There is no shortage of advice on how to save money on your next car. If you have experience dealing with salespeople, you might be able to outfox one in the dealership and beat them at the negotiation game. For those willing to wade into the private car market, you might be able to nab a deal on a car you would have paid more for at a dealership.
These techniques could work but require skill and hustle. You also take a risk by buying from a private seller without a warranty to protect the purchase. For the majority of consumers, an auto dealership is a familiar place where salespeople have to fulfill promises on some level, even if some happen to lie through their teeth.
You can still walk away with a great deal on a vehicle even when you go to your local dealership. The trick is knowing what techniques actually bring the price of a vehicle down. Everything else is unnecessary when your finances are the top priority. Here are the legitimate ways to save money on cars, ranked from methods with high probability to the only guaranteed ways.
8. Don’t trade in your car — sell it
When the “time is money” cliche came into existence, there’s a good chance the person was talking about selling versus trading in a used car. In this case, the math is simple. Dealers need to profit on the sale of your trade-in, so there is a ceiling to what they can offer you for it. Most people don’t want the hassle or time waste, so they accept the deal. It will take you much longer and raise your blood pressure to sell the car on your own, but you will get more for it. If every dollar counts, put in the time.
Next: Pay more up front but save in the end.