It seems an intimidating position to put oneself in when it comes time to sit in that dealerships office. So, it is important to be prepared and know everything you need to know about financing, the car itself, the price, insurance etc etc.
Knowledge should be your game plan!
There is something called the Auto Financing Cheat Sheet a PDF file that you can download here http://www.cars.com/finance/assets/Auto-Financing-Cheat-Sheet.pdf
You can print it out and take it along with you to the dealership.
You most likely have some idea already of the type of car you want and if you research what that one is selling for, you won`t be paying more than you should for it. Find out the MSRP price and the invoice price.
It’s also important to take into consideration that there will be charges for destination, title, licensing and taxes o your car. Remember though, that cars that are on the dealers lot may have different options than what you are putting into your wish list.
Stand Your Ground
A salesman will always try to nudge you up in what you want to pay, so stand your ground. Figure out the absolute most amounts you are willing to spend and stay with it. But when you mention the amount you want to pay, keep it lower than what you really intend. This way they won’t try and talk you into paying more and negotiations will run smoother.
Always keep your eyes on what the purchase price is and the monthly payment amount.
Find out everything you can about incentives and cash back as well as any special financing the dealer has to offer. Remember that the incentives change all the time and have some time limits on them.
Do you want to trade in your old car? Best if you know how much it is worth because that amount will come off the price of the new one. This is sort of like a down payment. You can find what your car is worth in the Kelly Bluebook. Just remember that when you are ready to go to the dealership grab your sheet that you printed out and make sure it is all up to date.
Shop For a Loan
Know also where you are going to get your car insurance from. A small amount prefer to have the payment all wrapped into one parcel from the dealership.
So get your cheat sheet and off you go to have a better chance at winning the game!