I talk a lot about car deals. In fact, I have often said that life is a “car deal”. I say that because a car deal or vehicle deal is mostly about choice, and of course life is mostly about choice. We are faced with many choices when it comes to buying a vehicle and much like life the options that we must choose from are not always lined up with our actual wants. In other situations, the choices of others have an affect on what we are left to choose. We are then forced to make a choice between the lesser of two evils or to avoid it all together. The great news is that we are 100% free to choose even though we may not be in love with the choices.
First Rule: Don’t let the advertisements, incentives, or fear of missing out drive your purchase decision. There will always be advertisements, incentives, and some sort of supply. Of course it is our job as dealers to entice you to buy because that is how we make our living, but I have found it is much easier to help someone get what they want versus trying to talk them into something that they don’t want or need.
The reality is that you want to figure out what your value equation is. Getting the best deal is about getting the deal that meets YOUR value equation.
The value equation for any product, service or even life for that matter includes 4 things. Here they are:
Number 1. What is it?
Number 2. How does it work?
Number 3. What will it do for me?
Number 4. How much does it cost?
Notice that how much it costs is the last thing to worry about, yet it is the first thing that is often used to convince you to purchase something? The reason is that those providing the product or service assume that you have already answered the first 3 questions!
The first step then is to identify your needs and wants. Make sure that you are honest with yourself about your needs, and that wants don’t become needs because that is when you end up spending more than you intended. For example, massage seats in your new vehicle is likely a want, but if you have a bad hip like me and drive a lot of miles it might be a need! Use the first 3 questions of the value equation to help you with your research.
Use the information superhighway to identify the products that meet your needs. Once you have identified your needs do a quick test to see how they line up with your budget. Take your monthly budget and multiply it by 50 add the amount of down payment you have, and that total number will give you a good start of what the vehicle price should be. For example, $600 per month budget, multiplied by 50, with no down payment, equals 600x50 or $30,000. Prices are posted online by almost everyone, so simply compare that number with the advertised price. You will now see if you can meet all of your needs, maybe get some or all of your wants, or even decide to buy pre-owned versus new to get all of your wants.
Life is a car deal, because the best chance of you being happy with life or your car deal is it to make sure that all of your needs are met and that you only pay for the wants that fit into your budget.