How I Bought My Brand New Car and Managed to Get A Dealership to do it All My Way

GMC Acadia Denali

Not many people love the idea of shopping for a new vehicle. To be completely honest, it’s just not fun. Let’s not even get into the fact that no one loves a car salesman. No one loves to fill out paperwork and provide their phone number and email address to every single vulture on a car lot, but it’s par for the course. Car shopping is a headache, and it’s one most of us have to deal with every few years. Personally, I’d rather go through another 9-month twin pregnancy complete with three months of bed rest all over again than shop for a car.

The last time I shopped for a car was when I was actually 34 weeks along with my twins. I had a little 3 series BMW and my husband has a two-seater convertible. Since we already had two older kids, we knew we needed an SUV. We bought a new Buick Enclave, and I was in love with it. Fast forward 2 years and 75,000 miles and that thing began to fall apart. I mean I have never had as many issues with a car as I did with this one. When my husband realized I was in the dealer’s shop for the third time in a few weeks with the Enclave, he said it’s time to get rid of it. I cried. Not only did I adore that SUV, I hate car shopping.

That was a Friday three weeks ago. By Monday evening I was driving home from the dealership with a brand new GMC Acadia Denali, and I’m sure I’ve never loved a car more than I love this one. However, it wasn’t a fun shopping experience. Did I mention I have four kids? Right, well that meant getting sitters, which felt like a huge waste since we were spending it car shopping, one car salesman who found portable wine glass holders (that’s another story for another day) for me and a phone conversation that I should probably be embarrassed over; I’m not.

But – I ended up getting my beautiful new ride for far less than the asking price, and I got more on my trade than anyone was willing to offer. Did I mention that I also drove my new SUV home less than 15 minutes after we arrived at the dealership? Here’s how I was able to accomplish all that in a matter of one full day (the first two were spent looking at other vehicles; therefore, they do not count in my opinion).

Finance first

If you want to make buying a new car as easy as possible, get your financing first. Call your bank, your credit union or whomever it is you use as a lender, get your approval, get your paperwork and find out what you can afford, what you can buy in the terms of that and then go shopping. You’ll be able to take with you something called a buyer’s order from the lender that tells the dealership that you have financing for this amount. Once you choose the vehicle, they will write up the paperwork and then provide that to the bank and the bank will send over the check. It’s literally the simplest thing you can ever do in your life.


When I found the SUV I wanted, I immediately called. I knew I wanted the Denali edition since I could not be happy in a vehicle without the upgrades. It’s imperative that I have a rear entertainment system for my kids as well as leather for easy cleanup. I also never drive anything without a sunroof. To be even pickier, I don’t like black leather and will only drive a vehicle if it has light tan leather. Also, I wanted a white SUV. It looks cleaner far longer.

I’d already driven one that didn’t meet my requirements and knew I loved it. I just needed to find one right away that had all I wanted in it. When I found it, about an hour from my house, I called immediately and told them I wanted the car, this is the price I was willing to pay and what I wanted for my trade. I told them I could be by the next day to pick it up. They were closed the next day, so I had to settle for Monday.

I was firm with my demands and expectations, told the salesman I’d found another one I also liked and was just waiting on one of the salesmen to call me back after meeting my needs and I’d get that one.

Stand firm

When the salesman called back, he did not meet my demands so far as my trade was concerned. Aside from the fact that all my lights were coming on and all types of issues had occurred with the car, it was in pristine condition and he wanted to offer me less than ‘fair’ price for my trade. Fair meaning the SUV had serious wear and tear. All the issues had been fixed, and wear and tear is not something my vehicles ever have – I’m a perfectionist and actually clean out my car by vacuuming it and detailing it at least three times a week. If I see a crumb or speck of dirt anywhere, I clean the entire car.

He wanted to give me $4,500 less than I thought was fair, which was between good and excellent Kelley Blue Book trade in price. When he told me what he’d give me, I politely thanked him and told him that it’s a lovely vehicle but not worth giving away my currently lovely vehicle with every upgrade imaginable free of charge. When I told him never mind with the paperwork he was drawing up for me, we said our goodbyes.

My husband was unsure because I loved this vehicle and wanted it. I told him flat out that man would call me back within an hour with the number I wanted. He did. I got ready, picked the kids up and we drove to the dealership. We spent about 15 minutes there and we were on our way home with my new car.

This is how I handle buying a new car. I don’t go look unless I need to actually see a car I’ve never seen before to see the size – I do have four kids, you know. Otherwise, I pick it out online, call and provide a number and wait for someone to call me back with what I want. It works every single time.

Photo by Getty Images


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