Using our advice and tools, you'll get a great deal that is still more than fair for the dealership. If you aren't prepared then prepare to get ripped off, it's that simple. People have no problem taking weeks to plan a vacation, but don't spend a few hours doing research before they buy a $30,000 car. You will be able to save a ton of money if you follow our advice.
- We uncover dealer scams
- Don't get fooled by the cash flow shell game
- Learn to negotiate the lowest price
- Find out the best time of year to buy a car
- Take advantage of online tools to get the best deal
- How to formulate your best price offer
- Guide to car dealership fees
The Best Price Doesn't Mean You Got a Good Deal
A good deal means that you were treated fairly and the dealership made a reasonable profit. The most important thing you will read here on CarBuyingTips.com is to make sure that you don't just focus on the final price. Dealers will play the "Cash Flow Shell Game" so they can rip you off while making you think you are getting a good deal. An example:
- They give you a very low price
- Finance manager sneaks in fees
- The dealer undervalues your trade-in
- Your loan APR is increased
The buyer in this example thought they were getting a good deal because of the low price, but they actually got ripped off. We will explain all of the tricks to look out for and teach you how to avoid becoming a victim. To save the most money make sure you read the whole site. Don't just read half and think you have all the facts.
Begin by getting the lowest price using services like TrueCar and CarClearanceDeals. Don't stop there, if you miss one valuable topic on CarBuyingTips.com it can cost you thousands of dollars. Make sure not to be a "monthly payment buyer" and only look at what your payment will be - that is the worst thing you can do. Doing this or becoming a "trade-in buyer" is exactly what the dealer wants and you will play right into their hand. Once this happens you will get ripped off, I guarantee it!
When is the best time to buy a car?
There are two "best times" to buy. The end of December is a good time. Everyone is out buying XMAS gifts, leaving dealer lots void of customers, motivating them to cut prices and break year end sales records. Another good time to buy is July through October as dealerships sell off cars at lower prices to clear space for the new models.
All Prep Work Can be Done from Your PC, Tablet or Smart Phone
The last time I bought a new vehicle I was able to do all my homework without leaving my house. Back in the "old days" you would waste hours at many dealerships. Luckily the internet was invented so now you don't have leave the comfort of your couch. There are many great sites that allow you to relax, research and get quotes. Once you have determined the dealer with the best price, you take all of your research to them and calmly negotiate the best deal.
Exclusive to visitors of our site, try the CarBuyingTips.com Car Buying Service. It gives you special friends and family pricing, leverages volume buying power of large companies, employers, or membership groups. Choose your car and configure options online. You will get an instant price quote from a local dealer in the network. If you don't enjoy haggling, you'll love our car buying service.
Invoice Prices, Rebates and Incentives
As you follow this guide you will find that there are a few critical pieces of information that you will need to make sure you are getting a great deal. They are invoice price, rebates and incentives. We will cover these in more detail later but you should know that when talking about rebates and incentives there are some that are well advertised and some that are "secret" between the manufacturer and the dealer.
The most important thing to remember about the invoice price is that it is not the amount the dealer paid for the car. We will show you how to calculate what the dealer actually paid later in this guide.
What are secret incentives?
Secret factory to dealer incentives can be $1,000-$6,000 in addition to known rebates! Because of these secret incentives, if you buy a car at invoice, the dealer earns thousands more. You should haggle over this incentive, as many dealers willingly give up all or part of this incentive, making your cost lower.
If you want the most accurate, complete and up to date data for these three important items, I'd recommend buying the data as part of the FightingChance package. They will also make somebody available to talk to if you have questions about anything that comes up as you go through the purchase process.
Competition Gets You the Best Deal
Enter the dealership armed with "The Folder" that I will talk about in Chapter 3. Once they see that you are prepared it will work to your advantage. The deal will now proceed on your terms, not theirs. Don't enter a dealership without having multiple price quotes or you'll overpay by thousands. Commissioned salespeople fear "The Folder" because they know you did your homework. They rely on uneducated car buyers who don't do any research before they go shopping.
Use Competition for All Aspects of the Deal
Competition also works to get you the best rate on your loan. The dealer is not the only one that can finance your car, online lenders are available. Once approved you will have a check in hand and know your interest rate before you even set foot in the dealership. You can use your low rate to negotiate with the dealer or use your online financing if they won't match or beat the online rate. We will cover this topic in more detail in our chapter on auto loans. Remember, price is only one component of a complete deal.
TrueCar gives you a great baseline on pricing. Check the curve to see how your quotes stack up to what other have paid. If the TrueCar price is better, print out the Guaranteed Savings Certificate and head to the dealership for a hassle free deal. Remember, you still have to pay attention to the other aspects of the deal that we discuss.