The Best Deal On A New Car, How-to User Guide
With the information we give you in this “New Car Buying Guide,” you will have a better understanding of how to buy a new car and how to Negotiate Car Prices with car dealers.
We want to show you how to settle on a price that will be fair to both you and the dealership without falling victim to car buying tricks.
The truth is, when you do not have good advice before you shop for cars, you will be taken advantage of by the sales person, and your new car will cost you more money than necessary.
People should put more research into making a major purchase like a new car than they typically do.
Don’t just look at what is available on a dealers lot and agree to take the loan you are offered. You want the best rate regardless of applicant history.
By using our advice and the tools we will offer, you will learn how to buy a car at a fair price and save yourself and your family a significant amount of money on the selling price.
- 1 The Best Deal On A New Car, How-to User Guide
- 1.1 Steps To Buying A New Car
- 1.2 Get The Best Deal on a New Car
- 1.3 New Car Buyers Guide basics
- 1.4 How to Get A Good Deal On A New Car
- 1.5 Research local car pricing from home
- 1.6 Shop For Auto Loan Financing
- 1.7 The Benefits of Online Financing
- 1.8 Incentives, Rebates, and Invoice Pricing
- 1.9 The best time to shop for “REAL” car sales
- 1.10 Incentives & rebates
- 1.11 Dealer Word Tricks & Advertising
- 2 Entering The Car Dealership
- 3 Finding The Correct Price to Offer The Car Dealer
- 3.1 What Did the Dealer Pay for the Vehicle?
- 3.2 What Should I Pay For A New Car? – Make Your Offer
- 3.3 How Much Should I Pay For A New Car If It Is A Dealer Demo?
- 3.4 Finalizing The Deal
- 3.5 Dealer Closing Techniques
- 3.6 Doing the Paperwork For Your New Car
- 3.7 After The Sale
- 3.8 Fill Out Your Own Survey
- 3.9 Who Can Help?
- 3.10 Can I Return My Car If I Am Unhappy?
- 3.11 Your States Lemon Law
- 3.12 A Check List That Will Save You Money
- 3.13 Related Post
Steps To Buying A New Car
We will cover all the steps you need to know about buying a new car at the best price.
- Use tools online to help you find great deals.
- Learn the best car-buying times of the year.
- Learn negotiating skills for obtaining the best price.
- Learn how to organize a best price offer.
- Learn about fees at car dealerships.
- Learn about the dealer car sales system of cash flow.
Get The Best Deal on a New Car
You may be wondering, “why is the price tag of the car higher than what I should pay for a new car?” Many dealerships add charges to their vehicle price to offset expenses such as advertising or floor plan fees. What many buyers do not know is that dealerships often receive income from manufacturers if they meet sales goals; this is given to the dealership in the form of incentives. These charges are not found on the dealer invoice price and should not be passed on to the consumer.
Getting a great deal means that the dealership made a profit, and during the car-buying process, the dealer was fair with his offer and you were given excellent service.
Don’t be misled by what appears to be a good price and think you are getting a great deal. A lot of what is in this new car buying guide seems to be typical for a fair car deal. After learning how to get the best deal on a new car, you will learn how to spot what is a good deal and what is money lost to a bad deal. The first trick in the arsenal of a car dealership is to make buyers believe they are getting an incredible price. At the same time, the dealer is working a well-rehearsed system and ripping you off. It is another classic case of thinking something is too good to be true only to find out later that it is too good to be true.
Here’s a scenario of what we’re talking about.
- First, the dealer offers you an incredible price for a vehicle.
- Then secretly, the finance manager adds on hidden fees in the paperwork.
- At the same time, your trade-in price is severely undervalued, and he explains they will have to service your car to be certified for resale.
- Then, you are given a higher loan APR to qualify for the only loan they can offer. So you accept their offer thinking it is the only way to get the car, and they get a huge loan commission.
In this example, the buyer only sees the initial price offered by the dealer, but as you can see in 2-4, this buyer is getting severely ripped off.
So, how do I buy a car and not get worked by the system? One way is to make sure you car shop where the dealers work on a salary instead of on commission. These salespeople want a profit, but they won’t be crazy about making commissions as others are. Also, keep in mind that dealers who don’t haggle don’t usually have great deals.
This is a scary scenario for many buyers who may be stretching their budgets and don’t know how to buy a car efficiently. Fortunately, we can help you avoid being the victim of one of these scenarios by teaching you the tricks of the dealer’s trade. You can learn how to buy a new car with a new loan without being taken advantage of.
