Advice on buying a new car

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Steve_Tk, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    I've never bought a new car. I'm looking to buy a new truck. I'm not really a person to sit and haggle for hours, I don't have the patience.

    What I am looking for is what to avoid. Like a situation where I think I'm getting a good deal but I'm really not.

    And how much can you really ask off the price? I'm looking around 25K-30K on a new truck. How much is reasonable. I've heard that all salesmen know exactly how much they have liberty to take off, but they will do little tricks like go 'talk to their manager', get some coffee, and come back and say they can only do this much. When in reality they could do much more. So if it were you, how much would you ask off a 25-30K truck and if you didn't get it you would leave the lot?

    I don't like to haggle and I know that I could get giddy about buying it and waste my money.
     
  2. Juan Castillo

    Juan Castillo Second Unit

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    If you don't want to haggle, find a Big Car Dealership, as we call them in Texas.. the kind that have so many cars, you could walk the lot for days... also the kind that so many people buy cars from, that they have the best prices, usually low, low, low, and don't bother haggling, because
    1. they already gave you a damn good price
    2. because if you don't buy it, no sweat, the guy behind you will..

    These kinds of places are good and bad. I bought a 2001 Silverado, ext. cab, LS trim for 18988, with 1500 over payoff on my trade in and an extra grand for converting from Dodge. Nothing but good experience since the local dealership wanted 27988 for the same truck with cheaper rims.

    If you aint gonna do that, and go to a small dealership.. walk in, tell em what you want, and stone wall. Don't back down, and repeatedly tell them that you could just as easily go across the street. Make it clear that you don't care what the price is on the sticker, tell em what you want it for, what you are intested in paying per month, and what interest rate you want... (you have to know your credit limits to bargain this way).. we did it for my wifes 2000 Isuzu Rodeo, and they kept coming back with a differnt price, or a different interest rate, but it all added up the same.. Take a calculator, know your formulas, and don't put up with their shit.. and if you are gonna deal with a smaller dealership, take an add for a big car dealership and tell them immediately to price match, or you'll walk. 90% of the time, they will give you what you want just to sell the car, knowing they'll catch the next sucka instead.
     
  3. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    Steve,

    You're using the wrong method to calculate the price. The MSRP is a "meaningless suggested retail price," so don't even bother about talking about "how much off" you can get.

    Find out the invoice price including destination (any number of websites, including Edmonds.com or kbb.com will give you this info) and let them negotiate UP from there. I'd start out at $100 over invoice (plus destination) or so, depending on the popularity of the model you're looking to buy. Don't let them bump you up over $25 at a time. If it's not a hugely in-demand truck, I wouldn't go over $300 over invoice, which would be a little more than 1% over invoice for a $25,000 (invoice price) truck.
     
  4. Curt_Dennis

    Curt_Dennis Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't EVER tell them what you want your monthly payment to be. They will work financing around that..including number of months, etc. Stick to what you want to PAY for the vehicle, then do the payments.
     
  5. Bill Cowmeadow

    Bill Cowmeadow Second Unit

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    Curt is exactly right. Never get into what payment you can afford. Don't want to make payments for ten years. And some vehicles now qualify for such loans. I bought my truck for $24,000, They offered me $800 trade for my 1996 mercury sable, and $1,000 for my 1985 Ford truck. After all the BS back and forth over price, I settled for $24,000 on the truck(their asking price), $4,000 trade for the Mercury (What I still owed), and $2000 for the truck. This took four hours to negociate. One other thing to remember, when two or more salesmen/managers get in on the closing act, you are close to their bottom line.

    Bill
     
  6. Craig

    Craig Second Unit

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    Go to www.edmunds.com or www.carsdirect.com and pick the model you want and put in your zip code. If there's a difference in price, go with the lowest.

    I just bought a BMW. The salesman quoted a price that was about $1200 more than Edmunds (Edmunds was lower than Carsdirect). I asked him to go to Edmunds.com and check the price. He did a screen print and the manager said ok right off the bat. Of course you might be able to spend all day haggling for another couple of hundred bucks, but for me it wasn't worth it, the price was fair and I was able to wrap things up really quickly.
     
  7. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    You've gotten a lot of good advice. The key is to do all of your homework before you walk onto a dealer lot. By the time you walk on the lot you should have a very good idea of what a fair price is for the truck that you want.

    But, you'll want to let the salesperson go through his routine. Just don't be swayed by it. Even though he'll know you've done your homework, there's still a need to establish a relationship during the negotiation.

    Negotiate for the price that you want to pay based upon the research you did.Popular trucks will command more than less popular ones. Be prepared to walk off the lot if you think the salesperson is being unreasonable, but be nice about it. Thank him/her for their time but you want to keep looking. Once you have demonstrated that you are taking the lead in the negotiation things will start to go your way. It will take time however, salespeople like to use the techniques they've been taught. These techniques are effective.

