to Deal With Car Dealers

Last August 2019, light vehicles in the U.S. cost an average of $37,401. That's a 2% or $723 price increase from the year before!

In fact, the average transaction price for cars has gone up a whopping 29% from January 2007 to January 2019.

With all those price spikes, it's no wonder more Americans are turning to car loans. As of the third quarter of 2018, there were some 113 million current auto loan accounts in the country.

After all, car dealerships now offer more relaxed financing terms.

This doesn't mean that they're no longer open to automobile negotiations though.

That's right! If you negotiate properly, you can bring your total car financing costs down.

Ready to change gears in a spanking, brand-new vehicle without going over your budget? Then keep reading, as we've listed some of the best tips on how to negotiate with car dealers!

In-Depth Research is Key to Effective Automobile Negotiations

Never head to any dealership without conducting prior research on the car you want. This is among the most helpful car buying tips and tricks that, unfortunately, many don't spend time on.

And don't just Google the market value -- look up the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price too. This is the amount you should start your negotiation with later on when you're at the dealership.

Be sure to list down the price of the base model and the other trims it's available in. Find out what makes a higher tier better than the base, and if its extra features are worth the higher price.

The more data you have about the car you want to buy, the more room you'll have for negotiation. So, spend at least a few days on researching before you pay the dealership a visit.

Scour the Internet for Specials and Deals

The most reliable and transparent dealerships advertise good deals on new vehicles. They usually offer these specials for cars that they need to ramp up the sales of. Some also offer various discounts for lease and cash payments.

There are even discounts for recent college graduates and those awaiting graduation!

As you can see, there are many deals that you can take advantage of to make car buying easier on your pockets. Knowing what's available and what you can qualify for gives you more tools to negotiate with.

Negotiate a Deal Based on the Car’s Price First

As we mentioned earlier, you should know the MSRP before you negotiate with any car dealer. This is the price that a manufacturer, say, Nissan, suggests dealers charge for a car.

Since it's only a "suggested" price, you may encounter dealers who charge more than the MSRP. So, by knowing this price, you'll see right away how much more a dealership is asking for a vehicle.

This is where you should start your negotiations with, and not the "monthly payment". Your goal should be to bring down the car's price first before making a deal for financing. Do your best to stay focused on the price and don't get distracted by terms like "0% APR".

Now, while you want the lowest possible price, you also don't want to be too insulting with your first offer. Remember, car dealers still need to make some profit, otherwise, they'd go bankrupt.

This is why it's best to know about the net price of the car too. It's the actual amount of money that the dealer pays the manufacturer for a vehicle.

If you didn't learn of the net price from your previous research, don't hesitate to ask the salesperson. Once you have this info, you can make a fair offer. It should be somewhere in the middle of the MSRP and the net price.

In case you qualify for a special (like what we've mentioned earlier), don’t forget to tell the salesperson. Be sure that the final price they charge you includes this car deal or discount.

Ask to See All Numbers and Not Just the Monthly Payment

A common tactic salespeople use is to keep bringing up the monthly payment. After all, a three-figure number sounds much more enticing to a buyer than a five-figure one.

But if you focus only on the monthly payment, you won't really know if you're getting the best deal. As such, you should ask the salesperson to give you a breakdown of the costs.

This way, you can determine what will go into your monthly payments. It's possible that there are add-ons or extras that you don't need. These may include paint and fabric protection, roof racks, or rear-seat entertainment systems.

Anything that you don’t need, have the salesperson remove it from your final bill. Even if you can afford them, there may be other accessories more useful to you. For example, rather than nitrogen for your tires, you'd want to get dent protection instead.

Always Be Polite

You may be the customer, but you're also asking the dealership for help to finance your car's purchase. While this doesn't mean that you should submit to all their terms, you should be courteous every step of the way.

Be polite even when a salesperson keeps mentioning the monthly payment. In this case, just smile and tell them that you want to focus first on the actual price of the vehicle. Then, tell them that you're willing to make a deal if they’re also willing to meet you halfway.