New Car Buyers Guide basics
Your first step should be to decide on a new car price you can afford and monthly payments that won’t leave you struggling each month. Let’s look at what has to happen first.
Your Personal Budget
If you have a budget that you use to pay your bills each month and if you know what you can afford then this step is easy. However, if you have never had a budget, and you are not sure what you can afford each month, then you will need to form a simple budget first.
By forming a simple budget you can adjust your outgoing monthly expenses to adjust for a larger or smaller monthly car payment depending on your monthly debt. We offer a simple budget format that can help establish extra money needed for your car payment.
How to Get A Good Deal On A New Car
Your down payment and monthly payments
Your down payment is important because it pays down the purchase price and will not include the amount you will be borrowing. Thus, you have lower monthly payments. By using a car payment calculator, you can see how a larger down payment will affect your monthly payments. You can find a payment calculator for you to use on our resource page for your convince.
What is my trade in worth?
If you hear someone bragging about getting a great trade-in value for his or her old car, the chances are that he or she probably lost money in other areas of the deal. People look at the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) (The window sticker price) and try to negotiate down from that, using their trade as a bargaining chip. This concept will cost you money in the deal and gives no real basis for a price. You should know what your trade-in is worth and not take anything less.
It makes sense that as a buyer, you want to get the maximum amount for your trade-in, a lowered MSRP, a low APR, hardly any fees and zero unnecessary extras. A good car deal gives you all the above.
Negotiate Your Trade-In Price Separately.
Sometimes, when they find out you are a trade-in buyer, they will give you a good price for your old car. However, that lost profit always finds its way back into the selling price. Notice they will always ask about your trade before talking real prices. If you influence the price of your trade up, the sales price will also go up. Hold out on talking about your trade-in until after you find a fair offering price for the new car.
Another scenario is, they claim you will get an incredible APR for your loan but at the same time, they charge you a jacked up MSRP cost, add extras and fees and give you a horrible price for your old car.
Sometimes, if your credit is bad, they will even convince you that you need to get credit life insurance, or they cannot get you financed immediately.
Finding “your” new car target price
With your budget information, the money you have for a down payment and the value of your trade in, you are now ready to form a target price that you can compare to the MSRP of vehicles you are interested in.
Research local car pricing from home
Today, potential buyers can pursue the Internet and look at the cars and car financing that are available in their area, making the purchase of a car easier. You can get detailed information about the vehicle, such as the features and safety ratings on the available car, color, and other information, including the list price from sites like Edmunds. Consumer reports is a good source for vehicle safety and quality.
There are many ways to buy a car online or just compare prices, so it is best if you use everything available to get the best deal. One example is if you are or ever have been part of the military, you can qualify for special financing.
Compare local dealerships car prices online to see if you can afford the make and model you want with the options you are looking for.
Shop For Auto Loan Financing
Why should you get your financing approved first?
Before coming to the dealer, you should have arranged to finance through your own lender. Tricks, car scams and car warranty scams abound, and that includes dealer supplied loans. The best place to look for financing is also online because, much like the car sales business, auto financing is a highly competitive business.
If you have special loan needs, like you are self employed, you will need to provide proof of your income. Auto loan brokers like Valley Auto Loans specialize in helping people who have credit problems on their credit reports get the financing they need. It can benefit you to use a loan broker like Valley Auto Loans to submit your request to many lenders who will bid for your loan to get you the lowest price for your credit history. This way your loan application can be reviewed by many lenders without running a credit check more than once and putting additional strain on your credit history.
The dealer may offer lower payments, but by the time he stretches out your payments and charges a higher APR. You will pay a lot more for your car. It is best to have an alternate source of financing in your pocket.
Having multiple financing options gives you a little more leverage. If the other funding quotes are not that much better, you might still be able to negotiate the car price down slightly more, even if it only amounts to a few dollars a month. Be careful of the dealer coming back later and saying your financing fell through after you signed for the car. You also need to check to see if they did pay off your trade-in. Dealers will try to hold out a month or two before paying off your loan to keep the money in their hands as long as possible, putting your credit at risk. Remember, your old loan is your responsibility until the loan is paid.
If you have a low FICO score for any reason or if you have not had an opportunity to establish credit history yet, you may need to get a cosigner but only as a last resort. A bad credit auto loan can build or repair credit ratings.
