How to Save Money on Your Next Car Deal
Tips to Close the Deal Well
Once you have your offer, including all taxes and fees, in writing, then you can tell the dealer whether you're interested in leasing or buying. This is also the time to ask about dealer financing. Be specific: Say something like, "I'm interested in a 36-month lease," or "I want a four-year loan to buy the car. What kind of rate can you give me?" Since you've investigated your own financing, you are in the driver's seat. If you like haggling, you can use your existing financing as leverage to get a better rate. Or you can simply use your own financing and close the deal.
Whether you choose to secure financing from the dealer (sometimes they can offer deals that are comparable to or better than those you'll get at a bank) or from another source, be sure to read your contract carefully and consider having a lawyer read it as well. Remember, the dealership isn't bound by what it promised you during negotiations but by what is actually written in the contract. If you're leasing the car, question any fees now, including the termination fee (what the company charges when you return the car), mileage limits, or anything else that you foresee could present a problem -- later will be too late. Additionally, some leasing agreements require that you come to the dealership for maintenance. If you don't like that idea, negotiate the point.
Whether you're buying or leasing, your finance contract and sales contract should be two separate agreements. It's wise to get your financing locked down in advance (approval usually takes a few days), or you can sign both at the same time, making the purchase agreement contingent (in writing) on getting the financing terms you want. In either case, experts say, leave the car on the lot until the deal is complete.
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