Avoid sarcastic rebuttals when speaking with a salesperson. Instead, give a well-mannered answer like, "I understand, but my research told me that the MSRP is only $27,000".

This kind of answer benefits you in two ways. First, you're keeping your cool and professionalism.

Second, you're letting them know right away that you did your homework. They will take this as a sign that you're a serious buyer, which will give them more incentive to work out a deal with you.

Successfully Negotiate Your Way to a New Car

There you have it, your ultimate guide to effective automobile negotiations. By keeping these car negotiation tips in mind, you're likely to get the best possible deal on a new vehicle.

Ready to change gears in a new but more affordable ride? Then get started by checking out all our new Nissan vehicle offers! You can also send in your finance application once you've decided which car you'd want to take home soon.

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09-26-19

What Does Certified Pre-Owned Mean? Pros, Cons, and Considerations

When you're finally ready to get a new car for yourself, it's kind of an exciting process. Everybody likes new things, right? However, there's a lot of controversies out there about whether you should be new, used, or certified pre-owned. 

If you're looking to save money, trying to get the best deal, or are on a limited budget, let's focus on certified pre-owned vehicles.

But what does certified pre-owned mean? Is it better than buying a regular used car? What's the difference?

Follow along for an in-depth guide at certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles, what they are, and all the pros and cons of buying one!

What Does Certified Pre-Owned Mean?

First, let's talk about the "certified pre-owned" title.

CPO vehicles are still used cars. However, in order to be tagged as a CPO, it must meet specific demands, go through a certifying process, and offer warranties to buyers. A vehicle can become certified pre-owned through the original manufacturer and/or dealership CPO programs.

Let's take a look.

Prerequisites

For a car to even be considered for the CPO program, it must be relatively new, typically no more than three to six years old. However, a six-year-old used car is more of an exception than the rule.

These cars also have few than 30,000 to 70,000 miles. Once again, the higher end of the spectrum is rare and CPO vehicles typically have much few miles on them.

Finally, there's a certain level of maintenance CPO cars must be subjected to in order to qualify. They must have been well-cared for and have a clean record, as well. Cars with a poor history won't qualify.

Refurbishment

What does certified pre-owned mean for quality?

Once a CPO contender has been approved, it must go through a mechanical and aesthetic refurbishment process. Here, the vehicles entire mechanical and electrical system will be examined, tuned up, etc.

Then, the vehicle gets a cosmetic treatment inside and out. This includes buffing out any small dents or scratches, fixing upholstery, removing stains, odors, etc. 

When all is said and done, a CPO vehicle is a spotlessly clean, like-new vehicle.

Costs

What does certified pre-owned mean for your budget?

When it comes to finances, choosing a CPO vehicle will help you find a happy middle-ground between cost and quality. CPOs are more expensive than typical used cars but less expensive than brand-new cars.

Certified pre-owned vehicles will also save you money (compared to new cars) with insurance, financing, and event registration.

Because the car is already a few years old, the worst of the depreciation of the vehicle has already happened. When you buy brand-new, it can lose up to 20% of its value in the first year.

Insurance companies are a business, their overall goal is to make money. Therefore, if you buy a brand-new $40,000 to $50,000 car, they've got a lot of fat in the fire to ensure you. This means your premium will be much higher.

Alternatively, a certified pre-owned vehicle will be cheaper for them to replace in the event it's totaled, which means your insurance premium will be less. It may not seem like a big deal, but $80 a month compared to $150 makes a big difference over a few years.

Finally, different states have different means of determining the cost of registration. Some states charge a flat rate, others by age of the car, some by weight, and others by value. Depending on your state, buying a brand new expensive car may end up costing you $400 to $600 a year to register!

Options

What does certified pre-owned mean for your options?

One of the best benefits of buying a certified pre-owned vehicle is that it presents you with more options. Assuming you are on any type of budget, buying a new car will limit your options significantly.

