If your old automobile is ready for the junk pile (or even if it’s not) and you’re going to be purchasing a new car in 2015, today’s blog should help you save quite a bit of money. It’s got 4 Tips that will help you to avoid the tricks and traps that dealers have an walkout of any dealership with more money in your pocket and more car. Enjoy.

Tip #1: Don’t talk Payments, talk Price

Today, many dealers won’t even tell you the actual final price that you’ll pay on your car, but instead tell you about the “great deal” that they’re going to give you and then hit you with a monthly payment amount that, if you’ve given them information about what you “can afford” might look good. The problem is that it hides the fact that they’re overcharging you. Instead, pin down the actual price of the car and worry about payments afterwards.

Tip #2: Remember that most auto dealers make their money on loans, not cars

The fact is, an automobile dealer can sometimes make as much or more money on the actual loan they give you that the car itself. Some will even tell you that they’re “doing you a favor” by giving you a “great interest rate”. The fact is that financing, for automobile dealerships, is very important to their bottom line. If they say that they did you a favor by giving you a car loan, they’re basically full of BS.

Your best bet, before you even walk into a dealership, is to secure your own financing. Don’t just look around, apply for it and get approved. If and when you do, you won’t get ripped off by the dealerships and, when you find a car you want, you’ll be ready to negotiate and make your purchase.

Tip #3: Skip the extras

Car dealers will do anything to get you to purchase extras because, frankly, that’s where they make a lot of their money. What you should do is get the car that you want, outfitted with the features and extras from the factory, and don’t fall for “rust protection”, extended warranties or any other dealer extras. Keep in mind that, if you do want extras like better rims or pin striping, you can usually get it done somewhere else for less.

Tip #4: Purchasing a car is actually (surprise) 3 different transactions

Most consumers look at purchasing a car as one big transaction but, in actuality, it’s 3; getting a good deal on your trade-in, purchasing your new car and getting the financing. All three of these transactions need to be negotiated and you need to know exactly what you’re getting at each step before moving on. If you don’t, the chance is much higher that you’ll pay much higher for your new car.

One last thing that you definitely should do is check your credit score before you go to any dealer and make sure you know exactly what it is from all three of the biggest credit reporting agencies, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Knowing all three of your major credit scores will put you in the driver seat (pun intended) when negotiating for your new car.