Your Credit Score
There are many places online from which to get your detailed credit information, but you will need a copy of your report that lists numbers from all three credit bureaus, as well as your FICO score. It is not enough to take advantage of one of the free offers that give you an average of all three because you are not necessarily seeing what anyone else sees when running a credit check. You may have to pay for this service initially, but monthly updates are usually free. You can see how positive or negative credit choices affect your profile, and help to raise your score if necessary.
The FICO automotive score is a simple number that looks at your complete credit history and auto loans for the past seven years, and it is the primary thing that the car dealership will review when considering to finance your automobile. The number that makes up your credit score will considerably influence how you are treated at the dealership, so it is best to know before even starting the process.
Broken down into simple terms, here’s what you can expect as a result of your FICO score:
- FICO Score 680 And Above: You are considered to be in the top-tier of borrowers. You’ll qualify for a low APR, special financing and other offers. On the downside, dealerships will try to get you into a more expensive car to up their commission, and the great terms are only more tempting.
- FICO Score Between 550-680: You are looked at as a potential risk and not the ideal client for financing, but dealerships want to make a sale. They will not push towards vehicles you apparently can’t afford or offer special financing or promotions. Instead, you’ll pay a higher APR for the vehicle in your price range, which adds up
- Fico Score Under 550: You are considered to have poor credit and will rarely qualify for a loan or financing anywhere. Unfortunately, a slew of services offering “bad credit loans” are out there, and come with terms that will drive you even deeper into debt. It is best to pay cash for a used car while you rehabilitate your credit.
Don’t buy a car if it is going to put you so deep into debt you cannot recover or lose the car, You should have at least 20-25% saved up for a down payment. Otherwise, you’re putting your future in jeopardy, because you’ll eventually need something for which your credit score matters a great deal. As a general rule, staying on top of your credit monthly is key for financial success.
It is also important to remember that too many inquiries about your credit or applications for loans lower your credit score, so be choosy about things for which you want to apply. Also, younger people with no credit are considered as much of a risk for financing as those with poor credit, so start taking control of your finances early. Income like child support or other supplemental income may not be considered by lenders to be a substantial income for an auto loan, so be prepared to show all your income history.
The Benefits of Online Financing
Now that you know where you stand in the credit universe, you are ready to shop for financing options. Some of the pitfalls of financing at the dealership, using credit cards and lines of credit to finance, and “bad credit” auto loans have already been discussed. That means you are probably wondering what the specific options are that will save you money before you drive the car off of the lot.
Auto Financing That Fits
Online websites that customize financing tailor-made for your needs are an excellent option. They are safe, secure, and can be done in the privacy of your home or office without pressure by salespeople.
Your loan is secured before you find the car you want and before you can decide how much to offer. This gives you a target price and helps you avoid the tricks and car buying scams dealers use. Qualifying for online financing often can be done and approved within an hour, and you can lock your financing rate for 60 days.
On top of everything else, no application fees, one inquiry on your credit report, having the opportunity to read the fine print and feel comfortable with your choice makes buying a car so much simpler. You will also avoid getting cheated from a car dealer trying to oversell your loan by telling you to purchase extended warranties or credit life insurance to get approved financing.
Incentives, Rebates, and Invoice Pricing
Keep in mind that there are some incentives and rebates that everyone should know about. You’ll see ads for these on TV and in magazines. But there are also some incentives that are offered to the customer from the manufacturer that the dealer won’t bring up in the negotiations.
The best time to shop for “REAL” car sales
When and Why Car “Sales” Really Happen
Dealers offer legitimate car sales to liquidate their inventory a couple of times a year. First, try to go car shopping at the end of December around Christmas. Most people are using their money to buy Christmas gifts for their friends and loved ones at this point in the season, and they are not concerned with replacing an old car or getting a new model. This leaves car dealership desperate to make sales and slash prices as a result.
Also, the end of December is the end of the fiscal year for sales, so many dealerships are cutting their window sticker prices just to make more sales for the year.
You might also consider shopping to buy a new car from July to October. This is when the new car models are coming in, and to make room, many dealerships cut the prices of the older cars so they can clear their inventory for the new models.
Incentives & rebates
One factor not widely known is those vehicle manufacturers, and companies that deliver cars to dealerships will offer factory incentives for the dealers called “Dealer Incentives.”
Large cash incentives are provided to dealerships at the end of the month to boost sales. This feature could be as much as $500 extra for each unit sold, assuming the dealership reaches the goal of 50,100 or 150 vehicles for the month.