Say you have $25,000 to spend. You can buy a relatively low-end brand new car or a certified pre-owned luxury/loaded car that's a few years old. Sure, the technology will be older and you won't experience the "new car smell," but they make air fresheners that replicate it pretty well!

Alternatively, you can buy a brand new car for $25,000, but you won't be privy to all the bells and whistles that come with the loaded versions. This includes things like On-Star, Sirius radio, leather seats, high-def audio, entertainment units, sun/moon roof, better wheels, etc.

In the end, it depends on where you want your money going. Do you want a more basic brand new car or a CPO older car that's got more bells and whistles?

Warranties

What does certified pre-owned mean for your protection?

Next, you may be wondering about warranties and buyer-protection. After all, brand new cars come with manufacturer warranties and even dealership extended warranties to cover any issues with your car. What about CPOs?

One of the benefits over buying a certified pre-owned vs a used car is that it comes with all these warranties! However, in order to take full advantage of these warranties, make sure you fully understand what the terms of the policy are.

Some warranties begin once you buy the vehicle and cover a certain amount of time or added mileage. Others are based on a total mileage number or the total amount of time. It ultimately depends on who the certifying entity is, as does where you can have your car serviced under the warranty.

Knowledge

Finally, let's talk about the advantage of user experience. In terms of knowledge, buying a certified pre-owned car means you have thousands of reviews and testimonials from other owners. You can research any common problems, malfunctions, or complaints other drivers have had over the past few years about the exact model and year you're considering buying.

Brand new cars are great, but with a CPO, you'll know exactly what you're getting into.

What's Right for You?

What does certified pre-owned mean for your life?

Now that you have all the details about CPOs and the many benefits of owning one, do you think it would be the right choice for you? If you're curious, take a look at our inventory.

However, we also have uncertified used cars and brand new cars if you think you'd like to go in a different direction. Either way, we've got you covered. Contact us if you have any questions!

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09-12-19

Is It Better to Buy a New or Used Car?

In 2018, there were over 5 million cars sold in the U.S. And that number could get even higher this year. 

If you're one of those people who need a new car, you might be asking yourself this question: "Is it better to buy a new or used car?"

Unfortunately, there's no "one size fits all" answer to that question. That's why we've put together this guide to help you figure out what type of car is best for you. 

So let's get started!

What to Know When Buying a New Car 

There are pros and cons to buying both a brand new car and a used car. Here's what you need to know about buying new cars before you head to the dealership. 

Pros 

Buying a new car comes with a lot of benefits, one of which is the peace of mind that your new car will run how it should. Some of the other benefits include the following:

  • It's Easy 

It doesn't take a lot of work to buy a new car. You can walk into a dealership and find any type of car you want in almost any color. 

There's no need to worry about whether it's in good condition or not, and you don't have to take it to a mechanic to get it checked out.

  • You'll Get a Better Car

New cars have the latest safety features and technology upgrades. So when you buy a new car, there's no doubt that what you're getting is better than a used one.

  • You'll Have Better Financing Options

Dealers want you to buy new cars, so they incentivize you by setting up some great financing options. When you buy a new car, you can get loans with lower interest rates, meaning you'll save thousands of dollars. 

  • Warranties Are Available 

New cars have both manufacturer and dealer warranties attached to them. That means your car is protected against certain damages, should something go wrong. 

Cons 

As great as an easy shopping experience and updated safety features are, new cars come with their own set of disadvantages, too. Here are some of the most important you need to keep in mind. 

  • New Cars Lose Value... Fast 

A new car costs a lot more than a used car, and it depreciates right away. In fact, your car will lose about 25% of its value after the first year. In fact, the moment you drive your new car off the lot, its value will plummet by 11%. 

This might not seem like a big deal if you plan to keep the car for a long time, but it can make a big impact if you plan to trade in the car for a new one in a few years. 

  • It's More Expensive 

Obviously, buying a new car is much more expensive than buying a used car. Although you'll have better financing options, you also have to be willing to spend a lot more money on a new car. 

