If you're a first time car buyer, chances are you're a little nervous walking into the dealership to begin with.  That's why you should arm yourself with these questions to help get a better deal before you sign on the dotted line!

According to Edmunds.com, these five questions will help you avoid any surprises.

  • 1

    What other fees will I be charged?

    You think you're only negotiating the price of the car, don't you?  Well truth is when it's time to shake hands on a final deal, you'll be paying additional fees.  Sales tax, registry costs and documentation fees are all fees you'll have to pay but dealers get sneaky and try to pump profit back into the dealership.  Question fees like vehicle preparation, dealer installed accessories and extended warranties or floor plan fees.

  • 2

    How much is your documentation fee?

    Ever wonder what a doc fee really is?  It's a fee you get charged for filling out the contract with the dealer.  In Idaho, the average doc fee is $92 but it's not regulated which means the dealer may jack it up close to $600 and your wallet will be the one to suffer.  Armed with the knowledge of Idaho's average you should be able to negotiate it down with a reasonable salesman.

  • 3

    Are there any aftermarket parts or alarms on the car?

    Usually when you're selecting features for your vehicle, they've been put in at the factory when it's built but that's not always the case.  Some dealers will add things like mud flaps, tinted windows or vehicle recovery systems to boost their profits.  You may not realize that these "add-ons" jacked up the price of your car until you see them on the contract.  They're not a bad thing, but you may be able to negotiate a better price knowing that they've been installed after the car left the factory.


  • 4

    How many miles are on the car?

    This is a no brainer for a used car, obviously, but you should ask this question of news cars too.  You'd assume that the car would have less than 10 miles on it if it's brand new but some may have gone through a ton of test drives or had to be driven from another lot to make it to you.  General rule of thumb?  If it's got over 300 miles, work on negotiating a lower price.

  • 5

    Is the car on the lot?

    You like the price of the car, but it's not the color you wanted so you decide you don't want it.  A smart salesman will tell you that they'll get you the car with the color and options you want, no problem but it's not right out back.  He's probably going to do a dealer trade where he gets it from another lot.  What's that mean for you?  The terms of the deal might change and chances are you're not leaving the lot with your new car that day.