You’ve figured out what you want to buy, now you want to get the best price. How to get the best price on a new vehicle will take a few days and make sure that you already test driven what you want so you what you are negotiating. These types apply to used cars as well.
The secret to get the best price is not to negotiate. Sounds odd, but it's actually very simple. Why? The rule is to get the best price from at least 7 different dealers.
I didn't say “negotiate” prices because most dealers will offer you deeply discounted prices with zero negotiation as long as they know you're getting prices from the competition, and you contact them online. You should never discuss pricing while you're physically at a dealership.
The more dealers you collect prices from, the better your chances of landing the best deal. The lesson here is: Don't be discouraged if you get similar pricing from the first few dealers you contact. Most car shoppers will usually stop after contacting only 3 or 4 dealers - that's not going to be good enough. Getting price quotes from at least 7 or more dealers across the country will get you the best price.
Do not be afraid to buy out of town, dealers will deliver the vehicle and the paper work done online - it’s done every day for years. Dealers want your sale!
Here are three important tips:
- Make sure you are comparing the same model and options when shopping around.
- If a dealer gives you a price quote that seems too good to be true, this could be a "demo car." The dealer is trying to sell you a vehicle that was used as a demonstration model, and will have hundreds of miles on it. This isn’t fair comparison shopping and it’s typically with last year's model. It may save you money.
- Buying at the end of the month will always get you the best prices. Dealers don’t want to pay “floor planning,” or the financing of the vehicle for another month. After the first of the month, they aren’t as negotiable.
Check online apps and websites. They shop around the country for what you are looking for. I would still recommend doing your own research and contact the local dealers.
Once you get the best prices, go back to each dealer and give them a chance to beat the lowest price for the comparable vehicle.
Some dealerships will charge a different amount for doc fees or other costs. Doc fees can get very expensive - some don’t charge, but make sure you know what the fees are in advance before picking a dealer.
Offer to give them something back by posting a positive review on their customer surveys, Yelp and other social media outlets.
There are many places for service. Getting your car serviced at the dealership you purchased it from brings them extra revenue. Dealers make their profits in service and not that much on the sale.
You can choose any dealer or independent shop you wish. This is another incentive for a sale person to work with you.
Once you’ve made your deal, get the deal in writing through an email. Then get the paperwork started. Financing or leasing can be done through email and DocuSign. Once you have a signed purchase order, secure insurance and take delivery or have it delivered.
This strategy can work for new and used cars.
Some people want the peace of mind that comes with extended warranties, so this is something you might want to consider unless the car is still under the manufacturer's warranty or is a CPO (certified pre-owned) vehicle. Do your research and check out places like carwarrantyguru.com.
All the strategies and tips are also in my book: "Lauren Fix’s Guide To Loving Your Car."
Lauren Fix, The Car Coach® is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. Post your comments on Twitter: @LaurenFix or on her Facebook Page.
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