Should You Tell a Car Salesman How Much You Can Afford?

When it comes to buying a car, knowing what not to say is just as important as knowing what to. Many buyers focus on the monthly payment, but it's best to avoid discussing this with the dealer during negotiations. Instead, focus on the price of the car and getting a good deal. If you're looking for a reliable car, consider buying a gently used one from Hyundai, Toyota, Lexus, or Mazda.

When asked how much you can afford each month, simply say you're not ready to talk about it until you've determined the total price of the car. Even if you're eager to buy the vehicle, tell the seller that you might be willing to buy it if you get a good price for it. Don't say you want the monthly payment to not exceed a certain number. A car salesman tries to maximize profits and will simply artificially reduce your payment by extending the life of the loan or by requiring more money up front as a down payment.

Buying a new car and exchanging an old one are two separate transactions, and it benefits you to make them in that order. Once you decide and accept the price of the new car, you can tell them that you changed your mind and would like to pay cash. Saving enough money to buy a car with cash is certainly more difficult than getting a loan, so people assume that they should be rewarded for this achievement. However, if the dealer thinks you're going to finance, they estimate that they'll make a few hundred dollars in additional profits and therefore be more flexible with the price of the car.Whether the salesperson shows you a Ferrari or a Chevy, their answer should always be to point out the car's problems and faults.

I generally advise my friends to buy from Hyundai, Toyota, Lexus and Mazda, and avoid cars from Italy and the UK at all costs. When negotiating a deal, especially the price of a large purchase such as a car, it's important to remember that your ultimate goal is to get the dealer to take such a low price that they are willing to pay for the car in exchange for the opportunity to get the metal out of the lot.