May 25, 2015

I purchased a car and am finally done with the process with time to think. I have thought about ways to improve this process and the lessons learned for buying my next car. I have a full write up of ~2,200 words but will share a few of my key take aways.

1. Have time. Be patient. There are two components to this, the actual date you need to drive away with the vehicle and the amount of time the negotiations take. If I had more time I would have walked out and waited for a better deal with a more honest salesman. Also make sure you have time to sit at the dealership. I came in after work but if I had to do this differently I would have come in on Saturday with the day free to sit (if necessary).

2. Expand the dealership search. I wish I had also looked into dealerships in Oklahoma and bordering cities. They may be a drive but if the deal is good enough it may be worth it.

3. Do your research. Understand if the vehicle is able to be configured in the manner you would like. Make sure you ask a few dealerships the same question instead of relying on one. I got burned wasted lots of time because of this.

4. Along with number 2 and 3, Ask multiple dealers the same question. If you ask your salesmen questions and a majority tell you one thing but one person tells you something different, there is something fishy going on. I should have taken that as a warning but didn’t and ended up without a built in navigation system.

5. Understand how much you're paying in interest over the life of the loan. Originally I had come in with a 1.79% from a credit union but with the 0.9% offered at the dealership. For me that meant approximately $350-400 saved over the life of the loan which I could afford to put into the warranty or other incentives dealers may provide to use their financing.

http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/calculators/calculate/howMuchWillMyLoanCost.php?calcCategory=debt

6. Due to the navigation system and the hybrid, I had a limit to what I would pay for the warranty. With the increased savings from the financing, I was able to increase that limit and still saved some additional money.

7. Lute Riley Honda lied to me and misled me multiple times. They also took more than 3 months to refund me and it seemed like their management didn't care too much past the sale. I will not shop at Lute Riley ever again.

If you have questions about the full process or detailed notes, I may provide those by request.