I'm planning to buy a 2- or 3-year old car in cash. I expect to pay around $15k. I'll probably buy through a dealer because I can't find any private sellers in my area with the type of car I'm looking for.
My question is whether and how I could use a cash purchase to my advantage. I have bought several houses in cash and know that that is a big advantage because it makes for a speedier transaction, and one that is less likely to fall through unexpectedly. Therefore, house sellers are more inclined to work with cash buyers.
But when it comes to buying cars from a dealer, I have read that paying in cash can actually put you at a disadvantage, because dealers want to be able to sell you a car loan on top of the car.
Is that true? If so, how could I mitigate the issue? Could I say that I am going to buy with a loan, and do the financing through the dealer, then back out of that promise and say I'll pay in cash once I have settled on a price for the car?
Relatedly, does it matter to dealers if I can say that I can buy the car immediately, without them having to wait on my loan processing or worry I won't get approved? I'm guessing that these things are not a big deal to them because my sense is that a car loan (unlike a mortgage for a house) doesn't usually take more than a few days to process, and most people are able to get one unless they have exceptionally bad credit.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts.