Car-buying expert shares the 5 things you need to know before heading to a dealership

@billythecarkid/TikTok Friends Stock/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Make them fight against each other for your business’: Car-buying expert shares the 5 things you need to know before heading to a dealership

‘Don’t take any chances.’


Nina Hernandez


A car-buying expert shared the five things he thinks you should know before you head to the dealership to make your purchase.

TikTok user Billy the Car Kid (@billythecarkid) is an expert that helps his clients navigate the car-buying process. He also offers advice to viewers and prospective buyers on social media. A few months ago, he pointed out a few tricks dealerships employ to get you in the door. 

In another video posted on May 10, Billy reveals “5 must have car buying tips” for 2024. In the caption, he writes, “Five car dealership shopping tips that will help you save money and headaches in the current car buying market!” 

The video has amassed more than 288,000 views as of Monday morning. “Things are always changing guys, but these are the tips that are going to help you right now,” he says.

Get educated

A side view of a young auto mechanics student repairing a car while being observed by his trainer and other students in an automotive training school
Juice Verve/Shutterstock (Licensed)

Billy recommends going to the dealership educated about the market, interest rates, as well as makes and models. “Don’t take any chances,” he says. “Go get a pre-approval. That way you know exactly what rates you should be getting and that way the dealership can’t play any games.” Once you’re pre approved for financing, it’s time to pick out a make and model that you’re interested in learning more about. Then, you should look at prices for that model at several different dealerships.

Shopping from your living room

Mom and her toddler son plays with red car in their cosy living room
Milan Ilic Photographer/Shutterstock (Licensed)

After all that is complete, you’re ready to get to the next step of the process. But that doesn’t mean you’re speeding over to the dealership just yet. Billy the Car Kid says you don’t have to do that anymore. “The next step is to start calling all the dealerships,” he says. “That’s right: The days of being pressured in some weird office with the manager coming in and everybody asking why the extremely high price isn’t going to work for your budget is over. You can do this all from home, right from your couch. Just call every dealership that has what you want—used or new.”

Just say no

Woman made X sign shape mean to say no
pingphoto17/Shutterstock (Licensed)

This next step is pretty simple, Billy says. And that is to be comfortable walking away. “Walk away. You will get the price you want if you’re asking a reasonable number,” he says. “The power of the word no is humongous when it comes to sales. And you can’t let your emotions rule the day.” According to this LinkedIn article, it is indeed a good strategy to be willing to walk away from a negotiation that isn’t going well. “It sends a clear message that you value yourself and your offerings. It can also shift the dynamics of the negotiation, often leading the other party to reconsider their stance and come back with a better offer,” the article states.

Ask questions

customers came to make purchase in dealership, sit talking with salesman, ask questions about car.
Roman Chazov/Shutterstock (Licensed)

“This is a big one,” Billy says. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions.” Some car buyers can be intimidated by the dealership process and don’t ask legitimate questions about the vehicle or the financing agreement. “People say ‘yes’ because they don’t understand, and they don’t want to look stupid asking,” Billy says. “But no matter what, if you don’t understand something, with a financial obligation as big as this one, then you need to ask questions.” If the finance person is not adequately explaining the final numbers, the interest rate, or an unanticipated fee? “You need to ask,” Billy says. “Your time is then. You can’t do it after you leave.”

No haggle, no way

A cheerful car salesman is having a conversation with Indian couple inside a car dealership showroom
Prostock-studio/Shutterstock (Licensed)

Billy’s final advice is to avoid dealerships that won’t negotiate on their prices and those that don’t discuss numbers over the phone. “Any dealership that won’t give you numbers over the phone isn’t a dealership I would shop at, so take that for what it’s worth,” he says. According to LendingTree, the no-haggle dealership model started in the 1990s and is intended to remove some of the uncertainty for buyers who don’t want to, well, haggle. It will generally result in you paying more for the vehicle, though, which is probably why Billy advises against it. He also notes you can avoid the process by hiring his business.

@billythecarkid Five car dealership shopping tips that will help you save money and headaches in the current car buying market! #carbuyingtips #dealership #carbuyingadvice #carbuyinghelp #carbuyingsecrets #carbuyingmadeeasy ♬ Ms. Jackson (Instrumental) – Outkast

In the comments section, users said they’ve put Billy’s advice to the test and it paid off majorly. One user wrote, “I got 8.5% under MSRP today on a brand new vehicle. … talked to over 10 dealerships Wed/Thurs. had the deal solidified before I stepped into the dealership.”

Another user wrote, “I’m getting my first car tomorrow over 5000 in savings. All because I watched your videos and did my research for months and months. Thank you for all you do!!!”

The Daily Dot reached out to Billy the Car Kid via text message for comment.

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