  • You'll Have Higher Insurance Rates 

Since a new car is worth more than a used car, you'll have to pay more to insure it. This is something that's easy to overlook when buying a new car, so it's important to think about your insurance before you buy a new car. 

What to Know When Buying a Used Car 

If you can't afford to buy a new car, there are still a lot of benefits to buying a used car. Depending on your circumstances, it might even be the better option. 

Pros 

Used cars take a little more effort to buy, but that effort can be worth it. Here are a few of the advantages of buying a used car. 

  • It'll Cost Less Money 

Any used car has already been driven a few thousand miles, been worn down with use, and maybe even a little banged up. Because of this, you can by a used car for a much cheaper price than a new car. If you don't have a big budget, shopping for used cars is a good way to save some cash. 

  • Used Cars Loes Value Less Quickly

Instead of losing value right away like a new car, a used car loses value much slower. So you can buy a used car and trade it in a few years later at close to the same value you bought it at. 

  • You'll Have Lower Car Insurance Rates 

Used cars aren't worth as much as new cars, so because of that, you will have lower insurance rates. This means you can save a bit of extra money if you choose to buy a used car. 

Cons 

Since another person has owned and driven any used car, there are a few downsides to buying a used car as well. If you're thinking about shopping for a new car, here's what you need to keep in mind. 

  • You Won't Get a Warranty 

In most cases, you won't have the option to get any type of warranty when you buy a used car. That means if anything happens to the car, you have to cover the expenses out of your own pocket. 

  • You'll Have a Limited Selection 

When you buy a used car, you won't have as much of a selection to choose from. You might have to settle for a model or color you don't love. 

  • You Have to Know What to Look For

You have to be careful when you buy a used car, especially if you buy it from a private seller. You have to know what to look for to ensure you drive away with a car that's in good condition. 

And if you don't know what to look for, you might end up with a car that doesn't run as promised. 

Is It Better to Buy a New or Used Car?

It depends. 

If you have a tight budget, it might be a good idea to buy a used car. But if you want a car with the most advanced safety features and technologies, you should buy a new car. 

You also have to consider your preference. Do you want a new car? If you want a new car and you can afford it, you should buy a new car instead of a used one. 

Getting Ready to Buy a New-to-You Car 

So is it better to buy a new or used car?

It all comes down to your preference and your budget. Buying a used car is better for some people, but buying a new car is the right choice for others.

Are you ready to buy your new car?

Contact us today to explore our inventory and financing options! 

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08-30-19

8 Compelling Reasons to Choose a Nissan as Your Next Ride

In 2017, 1.4 million consumers owned a Nissan. 

Obviously, a lot of people have already figured out that Nissan is a great brand to have.

If you're thinking about buying a new car, why not consider a Nissan? Don't miss these 8 compelling reasons to choose a Nissan as your next ride.

1. Safety

One of the most obvious reasons to choose a Nissan is their safety ratings. 

Safety is one of the most important things when buying a car, due to the fact that 3 million people get injured from car accidents. 

Nissan wants to make sure that you and your passengers arrive at your destination alive and safe. The engineers that make Nissan incorporate safety features such as front and side airbags, rearview cameras, blindspot detections, and stability and traction control.

2. Something for Everyone

Nissans are also a great choice because they have something for everyone. If you want to speed on the highways and curved roads, you may want to look into getting a Sport Nissan 370Z. 

If you need something to get you to your off-road adventures, you may want to get a Nissan Xterra. 

If you have a family and are just looking for a way to get them to school to soccer practice to piano lessons, you could get a Nissan Maxima or Altima. These cars are also great for highways as well.

Nissan has thought of everything and has made sure that anyone will be able to find the perfect Nissan for them. 

Not only is there something for everyone, but there is also room for everyone in the car. In fact, the tallest man in America drives a Nissan, proving that there is definitely plenty of room. 

You can tell your passengers that fact if they try to complain about how there's no space. 

3. Maintenance

Every car will need some sort of maintenance. 

