So You're In The Market For a New Car
How exciting- and how fortunate that we live in an age that you can hop online and access so much information and so many tools to make shopping easy! That said there's *so much* information that it can be hard to know where to start. Hopefully I can walk you through the process and make the experience fast and simple so you can move along to loving your next new car.
Where To Begin Your Online Car Shopping
I would suggest you begin with the end- what did you like about your current car? What didn't you like? Have your needs and wants changed since you purchased your current vehicle?
I oftentimes find that people purchase new cars in times of transition in their lives- perhaps the car seat doesn't quite fit in the back of the sports car, or its finally time for something fun since the kids are all grown.
Take the time to identify the must haves, the would be nice, and where you have flexibility to help you seek out a car that will actually work for you.
Build Your Car Online
All manufacturers have online building tools available where you can build out and get a sense of the MSRP on any new vehicle with any add-ons that are available. Utilize these tools!
Visit the main website of the brand(s) you're looking for (here's Subaru's website) and look for the build it tool. Why?
- It gives you a frame of reference on price. Based off the retail price you're going to get a sense of what numbers are going to look like.
- Suggested retail pricing gives you a comparison point from brand to brand, as discount percentages are fairly consistent on in class vehicles.
- If the price is in range of your budget you can start looking for something in the market that closely matches what you actually want and what you built within your price range- information like:
- Trim Level: a base level Subaru Outback has very different features than a Touring level Outback. Which one best meets your needs?
- Available add on packages. What did you decide was important to you? If heated seats only come with the all-weather package, well, sign me up for the all weather package!
- How your vehicle of interest stacks up against other in-class vehicles.
Deciding exactly what you want for your next car is a hugely important step in simplifying your shopping. Why? Simple:
If You Don't Know What You Want The Price Doesn't Matter
This is important enough to mention it twice- if you don't know what you want the price doesn't matter. There is a huge amount of swing in pricing from car to car because they are not equipped the same across the board. One might have the aforementioned all-weather package, the other may not. This would account for significant price differences as you approach your next step in the process.
Take the time to decide what you want before you get to the fun part- connecting with dealers and making things real. This is also a good time to reach out because we can work together to confirm that the cars you're shopping actually meet your needs.
Start Shopping For a Great Car Deal
There are many great ways to find a great deal on a vehicle courtesy of the internet:
- Buying programs through your workplace
- Costco and other auto programs
- E-Pricing buttons to get your buy it today price on individual dealer websites
- Readily available dealer contact information
All of these platforms will forward your contact information along to area dealerships and give them the opportunity to compete for your business based on the vehicle you're looking for.
This is all excellent news for you as the consumer! The internet has forced a level of transparency on the auto industry that never existed in the past and, frankly, it's phenomenal. You have access to enough information to recognize a great price because we're all going to send you out our most deeply discounted price quotes to secure your business on price.
We also do our research just like you. Area dealerships are all going to be within $100 - $250 or so of one another on new vehicles.
You're just not going to see $1,000's in variance in today's automotive shopping landscape because the margins are too tight and the internet has built transparency and consistency in the sales experience.
So How Do I Know Who To Buy My Car From?
You found your numbers, you found a deal that works for you, you've been connecting with dealerships- at this point it boils down to the shopping experience.
You can be mercenary about this process with a beat it by $1.00 mentality but, personally, I am going to advocate for the automotive sales professional.
What does that mean?
- Has your contact been accessible? Responsive? Diligent in their follow through and contact?
- Is your contact knowledgeable? Do they know their product?
- Has your contact been at the dealership for awhile? Find out! Do they intend to stay? Ask!
If you've been working with someone who's been great and helpful give them a shot to hit the number that works.
I'd also argue that the automotive sales professional is a value add on in and of itself. Your sales consultant can make or break the buying experience in both the before and after.
They should be a partner in the process every step of the way, and, oftentimes, if you make an offer that earns your business in the moment you're positioned to get a great price AND a phenomenal experience. Win win!
You have your price, you have your partner- pull out the calendar because it's time!
Set An Appointment With Your Sales Consultant
It's time to leave the house- bummer, but the professional you've selected will have the skills and experience make this as fast and easy as possible. Ideally they'll have that dream car pulled out and walk you through the features, functions, and benefits of the car you've been shopping.
It's time for the experiential and emotional component of car shopping- quite possibly the best part.
Drive the Car
It's the car's job to sell you the car at this point- all the online research in the world can't make or match the experience of getting behind the wheel. See it, touch it, take in that new car smell and confirm that this is THE car.
Buy Your Car at the Best Price
It's the car. You have your prices and the numbers already worked out. We'll hit you with our offer based off our quote, haggle free and easy. Paperwork's signed, you're run through the business office, and back on your sofa in no time flat.