Your Wife’s HOT
That’s what a billboard promoting a new air conditioning company in my town says. Wow talk about great advertising. Its message is short, sweet and attention grabbing. And it couldn’t be timelier since the summer heat is on full blast from Mother Nature’s furnace.
The summer may just be getting started up north but from my window in scorching south Florida I can tell it’s already here. SPF 10 or 15 no longer works. Trust me I know. I spent last Sunday at the pool and despite using SPF 30 and limiting my time outside to just two hours, I still managed to burn the heck out of my Irish kissed face.
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This time of year people are searching for any cheap way to beat the heat. There is nothing I like better than driving down a long, straight road, the wind in my face and blowing back my hair. The panoramic views and cooling effect one gets from driving a convertible is quite a rush. This is the time of year everyone craves a corvette or any kind of convertible. It’s also the most expensive time of year to buy one. You won’t be getting any kind of deals if you buy a convertible over the next few months. You’d have to wait till the winter months to get the best deal on a car with a convertible roof. Though it may be better to keep your current car, here are some tips to save big if you have to.
Secrets To Saving Money On A Car
The first thing to do when buying a car is your homework. If you prepare ahead of time you not only shave off the amount of time you have to spend getting a car, you also shave off the amount of money you have to shell out. According to Edmunds.com savvy negotiators pay 10 to 15 percent less than Joe Blow down the street for a car.
Look at cars online before you stop by the car lot. Research what cars best fit your needs in your price range. The best strategy is to narrow your search down to a few options, not just one. It’s a good idea to have a few favorites because you don’t want to leave yourself with just one choice of vehicle that you just have to have. You leave yourself no room for negotiating then. If you don’t get the car for the price you want you’ll be able to walk away. When you are willing to walk away from a deal you make salesmen very nervous because essentially you’ve taken away their power.
After you’ve picked out a few vehicles to take a look at prepare yourself further by coming up with a number in your head that you won’t go over. This may seem like a no brainer but a lot of people skip over this step. If you tell yourself that you can afford $25,000 then don’t go a penny over that.
Salesman will sometimes try to wear you down as a sales tactic. You may have been looking at cars for hours and have begun to feel worn out. Salesmen use this to their advantage. They try to start convincing you to spend a little more than you wanted so you can wrap the deal up quicker. Don’t fall for this tactic. Always remember that there are more cars for sale than customers. Dealerships and salesmen may be well versed in the art of negotiation, but they need you more than you need them. They have minimum sales quotas to meet each month and can become quite desperate to make a sale.
Welfare Cheat Exposed?
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Know Thyself Before You Hurt Thyself
Once you’ve picked out a car and negotiated the price down your journey is really only half over. The best advice I can give you is to pay for a car with cash. Taking out a loan to pay for a car is one of the worst loans you can acquire. You are paying interest on a loan for an asset that is depreciating in value, a complete waste of money.
For example, let’s say you buy a car for $25,000. If you pay for it in cash that’s the exact amount you will shell out. If you decide to finance a car you will pay a lot more than that over the life of a loan. Most people who take out car loans take out five year car loans. According to Edmunds.com if you have good credit you can get a rate of about 4.00% right now for a five year car loan. At that rate you will end up paying $27,624.60 over the life of the loan. It costs an extra $2,624.60 to finance the car. Not good. And yet most people choose to finance their cars.
I realize that not everyone can afford to pay cash for a car. If you absolutely have to take out a car loan limit the loan term to two years instead of five. This loan term will assure that you pay off the car faster than it depreciates. It also ensures you don’t pay thousands of dollars extra in finance charges.
You can also do your homework ahead of time by knowing your credit score. According to Edmunds.com dealerships make almost 50% of their money on the finance side of buying a car so you want to be prepared.
I was at a dinner party once and the gentleman sitting next to me was a loan officer at a local dealership. He had the gall to tell me that he purposely looked for clients with good credit scores who didn’t know they had such good credit. He claimed they were the easiest targets. Loan officers can charge you any interest rate they want, not necessarily the cheapest rate available. People with good credit usually qualify for better interest rates but if you don’t know your credit score how do you know if the rate they are giving you is a good deal or not? That’s why before you even step one foot onto a car lot shop around for car loans. Don’t rely on the dealership to give you the best financing. Always check three outside sources. Institutions like credit unions, local banks and brokerage websites are good places to start.
Interview with a Former Auto Executive
Since I’ve started writing the Easy Street newsletter I get the occasional email thanking me for my money saving advice. I also frequently get questions like, “How do you know all this?” or “What are your qualifications on this subject matter?” Well, let me put your mind at ease. I grew up in an automotive family. Multiple generations of my family have worked for car manufacturers and combined they have given me almost a century’s worth of knowledge on the subject.
That’s why I can be 100% positive when I tell you, “don’t buy the extras!” This is where dealerships make a lot of money off car buyers as well. One trick financiers love to do is to give you a couple of options of extras that include things like extended warranties, paint protection and disability insurance. But they don’t position them as extras they simply tell you to pick a package. If you are presented with a choice of packages like these tell them you don’t want any of them! It’s a typical sales trick to not tell you that you have an option to not choose any option.
Another great trick that my family taught me was to always assume there is a warranty when a problem arises on your car. If you are out of the warranty period repairs can get costly. According to the Center for Auto Safety there are about 500 secret automotive warranties available at one time or another. Secret warranties are promises that automotive companies make to repair a singular problem on a particular car when that specific problem occurs on a large amount of those particular cars. The problem for car owners is that sometimes these warranties aren’t publicized well enough for everyone to know about them.
If you are having a particular problem with your car, say a tail light keeps shorting, take the car into the dealership and act as if you’ve heard about a warranty that covers your particular problem. A lot of times there is! And you’ll get the repair done for free. If you’re not confident enough in your acting abilities however, you can check to see if there is a warranty for the particular problem for your car at websites like Edmunds.com and alldatadiy.com
One of the neatest pieces of advice I learned from interviewing a former auto executive is when to buy a car. Yes, there are times when you can get a better deal on a car than others. Like I mentioned before it’s cheaper to buy a convertible in February than it is in June. It’s also cheaper to buy a new car at the end of December. This time of year dealerships are trying to make room on their lots for the next year’s models so they are more willing to make a deal in your favor during this time. By buying a car that is at that point a year old instead of next year’s model you can SAVE BIG.
If you’re looking for typical information about how much car you can afford or whether you should buy a new versus used car go search Google for that kind of low brow information. My newsletter will show you what the others don’t. The hard to find, insider secrets, behind the scenes kind of information. Take heed and you could save a bundle.
Until Next Week…
(Editorial Note: Your biggest car expenses start as soon as you take the car off the lot. Though what if there was a way to cut your biggest expense and get free gas. In this special report Nancy Patterson would like to show you how. https://www.leagueofpower.com/irl-fg)