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Personal Car Buying Service vs. the Big Name Car Buying Services

So, you are about to make an automobile purchase, and you think you might try a car buying service such as USAA or Costco. These are a few of the well-known car buying services which are frequently used by its members. Kudos! You have just made a great decision to get assistance. Why? Not because you lack the ability to negotiate on your own, anyone can learn that, or is already a 
self-proclaimed expert (just ask them!). Here is why assistance is a great idea: 

Car salespeople sell, on average, 8-10 cars/mos. This means that they are practicing and honing their skills at least 40 times/month or nearly 500 times/year as it takes about four or five clients to walk in the door or contact by phone or email to get one car sale. It is clear then, why it is beyond challenging to beat a car dealer at their own game.

However, what precisely do car buying services offer? By and large, they offer new car pricing, perhaps even some preferred interest rates or even a suggested trade in value for the vehicle you might be replacing. What do these services miss? Well, besides the fact that they don’t get you the absolute lowest price you may have qualified for on the vehicle you’ve selected, there are items that only a personal car buying service can guarantee are covered when it comes to overall savings with a new or used car, truck, SUV or minivan purchase. That said, commercial-sized car buying services do indeed help you get a competitive price, so in that way, they have great value.

To analyze often overlooked opportunities for saving money, here are some reasons you may need a new vehicle:

1. You just graduated from college – money saving opportunity: first time buyer’s programs that guarantee additional rebates and often a special low interest rate. *

2. You just totaled your vehicle – money saving opportunity: getting 
assistance with procuring a higher value for your total loss vehicle. Most Americans just accept the offer from the insurance adjusters, not knowing how to (or even that they can) ask for a larger settlement.

3. A family member or offspring “relieved” you of your current ride. Money saving opportunity: special conquest offers if you switch brands, even if you are not trading in a vehicle. Sometimes it is just as easy as showing your current car registration and you can save $2,000 or more, immediately off of your lowest price.

4. A mechanical problem with an associated expense that precludes making a repair. Or your common sense keeps you from entertaining the idea of yet another repair because you are out of factory warranty. Money saving opportunity: you may be able to trade in the vehicle, even with the unrepaired damage and have a sizeable down payment on your next purchase. This amount is often more than you think the vehicle is worth.

5. High mileage on your vehicle that causes you to think seriously about trading for better reliability and peace of mind. Money saving opportunity: high mileage cars are far from worthless, often you can get up to 25% more than a dealership says your vehicle is worth. Particularly with the shortages in the used car market at the time of the writing of this article, many used vehicles are worth more than ever!

6. You simply feel like having a new ride. No other reason. Money saving opportunity: you don’t NEED a car. Use this to your advantage! You can really take advantage of expert timing to get the lowest possible price (varies from manufacturer to manufacturer).

These are just a few of the many items that factor into overall money savings when you buy a new or used car, truck or SUV. A car buying service is a great idea, but now that you know about all the unchartered areas where you can save additional money, be sure to enlist the services of a company that will provide dedicated and personal assistance for you in each and every place where you can uncover hidden time and money wasters. These companies may not have big, fancy and expensive websites, but you can be confident that they know how to save you all those extra dollars and cents so that you can pad your own pocketbook rather than the car dealer’s.

 * A commercial-sized buying service doesn’t have the staffing nor the depth of program to make sure a car dealer has failed to disclose the fact that the lower rate exists and is available (only if the buyer knows to insist), but they (the car dealer) is not motivated to tell YOU or your college graduate that they  automatically qualify for Tier 1 financing once the client qualifies for the  college graduate rebate money.

Lindsay Graham is former Internet car sales manager who now prefers to spend her time educating car buyers on how to avoid the “pain” and go straight for the ”gain” when making an automobile purchase. To learn more about how Car Pal can help streamline and simplify your next auto purchase, please visit and write “more resources” in the  comment section on the “contact us” page.

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