Stay in Close Formation
Don't let yourself get separated from your wingman. If you do, you'll lose your strength in numbers.
Consider what happened to an Edmunds editor and his girlfriend. They had completed negotiations for a car, but ended up spending an excessive amount of time waiting for the dealership to get the contracts in order. As they made their way to the finance and insurance (F&I) office, the editor made it clear that they didn't want to waste any more time and that they were not interested in being sold any additional services. The F&I manager agreed, but the moment the Edmunds editor stepped out for a cigarette, the F&I team began to push such products and services as paint protection and an extended warranty on the girlfriend. They were clearly hoping she'd be easier to convince.
If you will be test-driving the vehicle during your visit, start by having your wingman keep an eye out for any potential dealer add-ons as you review the car's features. During the test-drive itself, ask the salesperson to ride in the back. This allows you and your wingman to pay closer attention to the car. You might still get the sales pitch, but it is easier to tune out a salesperson when he's in the backseat, rather than at your elbow.
Deploy the Lukewarm Wingman
A wingman can help take some of the heat off you by being lukewarm about the car during discussions. Arrange to have him casually mention that he isn't that interested in this particular vehicle — whether he means it or not. Or he can say that he preferred that blue one you saw at the dealership across town. Follow your wingman's lead and keep your own passion for the car in check. This will let the salesperson know that you have other buying options and it puts the pressure on him to make you a better offer. Remaining noncommittal defuses one of the salesperson's most effective weapons: the knowledge that you really want the car in his showroom.
Review the Numbers Together
When it's time to talk numbers, a wingman can either take over the negotiating for you or help spot any inconsistencies in the numbers. While you're busy saying "No" to items in the F&I room, your wingman can make sure that the prices you've agreed upon are reflected in the contract
. Pay close attention to any additional car buying fees
that appear and don't hesitate to question anything out of the ordinary.
After the ink on the contract has dried, you'll be able to rest easy, knowing that your wingman helped you get a better deal, spotted an inconsistency or was simply there for moral support. Be sure to thank your wingman and remember what you learned from the experience. You might have to return the favor when it's his or her time to buy a car.