If you have been thinking about buying a new car, now could be the perfect time to visit a dealership. Many automotive retailers are offering incentives that make purchasing that new car or truck much more affordable.

But before you open up to your salesperson about your dream wheels, you may want to consider that keeping mum could land you a better deal. According to automotive experts, showing too much excitement at the bargaining table or releasing too much information about what you want in a purchase could drive up the price.

To walk away with your new car and a good price tag, consider these dos and don’ts.

* Don’t talk monthly payments up front. If you say you can afford $200 per month right off the bat, this gives the finance department a way to create a program to that exact amount, with a few extra fees tacked on top. Rather, talk about what you want to pay for the car in total, not how much you’re looking to spend each month.

* Do keep your enthusiasm in check. Salespeople feed upon individuals who are showing a lot of excitement about a vehicle. They may upsell features or get you to pay more than the car is worth. Buying a new car is exhilarating. Just wait until you’re out of the dealership to show your enthusiasm.

* Don’t talk about bad credit right away.Your salesperson will find out soon enough if your credit score could use a little help. Revealing this information too soon could put you in a bind. The salesperson may tell you that if he can get you financed you’ll have to pay what he says — especially if you really want the vehicle.

* Do try to arrange financing with an outside source. This gives you a bargaining chip when you are talking numbers with the dealership. Use it as leverage to entice the sales team to give you the best deal for the sale.

* Don’t rush your purchase. Some salespeople will say this is the last of a particular make or color. Chances are you can find what you’re looking for at another dealership. Don’t show solidarity to one dealership, especially if you are feeling pressured to buy.

* Do your research. Shop around and know your numbers inside and out. This way you sound informed and in charge when you are bargaining for your vehicle. You will stand a greater chance of paying what you want for the purchase. If not, walk away.

* Don’t spill the beans when the salesperson walks away. Rumor has it that some salespeople can hear what potential purchasers are saying to their spouse or friend when the salesperson walks away to review figures with the finance manager. Whether there is a hidden microphone or they’re just reading your body language is anyone’s guess. Play it safe and continue to keep quiet and limit enthusiasm. Practice your poker face. You don’t want to give anything away.

* Do keep quiet about paying for a car with cash. Dealerships make money on financing plans. Therefore revealing too soon that you can pay for the purchase with cash could drive up the price to compensate for the loss in financing fees.

* Don’t be confrontational. The majority of salespeople are honest. They’re interested in selling you a car, and you’re interested in buying one. Assuming you are being cheated is no way to start a business transaction. Knowing your information through research can help you negotiate fairly.

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