kcarter609 wrote:One thing they like to do is hold on to your license for extended periods of time. Don't let them do that. Tell them to make their copy or whatever they need and bring it back immediately. If it isn't back in a couple minutes, or the salesman comes back without it, just be like "
Your whole message contains great advice. I've bought a few cars in my day and trust me, salesmen HATE dealing with my wife and I because we are both smart professionals and do not allow ourselves to be jerked around.
For the license (or key) trick - make your own photocopy beforehand. Give that to them but never, ever surrender your license. Also, black out the SS number if it's on your license. Sometimes they will use that to look at your credit. It is illegal to do that without your permission (actually against federal law to even ask for your SSN at that point) so it they balk at a test drive over that issue you explain that you are going to report the dealer and the individual salesman for violating the law and walk away. They usually have a legitimate need to see you license but not to hold it. Photocopying a drivers license is also illegal in many states. The reason does not matter. Don't park where the dealer can block your car in either. I actually made that mistake once and had to dial the police on my cell phone before they were able to find the keys for the car that just happened to be blocking me in. Holding your keys, drivers licence, car, purse or anything else even briefly after you ask for it back is theft. Preventing your from leaving, even briefly, is kidnapping. While obviously it would be extremely unusual for a salesman to get arrested or convicted for that, it IS a crime and you can report it. Any sale resulting from such an act is also fraudulent and they should know that.
Never give up your keys either.
Don't make yourself too comfortable. Nothing should take more than 1 minute. If the salesman says he has to go get something, ask him how long he will be gone then look at your watch. Wander off and get impatient once the time has expired. At that point wander off in the direction he went and start opening doors. Don't worry about "Employees Only" or anything like that. The salesman is overdue. You are just looking for him to avoid a further waste of your time. I have wandered into a couple of private offices in my day. It works!
The bottom line is that you go to the dealer to buy a car. Much like what has already been said, don't let yourself be distracted by payments or any other crap. Get the total price of the car including everything. Ask if that is how much you write the check for. I have negotiated multimillion dollar commercial contracts and the same principle applies - keep is simple - bottom line price and what is included. Don't cloud the issue with financing.
Once you have a bottom line price you are happy with and you have decided to make a purchase THEN you can decide how you want to pay. I strongly suggest you save up and pay cash. If you can't do that then go to the dealer with a preapproval from a bank for a fixed amount and interest rate. That sets a hard budget that the salesman can't argue with. Simply refuse to discuss finance or credit with him until the price is agreed. Trust me, you would NEVER discuss financing or credit in a business negotiation. Simply state that you have the funds available (but don't tell how much).
Also, don't be in a hurry. A professional has no problem completing negotiations and then waiting a few days to transfer money around and perform final due diligence. If today is Saturday the salesman says the price is valid only today, tell him you will not be buying until Wednesday so you are only interested in Wednesday's price.
As I'm sure Mr. Carter will tell you, if you try to push the salesman around or bully them too much then they will not want to deal with you. They actually don't make that much on each car so dumping a difficult customer is not that big of a deal. But if you approach the purchase and negotiation in a business-like manner and refuse to tolerate BS then you will both disarm him from the tactics he has been taught and you will also be taken seriously. Remember too, he is not your friend. He is a counterparty in a business transaction.