    Be aware that it's not over after you agree to a price on the truck. Financing is now the the second phase of the purchase process. Be very careful if you finance through the dealer. Make sure you know who they are financing through. Go through every line of the loan document with them. They like to add insurance to the loan, unless you want that (and you shouldn't) don't pay for it. Just to be sure, ask what the finance rate is. Then ask what your total interest/costs are going to be. This will flush out extras they may try to put in. Also, determine beforehand if you want to buy an extended warranty. If you do, discuss it with salesperson before you agree on truck price. Extended warranty's can be negotiated. I've constantly been told that extended warranty's are $1200-$1500 and I've never paid more than $850-$900. If you don't discuss with salesperson the finance person will try to sell you a warranty and you will be at a disadvantage having already agreed to a price on the truck,unless you don't want one.

    When buying an automobile these days, knowledge is power, and the info you need is readily available on the web.
     
  8. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    All the above advice is excellent. Edmunds also has some good tips on negotiating, here's another good site for tips on negotiations.
     
  9. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Arrange your financing ahead of time with your bank or credit union (like being pre-approved for a home mortgage)

    Get a copy of the local Friday or Saturday paper, whichever has the most dealership ads. Find an ad for the truck you want at the price you want to pay--most ads will have several examples showing msrp, dealer discount, and rebates, if any, itemized, with a bottom line cash price.
    Be sure to pay attention to the ad and look out for disclaimers like "one only at this price". Make sure the ad lists the equipment you want.

    Take the ad to the dealer and buy the vehicle for the advertised price. You'll be getting a decent deal with no haggling. Don't trade your old vehicle in, just sell it yourself. Don't accept the dealer's financing unless it's cheaper than your pre-approved and doesn't raise the cash price of the vehicle.

    If you let yourself get tangled up in all the haggling and other bs you will lose.

    Edmunds is not accurate in many areas of the country, especially with imports. They list prices for option packages and such that are not necessarily available in your region. You can configure a vehicle on Edmunds and not find a single one in real life in a dealer's stock with that configuration, so it's best to see what's really out there and then go to Edmund's to get prices with the configuration you can actually buy.
     
  10. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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    The Motley Fool has a good primer on all the steps to buying a car. One thing I think they mentioned and I've heard mentioned on The Clark Howard Show is to find several dealers in your area that sell the vehicle you want and send them a mass email stating that you are ready to buy a vehicle this week and you will deal with the dealer who gives you the best deal possible, then wait for the responses to come in. Make sure all the dealers addresses are lised in the To: line so they all know everyone else is getting it. Many dealers now have seperate internet departments that are actually offshoots of the fleet account departments and can operate on different margins than the regular sales guys do. In fact many regular salemen hate the internet guys for this reason. This way you can get a good price and eliminate much of the haggling. Then you go to the dealer and start to negotiate on your trade, keeping in mind that you will not get a really good price on the trade and on the car so if you want the most on your existing car, sell it privately.

    Once this stuff is worked out, start with financing. Before going to the dealer, I would first suggest checking with your bank, credit union or www.peoplefirst.com. They are loaning money at 3.49% for 36 month and 3.99 for 60 month loans. Especially if you have the choice of 0% finance or x thousand off, it might very well be better to take the money and still go with the peoplefirst rate, run these scenarios before going to the dealer. Whatever you do, make sure you have an alternative to the dealer financing ready to go so you can use that as leverage or at least make them beat that rate if they are not running a deal on the car of your choice. They make kick-back money on the financing so do not be afraid to call them on this to try to bump them down. Also, as mentioned above, make sure to ask for all the backup for everything including a worksheet with the rate info on it and all fees and everything, make sure you ask them if this is the drive away price so they don't pop you with something later. Do not be afraid to bring a calculator with you to go over their numbers. Also, many mobile phones have calculators built in now, this might be a less confrontational way to do it.

    Also, especially if you go to a dealer to negotiate but also in general, do not believe them if at any point in the whole process they come back from some guys office and complain that you are not allowing them to make money on the deal, that is BS. Even if they gave you the car literally for what they paid for it (which is often not the same as the "invoice price"), they will still get the dealer hold-back from the automaker. Also, they are paying interest on every car sitting on the lot so selling a car makes them some money just by taking it off their books, also they will be able to make money off future service, even if you only ever take the car in for warrantee work, they will still make some money as warrantee work is paid on a flat fee for a certain fix and the guys in the shop can always beat that time. No reason to be a jerk to the guy but just mention that you know they are making money in other ways if/when he whines about it. Or just tell him sorry and you dont want him to lose money so you will go somewhere else with a lower cost structure. Also, in case you accidentally end up at a real high pressure dealer, if you do bring a potential trade in, always bring a spare key for the car to give to them when they need to take the car back to the appraiser, that way if they start getting crappy and won't give you your keys back, it is no skin off you back if you just go find the car when the sales guy is off talking to the manager or something and leave.
     
  11. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Has anyone ever used one of the Auto Buying programs offered by the membership warehouse clubs? (i.e. Costco or Sam's Club). They sound like they might be a good source of no-haggle buying.
     
  12. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Or just go buy a Saturn (or do they now haggle?).
     
  13. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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  14. Juan Castillo

    Juan Castillo Second Unit

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  15. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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  16. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    This is the right time to buy a new car, all the dealers are trying to get rid of the 2003's and if you will buy one of those, you should get a better deal
    one of the credit unions has a sign up from a local big toyota dealer showing what they will sell cars for to members of the credit union and 2003's are at "dealer invoice"
    check with your bank to see if they are doing somthing similar
     

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