Tell me the BEST way to get a great deal on a new car!!
There are countless articles, services, forums, and opinions all over the internet
on how to get the best price for a car. Do you not have the time to read it all
and figure it out?? You have come to the right place! We will tell you THE BEST
way to buy a car and get THE BEST deal. Car buying is a game invented by dealers.
How much time and effort you want to invest in the game in most cases determines
if you get a good deal vs a great deal. Email us your thoughts and comments, we
like to hear from our uses.
Pick the car you want to buy
The first thing you need to do is obviously pick which car you want to buy. You
MUST separate the process of picking a car from the process of buying a car. Pick
the exact model you want, the color, the options, the engine choice, etc. RESALE
VALUE should be a big consideration in what you choose, not just the purchase price.
A Hyundai may cost less than a Toyota, but it actually costs more over time since
the resale value is so much lower.
You should go to a dealership to test drive different cars, and consider your options.
Just always remember, you are there to look, NOT TO BUY.
Depending on where you live, there are auto shows that can serve as a great way to
shop for a car. Nowhere else can you sit in virtually every make of a car in such
a short amount of time.
Once you have picked a car, the next big decision is whether to lease or buy the
car. Buying is almost always a cheaper option over the long-term, but leasing has
some attractive benefits. Having a hard time choosing?
Now that you are set on the exact make and model of your car, it is now time to BUY
The car buying game
If you are not in a rush to buy the car, always aim to buy it as close to the last
day of the month as possible. These are when you will find the best deals. Most
dealers have sales targets they want to hit each month. If they are close to a target
and it is the end of the month, they will be much more willing to sell a car at cost
in order to hit their target.
Step 1) If you are buying one of the popular Honda models, you can use our price
guide directly, found on the main menu. Toyota models will be coming soon. Otherwise,
to determine what a “good” price for the car would be by using THE BEST online resources
Resource #1-Go to carsdirect.com and get an actual price from them on the specific
car you want. This website is a great starting point and can give you a clue as
to current incentives and savings out there. You can always do better than this
price, but it is a start. You get a price instantly without putting any of your
Resource #2-Go to truecars.com Find out additional information on specific invoice
pricing, dealer incentives, and what others are paying for your car. You also get
this information instantly without providing personal information.
Resource #3-If you want to invest a little time to find out deals that others are
getting on your car, you can go to Edmunds.com. In the forums, there are some discussions
on prices that other people pay in different areas. This can take a bit of time
and it is not available for all cars, but it may be worth a shot.
A GENERAL guideline is that on high volume cars, you should at a minimum be able
to buy the car at invoice less any manufacturer incentives that exist. Invoice is
not the true cost to a dealer as there is generally a 2-3% profit off of MSRP(called
Holdback) that is built into the invoice number. Not all dealers will give up some
of this profit but again with some work you should be able to find the dealers who
will. Dealers will tell you invoice is their cost and even selling at invoice means
they make no profit. DO NOT fall for that, it is all part of the game.
Step 2) Now that you have an idea of what the car will cost, it is time to contact
some dealers. The BEST ADVICE here is to do it ALL over the Internet. Never go
into a dealership to negotiate until the last step.
You should go to the manufacturer’s website, such as Honda.com, where you can search
for dealers in your general area. Most will have an option to build a car and a
section to fill out to get prices. You should avoid picking the closest dealers
to where you live, instead leave those for the end. Most likely the dealers that
are close to you are where you will buy the car. The goal is to get a great price
on the car from a dealer a little further away, THEN you contact the dealership where
you want to buy the car and have them meet or beat the price.
When you contact dealers online, add the following comments:
1) You are ready to buy now
2) You are shopping this car around and will buy it for the best offer you receive.
You do not have time to go back and forth so you are requesting their best price
3) You want the OUT THE DOOR price that includes everything: taxes, fees, etc. The
exact amount that will be on the bottom of the invoice.
These online forms will require you to give them a phone number. While you can give
your current number, realize that the dealerships may call you many times over and
it can be annoying. A better option is to get yourself a free temporary number for
them to call through Google Voice. Click here for a nice tutorial on how to use
Google Voice. That way you never have to be bothered by the calls. Dealers are
able to leave a voice message that you can listen to. Remember you should only negotiate
by email and phone, not at the dealership. Also you may want to get yourself a new
email account just for this process as they may hound you with emails as well. It
is free to get a new account with any of the major providers.
Some dealers will email you prices, others will tell you that you need to come in
and meet them first, or call them. As the emails come in, you tell anyone who says
you must come in that you are shopping by price only and are already set on the exact
car you want. Let them know that other dealers are emailing you prices. Tell them
you are ready to buy it for the best deal but are busy during the day in meetings
and it is best to get a price by the Internet. Let them know again that you do not
plan to go back and forth, you will buy for the best deal you receive from the local
Through this process of emails, you can negotiate with the dealers. The one who
gives you the best price you shouldn’t respond to. immediately The other emails,
you can tell them that you got a better price and can ask if that is their best.
