Often, women are hesitant to go through the car-buying process by themselves. I’ve personally had many friends say they want to buy a new car but are going to wait to go with their dad, boyfriend, husband, etc. While there is nothing wrong with going with a man to buy a car, I want women to feel more confident going into a dealership and buying a car themselves. Following are a few tips to help you feel more comfortable.
Sponsored content by Roger Beasley Mazda, Photo by Matthew Littlefield
Before even stepping foot in a dealership, take some time to figure out exactly what you are looking for in a vehicle. Decide what your priorities are and know what you will and won’t compromise on. Personally, I know a backup camera is a must for me, but I don’t really care about four-wheel drive. For you, it could be having Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which Mazdas do have now, by the way. Write down your must-have features and take the list with you to the dealership.
Get a quote.
Get an idea of what the vehicle you’re interested in costs by getting online quotes from several different websites and printing them out to bring with you to the dealership. Visit the manufacturer’s website to see what incen- tives that brand is offering. The more you know, the better!
Research the dealership.
Check out the dealer’s website and social-media presence to see if they actively support our community. Roger Beasley Imports has been a long- time supporter of Austin Woman (in addition to many charitable organiza- tions in Austin), and even if I didn’t work for them, I’d be more inclined to shop there because I know the business supports women. Read online reviews on several different platforms (Google, Facebook, cars.com, etc.) and learn what the majority of people are saying about their experience. See if any salesperson is named in the reviews as being great to work with and ask for that salesperson specifically when you visit the dealership.
Confident body language not only boosts your self-esteem, but it also makes others take you more seriously. Wear something you feel good or powerful in. Stand up straight, keep your chin up, make eye contact and walk in like you know exactly what you’re doing, even if you don’t. Fake it till you make it, right?
Learn the lingo.
There are a lot of complicated terms when it comes to buying a car, espe- cially in regard to financing. Knowing what to expect beforehand is a big confidence booster. A simple Google search of “auto terms defined” will pull up tons of articles that explain every term you might encounter. If you’re worried there are too many terms to remember, print out the list or save it on your phone. There is no shame in being prepared.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If you still don’t understand a certain fee or term, ask the dealership salesperson who’s helping you to explain it to you. If you want to know the key difference between one trim level and another, ask away! It’s the salesperson’s job to help you make an informed decision when buying a car. Remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question.
Don’t be afraid to take a longer test-drive.
Also consider test-driving multiple cars, for that matter. Speaking for my- self, I don’t like to inconvenience people. Having a salesperson take you out on long or multiple test-drives may seem like a hassle, but that’s the salesperson’s job, and you’re making a big purchase, so it’s worth it. When test-driving, be sure to drive on normal city roads, highways, up hills, etc., to get a true feel of what it would be like to drive that car every day.
Know your limits and stick to them.
Know your financial limits before you even start looking at a vehicle—and stick to them. An extra $1,000 may not seem like a big deal at the time, but depending on your financing, that can add quite a bit more to the overall cost of your vehicle, not to mention raise your monthly payments.
Don’t be afraid to walk out.
If at any point you are uncomfortable with how the negotiation is going, do not be afraid to walk away. Whether it’s the person you’re dealing with or that you’re just not completely sold on the car, trust your gut and walk away if you’re not ready to sign on the dotted line.
Are you still feeling uneasy? Check out some of my past Austin Woman articles for more advice and info about the car-buying process. Or email me directly. I would be more than happy to talk it through with you.
Chelsea Bancroft is the strategic-partnerships and social-media manager at Roger Beasley Mazda and a blogger and onechelofanadventure.com.