Friday, February 7, 2014

Buying a Car at a Great Price...With Ease

My wife wanted a new car. We view a car as basically an appliance, with reliability trumping everything, so we always buy a Toyota.

We went to the company website to look at models, options, and colors and decided on an ES300h.

We then test drove it and loved it but didn't want to buy just yet. We went home and, for $14, bought Consumer Reports' New Car Price Report. That promised to state what the dealer actually paid for the base car plus any options, which is usually well below the invoice price. Dealers may show you the invoice to try to convince you you're getting a good deal but they usually pay far less--the manufacturer gives the dealer money for each car sold that doesn't show on the invoice.

That Consumer Reports Price Report also allows you to request a price, by email, from local dealers. I received prices from a few, then I visited their websites so see if they had the car in the color and with the options I wanted.

I then phoned the three dealers that had my desired car on the lot but I didn't accept their e-mailed price. Instead, I explained that I know that true dealer cost is much below invoice and that I'm calling dealers to get the best price. I reassured the salesperson that I'm a serious buyer and if I can get a rock-bottom price, I'll come in and buy the car immediately, no games-playing. One of them said he'd sell me the car at $2,000 under invoice, far lower than what the Consumer Reports Report said the car cost the dealer! I said, "Email me that in writing and you have a deal." He did and we did.

We love the car.

1 comment:

ST said...

One of the best pieces of advice I ever read was to just ask each dealer, "What is the lowest price you can go?", and do not stick around to dicker, just keep going until you find the one that will go really low (now this can be done over email much easier).

Also have to be careful of "seeing the finance guy" who says you got a really good deal (says it to everyone), and then tries to sell you extended warranty and other services.

If a trade in, be careful of all of a sudden the trade in price "vanishes" from the invoice. It's in their price, but not sure why they don't want to show it.

Of course, I haven't bought a car in over ten years, but it's an interesting topic to me.

Yes, a good move buying a Toyota. I actually own a Ford Focus made by the Special Vehicle Team (SVT) they had back in 2003. Not sure how they made them better, but I've had good luck. The most expensive things have been brakes and tuneup.

Then, the other piece of advice is to not go in looking at a specific car, be open to a lot of cars, so they can't lock you into what they know you want. However, you might get a good price that way, but not necessarily a good car.


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