If they ask for proof, you don’t need to give it, simply ignore it and say thank
you for their time, you will just go purchase from the other dealer. If they have
a better offer they can feel free to email you. At that point you can also tell
them the offer you received, even if it is just one you saw online from the forums,
or for anywhere. At worst, they say they can’t do that price.
If you are satisfied with the price you have, then you are done. If you want to
try for a better price, keep reading!
To get a very good price
Now is when you can call up your local dealer, ask to speak to a sales manager, tell
them the price you have, that you will come in now to buy it if they can beat this
price. You can give them specifics about the price but make sure you give them the
total out the door price with all fees that you have. They may say that you need
to come in and discuss. Tell them that you have very little time and are shopping
online and by phone only for the best price. At any point feel free to end the call
by being polite and thanking for them for their time. You can try multiple dealers
this way. The more time you want to invest the better price you may get.
Talking on the phone is an important step because the salesperson can much more easily
relate you to a potential sale. They receive many email requests that do not go
anywhere. But having you on the phone adds a real person to the equation. You
must tell them you are ready to buy now and that you will close the sale within the
next 24-48 hours. And usually to get a great price you will need to end the call
and leave them with your phone number. This gives them the chance to reconsider
their price position and allows them a way to contact you directly.
To get THE BEST price
On a piece of paper jot down all of your price details: Car price, tax, motor vehicle
fees, dealer fees, etc, for a total out the door price. You can jot this down yourself,
it doesn’t have to be an official email from a dealer. Take your paper with all
of the info and head over to your local dealer. You may want to bring another person
with you as well. At the dealership showroom start casually looking at the car.
Eventually they will come over to you.
Salesperson: Some sort of introduction, “Hello, how are you today, my name is Bob”.
You should be friendly and tell them your name. They may ask what you are looking
at, or if you have questions, or some type of opening conversation starter.
Your response: “Honestly I am just here to look at the car one more time before buying
it, I am going to buy it from a different dealer” If you are with another person:
“I just want to show Mary the car I am going to buy. I am ready to buy it from
another dealer but this is the closest dealer to my house to show her the car. I
would prefer to buy here but this dealership did not have the lowest price and you
are shopping based on cost”
They will ask you where you are buying from. You can give them just general information
about a dealership, but again you don’t need to be specific. If they get pushy just
say thank you and that you are only here to look at the car one more time. Tell
them again how you would have liked to buy here but price is your primary focus.
And your time was limited so you did all of your shopping online. Always keep everything
They may say that if you have written proof of a price, they will match it. Tell
them you have the specifics (take out your paper) and you can show it to them. If
they say they need proof from the other dealer, or the name of a salesperson, just
again be polite and say thank you but you will just buy from the other dealer.
They may now ask you to come to their desk and sit down to review it. The key here
is that you don’t really want them to meet the price, you want them to beat it. If
they come back and say they can match the price, you should politely say “I have
spent a good amount of time with the other dealership, it wouldn’t be right to then
walk away from them, they have been great and have invested time with me”
At this point you will most likely need to walk out of the dealership. They might
tell you why it is better to deal with them, or other advantages, etc. But say you
are shopping on price, and say how they wouldn’t be happy if a customer they spent
time with went to another dealer for the same price. It would have to be a better
deal in order for you to do that. You really are just here to take one more look
at the car.
They might say they can’t do any better, be polite and say thank you very much, and
then go back to looking at the car. This will give them time to reconsider. Or
you can give them your number and say you are buying it from the other dealer tomorrow.
If anything changes, they can give you a call. And then walk out. Usually unless
you walk out of a dealership, you are not going to get offered their rock bottom
The key to remember is that whatever deal they told you, even if it is “only good
today”, in most cases, it will be good tomorrow. Nothing is to stop you from calling
them tomorrow and saying that you will buy the car for that price.
Most likely what will happen is they will call you after you have walked out, with
a better deal. Or while in the dealership, they will ask you how much they need
to beat that deal in order for you to buy it right now.
That is up to you, but you should pick something more then you really would settle
for. If $500 is the target, tell them $750. If they come back and say they can’t
do that, perhaps you can get them to throw something else in. A free first service,
or an accessory on the car. You should also have that in mind before you go in.
Here is where you stick to your plan. If they don’t come down to your price, be
polite and say thank you very much, and then just walk out. Without walking out,
in most cases you will not be able to get your price.
Over the next 24 hours, they most likely will call you back with a best and final
offer. If you have had enough negotiating, and are happy with the price, then you
have bought yourself a new car! Throughout this process, the most important concept
to remember is that you are in no rush (even if you are), you probably need to walkout
at least once, and you will not feel any pressure. Never walk into a dealership
to discuss price until you have done all of your work online through email and phone
calls. The example above is just one way to approach a dealer. Other similar types
of discussions can work as well.
The game is not over!
Now that you are are settled on your price and are ready to buy, you probably think
you are done. But that is not true. You must survive one of the biggest challenges:
meeting the Finance person to sign the papers. Believe it or not, this is where
you can quickly go from getting a great deal to getting a bad deal. We have a whole
section dedicated to this! Click here to read our page all about it.