PIAOR How: So You Want to Buy a Car

by Melissa Chiasson

(1) Decide what kind of car you’re looking for and research its availability at the dealerships in your area. This part is important – for example, a Volvo dealership is a good place to get a reliable sedan, but a bad place if you’re looking for a fire engine or a monster truck.

(2) Before you head to the dealership, do some price comparisons online. Compare interest rates and financing programs. You can also contact dealerships to see if they’ll give you trade-in values on your used dirt bike, childhood Hot Wheels set, or leftover box of chicken taquitos.

Note: If you’re talking to dealerships on the phone at this point, remember that “interest rate” and “incest rate” are not the same thing. That can get you in a whole world of trouble.

(3) Once you have a general idea of what kind of car you want, where you can find it, and what price you can expect, head to the dealership you think is best! Remember to dress for the upcoming price negotiation, though. Find out your sales associate’s worst fears (vampires, death, spiders) and dress up like something that plays to those fears (Dracula, the Grim Reaper, Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web).

(4) As soon as you get to the dealership, check to see if they have Knight Rider. They probably don’t, but it’s worth a shot.

(5) Settle on the make and model of the car with your salesperson. An important consideration here is how easy it is to have sex with someone in the back seat. Are there obtrusive armrests in the way? How easy is it to clean the fabric? Is there a teflon coating option? If space is a concern, you may want to ask the dealer to join you in the vehicle for a few minutes of clothes-on thrusting to test out this feature.

(6) Having settled on a make and model, bring the discussion to optional features and add-ons. For example, some people will tell you that four cup holders is enough, but those people don’t know how to party. Insist on a minimum of eight cup holders, no matter the price.

Note: Does the car have “Pussy Wagon” spray-painted on the back? If not, ask the salesperson about available “Pussy Wagon” packages.

(7) Take the car out for a test drive. If you turn on the engine and 4 Minutes by Madonna and Justin Timberlake doesn’t immediately start to play, that’s not the car for you.

(8) Once you’ve settled on a car, it’s time to start negotiating price and financing. The final price will likely be midway between your initial offer and the sticker price, so always make an initial offer of $0. Also, one of the ways dealerships make money is through expensive financing programs. Don’t get talked into low monthly payments, because they’ll take years to pay off; instead, offer to pay in “antique” ivory.

We hope this guide has helped you buy the car you want; congratulations on your new purchase! All that’s left to do is leave a lasting impression on the salesman by blasting Lenny Kravitz’s “American Woman” on the radio, peeling out of the lot, and running into a hot dog stand.

–Jordy Greenblatt, Lincoln Sedlacek, and Melissa Chiasson, certified mechanic