However, Nissans are built with quality in mind, so you won't have to pay for much maintenance as the years go on. 

When you do need maintenance, you can take your car, truck, or SUV into one of the Nissan dealerships and have professionals fix your car. That way you will ensure that you are getting the best possible quality for your car. 

4. Gas Mileage

With gas prices constantly rising, you want to make sure that your car gets the most out of each gallon.

Nissan is one of the top manufacturers when it comes to offering fuel-efficient cars. While each of their cars is different, most of them get more than 20 miles per gallon.

The electric Nissan Leaf actually gets an equivalent of 100 miles per gallon per charge. There are also other hybrid versions of the Nissans that will save your trips to the gas station.

Not only is this great for you and your budget, but it's also great for the environment. Which leads us to our next point. 

5. Environmentally Friendly

Nissans are actually stamped with approvals that mean they are environmentally friendly. Their cars have the PUREDRIVE stamp, which means that it decreases the amount of C02 the car emits.

The PUREDRIVE technology focuses on making sure that the cars have maximum efficiency when you are driving while also saving the environment. 

With each new design that comes out, the cars get more and more environmentally friendly and have better gas mileage. 

6. Great Technology

Nissans are also known for their technology.

If you have a smartphone, you probably understand the importance of technology. When you get into your car, you can connect your phone with your car to make driving even safer and efficient. 

Some technology features include the Xtronic CVT® Continuously Variable Transmission.  This means that your car will be quieter, give you better fuel efficiency when driving automatic, and also accelerate faster.

Some upgraded Nissans also have a control center that lets you control the audio, communication, and navigation. You can also connect your smartphone or tablet to it so that you can control some things with this hands-free technology. 

7. Reliability

Nissans are also incredibly reliable. When buying a new car, you want to make sure that it will get you from Point A to B.

Nissan has been ranked highly on reliability by different companies, and that still holds true. They are so reliable that even their resale value is higher than other brands.

One of the reasons Nissans are so reliable is because they are built with quality materials, both inside and out. This means that your car will hold up to being used every day. It will still depreciate due to normal wear and tear, but it won't deteriorate as much as other brands. 

Nissan actually puts effort into making sure that their cars are built from quality because they know their consumers depend on their vehicles. 

8. Awards

Lastly, if you don't take our word for it, take everyone else's word that Nissans are a great car to buy.

Over the years, Nissan has won so many awards that it would take too long to list them all. 

Instead, we'll list a few. The Nissan Sentra won Best Compact Car in 2013 for vehicle satisfaction. Several Nissans also received five-star ratings when it came to crash safety. 

The Nissan Rogue was named the Best Buy by the Best Value by Edmunds and the Consumer Digest. 

Choose a Nissan at Our Dealership Today!

There are so many reasons to choose a Nissan for your next vehicle, and these are only a few of them.

With so many options it can be difficult to decide which Nissan to buy.

If you have questions or need help deciding which vehicle to get, feel free to contact us and have all your questions answered!

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08-02-19

Smart Trier, Smart Buyer: How to Get the Most Out of a Test Drive

New car sales in the US are through the roof right now.

For instance, well over 17 million vehicles were sold in 2018 alone. Clearly, countless people around the country are splashing out for a new set of wheels.

However, choosing the right car is no easy feat.

It has to look and feel right! One person’s ideal vehicle is another’s worst nightmare. Equally, they’re never cheap. You sure as hell want to know it’s going to be worth the money.

Taking a test drive is one sure-fire way of making your mind up. There’s no replacement for actually getting behind the wheel and taking it for a spin.

That said, there are certain things to do to maximize the usefulness of it. After all, it can be hard to make a solid judgment from a single drive. Looking to get the most out of your next test drive?

Keep reading for 7 tips to help you do exactly that.

1. Research First and Book an Appointment

There are a couple of things to think about in terms of organizing the test drive itself.

First off, you want to research the vehicles you’re interested in buying.

