Phone ahead to book an appointment: youre less likely to be left wandering around the showroom because all the staff are busy, and it shows youre not just window shopping.
Be polite and friendly, and try to build up a good rapport with the salesman. Dont let him do all the talking make it clear youve done your research and you know what you want.
If the dealer doesnt offer a test drive, which he should, insist on one. That doesnt mean nipping around the block because he needs to get back; it means a drive of at least an hour, ideally alone. Ask your questions before you set off and when you get back, so you can concentrate on the test drive to make sure the car is right for your needs.
Arrange a test drive of a car with the engine and gearbox combination you want to buy, not just any old demonstrator car. For detailed information on how to make the most of your test drive, download our checklist at www.whatcar.com/testdrive.
If youre happy so far, its time to talk money although if you want to sleep on it or fancy trying another model, you shouldnt be shy about saying so.