There are lots of things we regard as common wisdom that really aren’t so. For example, there’s a common expression that lightning never strikes the same place twice. In reality, lightning tends to strike the same tall structures or trees over and over again, which is why the Empire State building gets hit about 100 times a year.
There are also plenty of common misconceptions people have about buying a car. These have been passed on from person to person and have become common wisdom. Unfortunately, they’re just not true. Here are the top 6 misconceptions people have about buying a car:
- Being aggressive will get you a better deal
Some people think going in and figuratively beating up the salespeople and dealership employees will get them the best deal possible. In reality, flexibility on price has more to do with how much wiggle room a dealership has on a particular vehicle. And being rude or aggressive with a salesperson isn’t going to make them want to give you the best deal possible and is likely to have the opposite effect instead.
- You should line up your own financing
This is a common misconception and ignores the fact that dealerships are incentivized to offer their own financing through the manufacturer or bank discounts. This means you could potentially get a better deal on a vehicle if you use the dealer’s financing, and possibly a lower interest rate through the manufacturer’s financing incentives. There’s nothing wrong with looking at your own bank or credit union for financing, but the dealership may be able to offer you an even better deal.
- Great deals always last
Far too many people think that when a salesperson offers a great deal or a discount that this offer or vehicle will still be available in a few days or weeks. The automotive industry moves fast, very fast. And many of the discounts and incentives available only last as long as the dealership or manufacturer is running a particular promotion. So if you come across a great deal, you should take it.
- You will get a better deal if you pay cash
This is probably the most common misconception in the world about car buying. The only time this is true is when manufacturers are offering cash-only incentives. Otherwise, paying cash won’t get you a better deal because dealers are incentivized for financing and leases, so a cash deal actually makes them less money on a transaction. In car sales, cash is not king.
- You should read every word of the contract
The truth about this misconception is that even though most people believe this, almost nobody actually reads the entire contract. Why? Because it would literally take you an entire afternoon and a law degree to get through it. Contracts are based on government regulations, so they’re standard depending on what state you’re in. The only part you need to look at closely is the part dealing with the actual numbers related to your transaction.
- It doesn’t matter who you buy from
Far too many think that all automotive salespeople and dealerships are created equal. Nothing could be further from the truth. You should be discerning about where and from who you buy a vehicle because it will make the difference between getting a good deal with great customer service and getting the opposite. Great automotive salespeople build their careers on their reputations and will make your buying experience a great one every time.