Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

26 May 2017

5 Tips For Solo Summer Car Shopping

About two years after moving to Dallas, I got that itch to get a new car. Although it certainly wasn't my first full time job out of college (I worked my butt off back in Tennessee working two full time jobs from 7am - 4pm and then another position from 5pm-11pm) it was the first time I had solid, steady money. 

I also grew up in a car family, my Dad sold cars for 40 years. CB oddly enough grew up in a car family, too. When you have a parent who is in the car business, you get new cars sometimes as often as every few months if they're driving a demo that gets bought off the lot. 

I obviously do not expect a car that often, but every 5 years or I get the itch. This itch came because I was in a pretty nasty accident and I was ready to be in a bigger SUV. I had just moved to Deep Ellum, right on the outskirts of downtown, and my commute quadrupled from previously living in Carrollton. I went from a 10 minute drive to a 40 minute drive. I was ready for a change. 

This is the perfect timing for this post, because Summer is when people flock to the car dealerships! In fact, I bought my car on June 7th! I remember that date because it was my second date with CB and I was horrendously late to meet him. Probably best that he found out I'm late to everything that early on anyway. 

Oh, and did I mention I did this car shopping all on my own? I was pretty darn proud of myself!  I did a few things when purchasing my car, plus learned a few things for next time that were incredibly helpful and I thought I'd share them with you today!

5 Tips For Summer Car Shopping Solo

1. Have every intention of leaving the dealership without a new set of car keys in hand
CB said he has the exact same thing. He had plans to meet his brother to go fishing, and had no intention of buying a car that day. I had every intention of leaving myself, because I had a date that night that I didn't want to be late for - whoops! When you go in knowing you are JUST BROWSING you have a lot more willpower to walk away if the deal isn't EXACTLY what you want. 

2. Don't assume financing at the dealership is the way to go
Did you know dealers generally make a commission on not just the car you buy but also the auto loan too? Plus, just because you see some amazing deal like zero percent interest rates doesn't mean you automatically qualify. 

3. Secure financing before you go to the dealership
You can actually pre-qualify for financing and see financing terms before you visit a dealer using the Capital One® Auto Navigator® website. Actually, using this site you can find a car too, they have over 3 million cars and 12,000 participating dealers in their database.

By using the Capital One® Auto Navigator®  you are able to see your personalized APR and monthly payment on each car once you pre-qualify for financing. From there, you can build your offer and see how financing terms change. Plus, you can also get dealer ratings and read car reviews – all in one place. There is also access to car history reports on the site too. You'll go in WAY more prepared, and knowledgeable.

This was my first time buying a car on my own and feeling confident that I was getting a good deal was key to me leaving happy and feeling like I just #nailedit.

4. Go on the last day of the month
I did not do this, but I've had several people tell me that is how they got a killer deal! I should have known to do this though, seeing as my Dad would work the longest hours on the last few days of the month! They have sales goals to meet and, paired with tip #1 of being ready to walk away, you can leave with a wonderful deal!

5. The second you feel like you're not being treated with the same respect as everyone else, LEAVE! 
I went to multiple dealerships where some jerk salesman was clearly dancing around in his head with glee because he was certain he was going to take me for every dime I have. I knew what I wanted for my trade in and he gave me a number that was THOUSANDS less than my number.

Then he proceeded to ask where my husband or father was, and he'd be happy to make a deal with him. I'm not joking, that happened. This was my first stop and I left that dealership SO UPSET. Not only did I not have a husband or father to help me, I felt like I couldn't do this on my own. That is NOT how you should feel. The second you don't feel welcome or comfortable, just leave. You owe them nothing. Find a dealership that makes you feel important and treats you with the same respect as every other customer. Settle for nothing less than that.


Car shopping can be intimidating, unless you go in knowing your price and financing and not budging until you get that price. Summer shopping is the best time to do car shopping too, because that is when Summer incentive programs start! New models are normally rolled out around August, so in the Summer, they want to sell off the previous models. To do so, they will offer a lot of incentives! Make sure you get your hands on those incentives!

What tips do you have for car buying that I missed? Anything work for you that you'll for sure use again in the future? 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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