No single consumer purchase causes more headaches, more irritation and leads to more buyer’s remorse than a car purchase. Nothing.

Car dealerships love fees and extras perhaps more than anyone else. They love blurring the lines between the sticker price, invoice price and out-the-door price.

Plus, they wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they didn’t try to upsell you on all the off-sticker extras like window tinting, fabric protection, and extended warranties.

And they know a few extra tricks to influence your purchase like the old time tested “I’ll-talk-to-the-manager” while you stew in a cubicle for 15 minutes wasting your time.  The result can be up to 20 percent profits on some sales for the dealership. But it can leave you feeling ripped off.

Follow These 5 Tips and Walk Away a Winner Every-time

Before setting foot in a dealership follow these 5 tips. You’ll be surprised how much more leverage you have to negotiate on a great price for your new baby. 

Know Your Credit Score

You need to know what your credit score is, and you can get that from any of the three major credit reporting companies. Federal law guarantees you one free credit report each year. 

Get Pre-Arranged Financing

Next, you want to walk into the dealership with pre-arranged financing. This means you need to shop around for the best loan rates. The car company might offer the best deal. Ask them to beat what you’ve already determined is your best deal on financing. If not, you can rest assured that you still have the best rate you can get, and the confidence to walk away. 

Check for The “True” Sale Price

There is the sale price and then there’s ‘the real sales price’. Use a service like TrueCar or Edmunds to determine a fair selling price for the new car you want. If your preferred dealership is not one of those guaranteeing a good price through these services, ask the sales manager at the dealership you’d like to use to match it.

Sell Your Current Car

Try not to make the deal more complex with a trade-in, especially if you owe more on the trade-in than the car is worth. You will always get more for your old car by selling it on your own. If you don’t want to do that, then you’ll need to accept less money for it in exchange for easy disposal. 

Skip The ‘Extra’s’

As we said in the beginning of the article – don’t buy extras. Many dealerships load every car it sells with things like paint protection, anti-theft devices, window tinting, spoilers, service contracts, you name it. And people think they must pay for this stuff. Walk away from any dealership that posts what is called an “addendum sticker” next to the factory window sticker, listing fat-profit upgrades as though you have no choice in the matter.

When you have financing in place, dealerships will fall all over themselves to sell you a car.  Why?  Because they know they don’t have to be concerned about your credit, and you’re ready to buy.

You are now in the proverbial driver’s seat.