Windows down, the wind in your hair, admiring looks from passers-by thinking who owns that car…what could be better? Owning a cool sports or vintage car is on the bucket list for many, though sadly less have the budget to turn that dream into reality, when some of the priciest models can cost upwards of $100,000. Luckily, there’s some handy tips you can learn to help you get the flashy car you’ve always wanted, for less than you may have thought possible. And anyway, who doesn’t love a good bargain?
We’ll help you hit the ground running on how to secure the snappiest deals for your new wheels. You’ll be speeding down country lanes before you can say ‘born to be wild.
Purchase a used car
If your salary doesn’t quite stretch into flashy car territory, consider flashy used car territory. Cars depreciate in value quickly after their first few years on the road, and a few hundred miles on the metre can significantly knock a couple of zeros off where it really counts. For vehicles of all shapes and sizes, used car finance is one of the most popular methods of securing a good deal, as someone else will absorb the loss in financial value, and you’ll get a better bang for your buck. Used car loans will let you pay back the total over a period of years so there’s no huge upfront cost, making flashy cars even more affordable when going down this route.
You’ll be able to access the vehicle history report, listing previous accidents, mileage and any quality issues – helping you make a more informed decision before purchasing, rather than being bowled over by the vehicle’s design alone.
Another benefit of a used car is that insurance is generally a fair bit less too. You won’t be so worried about maintaining your vehicle in pristine condition, and so will your insurance company. That leaves you with more room to enjoy ownership of the car without feeling like you’re in possession of a fragile gift you’re too concerned about scratching to drive anywhere.
Ask about demo models
The next way to nab a good bargain for a great car is to speak to your dealers about their demo models. These are the cars that generally stick around the showrooms, maybe get taken out for test drives, or are used for promotional shoots. Think of them as the dog in the shelter that everyone sees first when they walk in, but no one actually takes home.
Once a newer model is released, dealers will be itching to make room to display them, so this is when you’re most likely to get your top bargains. Another benefit is that these cars will be painstakingly maintained. After all, they’re the advert for the entire dealership, so you’ll likely find yourself driving a car kept in better condition than any other used vehicle.
They can’t be sold as brand new, because strictly speaking, they’re not. But for all intents and purposes they’re about as close to new as you can get without paying through the roof for your flashy car.
Do some research into the model you’re after if you have your heart set on something specific. Find out how in demand it currently is, as well as where in your state most are being sold. Dealers will be doing the same thing, and adjusting their prices to match supply and demand. Say you haven’t been able to get the dream of owning a pink Corvette like Barbie out of your head since you saw the film (and honestly, who could blame you). Thing is, you can bet a hundred others will have had the same thought as you, and dealers selling those cars will know they can up their prices for them.
If you’re not in a rush, wait a while, until less people are on the market for the same car. And why not look at less popular models too? You might find a hidden gem for a much better price which makes up its charm in its uniqueness. Keep an eye out for sales events or clearance deals too. If you have your eye on the ball it’s only a matter of time before a reduced price springs up for the car you want. Just be prepared to travel for it.
Practice your negotiation skills
Call it haggling, call it wheeler-dealing. Love it or hate it, negotiating well can play a huge role in reducing the price you pay for a fancy car. We’re not suggesting you strut up to your local dealer and confidently assert you’ll only pay half the listed price, because that probably won’t get you very far. Negotiating is a careful art form.
If you’re clued up about the exact model you’re looking at, you build up a good rapport with the dealer, and you’re willing to compromise too, most people selling vintage or sports cars will have a little wriggle room for you to snap up a bargain. If you’re the type who’s more of a secretive bargain hunter, try your hand at auctions, and you can go the discreet route in seeking the best price for your new car.
Modify your car
A flashy car is what you make it, right? So if a hotshot vehicle really is too far out your budget, a DIY job could do just the trick. Car modifications can be as cheap or expensive as you want – the advantage here is that you don’t have to commit to transforming your entire vehicle, and can keep upgrading it in increments.
You could change the wheel colour and add a ‘car bra’ bumper if you want to make an impact when you pull up somewhere. Or, install some ultra-cool features to the interior, like a surround sound-system, LED-lights or seat-heaters. Seeing your car modification as an ongoing project rather than a huge fork-out will keep it affordable, and dare we say it, more satisfying?
Turn your passion for cars into an active hobby, and something you can even get friends or kids involved in. Then the next time you take someone out for a spin, you can rightfully brag about all the added features you’ve put in to pimp up your wheels.
Getting behind the wheel of a flashy car is a thrilling experience, infinitely more so if you’re the one jangling the keys. Hopefully now you’re feeling a little more clued up on how to get a bargain when it comes to car dealerships, and it won’t be long before you’re the proud owner of a real head turner of a vehicle.
Just don’t be that person who revs their engine in the middle of a city in a traffic jam. No one likes that person.