This helps you narrow down the list of cars you actually want to try out. It’s about knowing what you want in advance. The drive itself is all about clarifying the decision.  

Likewise, you can guarantee the dealer is going to do all they can to persuade you to buy. They’ll say and do whatever possible to twist your arm. Arming yourself with knowledge protects you from any unscrupulous sales tactics.

Be sure to book your appointment with the dealer too. They’re busy people and their lots of packed full. Booking in advance saves both time and disappointment. Booking multiple test drives (aka in a few different cars) back to back is also a good idea.

It helps you compare the experiences. The last one is still fresh in your memory.

2. Inspect the Vehicle

Okay, let’s skip forward a bit.

You’re now at the dealership, ready to start the drive itself.

First thing’s first though, take your time to inspect the car. Give it a good looking over on the inside and outside. The photos may have been misleading. Think about the color, space inside, the features and gizmos…take stock of anything in terms of function and aesthetics that’s important to you.

For instance, the car may drive great. But if it looks awful, in a color you detest, then it isn’t the ideal vehicle for you.

3. Think Practically

It’s easy to get carried away at the show-room.

After all, you don’t want to waste anyone’s time, and you desperately want a new car. The temptation is to rush through the entire experience. Have you ever read a page of a book, only to realize you didn’t take any of it in? You have to start over.

The same can happen in a test drive. However, there may be no second chance.

When you’re satisfied with the visual audit, get into the vehicle. But before driving away, take a moment. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself:

  1. How easy was it to get into and out of?
  2. How’s the legroom? Is there enough space?
  3. Does the seat feel comfortable?
  4. Are the buttons and control intuitive to understand?
  5. Is the car ergonomic, and well-designed?
  6. Can you see out properly, or is your vision impaired by obstructive pillars and blind spots?    

4. Test Drive as You’ll Actually Drive

Now it’s on to the fun stuff: the drive itself.

This is when you really get to know if the car is right for you.

Unfortunately, test drives are often too tame to really reveal anything. The dealer takes you around the block and back to the lot. It isn’t enough.

Make it clear you want to actually test the car. Get it out onto the open road. Remember, you want to know it’ll match up to the driving you normally do. That means being able to put the foot down. Find out how the acceleration is, how it handles, how the gear-changes feel, and so on.

Similarly, it’s one thing braking at 20mph in a residential neighborhood. It’s another to brake from 70mph on a highway. You want to know it works!

5. Pay Attention to Your Senses

There’s a lot going on when you test drive a car.

After all, it’s a new vehicle that you aren’t used to. You definitely don’t want to damage it in any way! At the same time, you’re trying to get a proper feel for it. Oftentimes, it’s easy to walk away and find it's a total blur in your memory.

Try and attend to the sensory experiences when you’re in it.

Listen out for sounds. How quiet is the drive? Is there a lot of road noise? Are there any strange sounds? What about touch? Does the suspension feel good? How responsive is the car to your actions? Let go of the wheel. Does it drift to one side?

All of these points should help you see the car for what it actually is.

6. Check Everything Works Inside

Chances are, the car will have a bunch of technology in it.

You want to make sure it’s all fully operational.

Test the radio, the GPS, the apps, the Bluetooth, rear camera and so on. Ask the dealer to give you a run-through of everything and validate that it’s all operational.

7. Take Some Time

Here’s a final tip:

After the drive, don’t rush to make a purchase.

Again, the salesperson is going to try and convince you to buy it immediately. Resist the temptation, even if you loved it.

Take at least an evening to reflect on the drive. Stop, think back, and take stock. And organize another test drive of a different car to compare notes!   

Time to Take a Test Drive

There you have it: the top tips for getting the most out of a test drive.

Millions of new cars are bought in the US each year. However, the decision to buy one isn’t necessarily an easy one to make. You want to make sure it’s right for you.

The best way to do that is by taking a test drive. Hopefully, this post has highlighted exactly how to make your trial behind the wheel as useful as possible.

Are you ready for a new car and want to set up a test drive? Contact us today to see how we can help!

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