Do Your Research Before Visiting The Car Dealerships Near Santa Ana

Before you start shopping at the car dealerships serving Santa Ana, you need to do your research. With so much information available to you nowadays, there’s no excuse for going on a car-buying mission unprepared. Let’s briefly look at what you can do to educate yourself before you get to the dealership and interact with a salesperson.


The Research Phase

During the time leading up to taking those test drives, you should make a list of all the most critical features that you feel like your car needs to have. Whether you’re thinking about new or used, you can then start to look online and see which models match your version of the perfect car.

Many online sites will offer you an assist before you go to the car dealerships near Santa Ana. Kelley Blue Book will have plenty to tell you, as will Consumer Reports, Auto Trader, and the Yahoo! Auto section.

If a new car is what you feel will serve you best, try to find the invoice price of the vehicle rather than the MSRP. The invoice refers to what the dealer paid to the manufacturer. It is in your interest to try and get your car at close to the invoice price. At some points during the year, when the dealerships are eager to move some vehicles, you should be able to do so.

If you're getting a used vehicle, you should instead be looking at recent instances of that car model being sold in your area. This will give you bargaining power, and you can tell if what the dealership is asking is close to what you should be paying. If you have a trade-in, you should be looking into what you can reasonably expect for it as well.


The other thing that you should do before going to the car dealerships near Santa Ana is to see about your pre-financing options. You don’t want to get there, find the vehicle that you want, and only then start shopping around for financing. That’s not fiscally responsible.

Approach some banks and credit unions, especially ones that you know often deal in auto loans. You can figure out which ones those are by looking at online forums and review sites. If you already have an account open at a bank that regularly gives out auto loans, you might get that sought-for “relationship discount.”

Look around online and review current interest rates. You might be able to get a comparable deal. It’s going to be largely dependent on your credit history. If you have at least okay credit, you ought to be able to negotiate for a reasonable rate that won’t have you scrambling to make your payments each month.

Once you have done your homework, you can go to the dealership and talk to the salespeople with confidence. You’ll understand if what they are offering is truly the best deal for you, and you can drive home feeling that you’ve mastered the car-buying game.

Categories: Car Dealerships
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