It is at these dealerships at the end of the month where the best deals can be found, and as noted, a dealer has to make around $2,000 per car. However, if the staff can sell 100 units with a $500 bonus on each, there might be room for a couple of cars to be sold each month at cost or with some extra amenities to qualify for the dealer incentives.
These special deals will not be offered until the last days of the month and are not advertised. If the dealership has only sold 50 cars during the month and there are two or three days left, the other 50 have to be sold, or the bonus will disappear.
It is usually an all-or-nothing- incentive for the dealership to sell more cars.
Dealers sometimes hide or use your rebates
Car manufacturers sometimes offer customer rebates as an incentive for buying a particular car. This means that the buyer can get a good deal. However, sometimes a dealership will advertise a car’s price with the rebate already factored into the equation on the monroney sticker. This is not a good deal for car buyers. Instead, you want to negotiate on the actual price of the car, then have the dealer take the rebate from that amount. It’s an even bigger discount for you. Remember to compare dealership window sticker prices before the rebates.
Factory Dealer Incentives
Most factory incentives offered to dealers only involve the manufacturer and the dealership. These incentives affect what the dealer pays for the car from the manufacturer and in return affects your car price. These private incentives are not widely known, but they can provide from $500 to $6,000 in amazing rebates. For example, a car dealership might be eligible to get thousands more dollars from the manufacturer if you buy a new car at the invoice price.
Taking a Competitive Stance
Negotiation is a vital part of buying a car. When you walk into the dealership, you should be ready to compete and let the dealer know that you have done your homework. In this vein, it is best to walk in with “The Folder” under your arm. We will explain this better on subsequent pages, but the basic gist of “The Folder” is that it will contain physical representations of all the preparatory work you have done to get ready for buying a new car. It should also include a pre-approved loan from the lender you choose for your vehicle loan.
This is important because it shows the dealer you are dealing with that you mean business even if you are a first-time car buyer. You will be able to start the negotiations out on your terms instead of the dealer’s terms. Make sure that you enter the dealer’s office with at least a few solid competitive price quotes in your folder. If you do not have these, you will certainly end up overpaying, and sometimes, it might be by thousands.
It Works for Each Step
Once you have located a car that you are interested in you will want to lock in a price from them before checking with other dealers, but when it comes to loans, Valley Auto Loans has you covered. Car dealerships often offer loans that have extremely high interest rates. They use sales gimmicks like “No credit check car loans” or “Zero down car loans” to get you on their lot. Then you find they will not budge from the high-interest rate that comes with this type of loan.
Remember the dealer can only offer you a loan from the loan company they sell for and won’t take the time to broker your loan the way Valley Auto Loans does. They have to stick to what the lender decides, and there is tiny room for adjusting.
Dealer Word Tricks & Advertising
Every dealer hires some of the best marketers and advertisers in the business to get you in the door. Companies spend millions of dollars to have advertisers create unique wording tricks and gimmicks, and it’s all done to get your business.
Dealers make a great deal of their income from money they receive from trade-ins, finance charges, extended warranty sales, rust proofing, accessories and other things that they convince an uninformed buyer to purchase. They will also offer zero down auto loans, and some dealers even offer a car loan without checking an applicant’s credit score to make the sale because they make money on the car sale, and they do not worry about whether you can afford the high-interest loan.
There are some key things you can do to avoid getting caught in these tricks. First, make sure you always read the fine print. On TV, this will sometimes mean recording commercials and then pause or rewind them to review. It is amazing, but it is legal for advertisers to put these legal statements in small print so that it can hardly be read.
Also, remember to look for footnotes about the information you read in ads. For example, an ad for auto financing may tell you that you can get a 1.9% APR, but if there is an asterisk on this sentence, you need to read the footnote. Often, it will say that you must be a qualified buyer or that you need approved credit for this deal. You get reeled in by the amazing APR, but do you have perfect credit? Most people don’t, so they won’t be able to qualify for these so-called fabulous deals. Here are a few other tricks and scams that are often advertised to customers.
- “All reasonable offers will be accepted!” (But yours will not because it is not reasonable.)
- “Watch out! You’re about to lose $4,000!”
- “It doesn’t matter how much your current loan is. We’ll pay it off for you!”
- “You’ll get $6,000 for your trade in, and that’s a guarantee!”
Entering The Car Dealership
Dealing With Dealerships And Dealer Fees
How to haggle for a new car and know what offer to make
Do you consider yourself dealer savvy enough to know how to haggle for a new car? Negotiation is a vital part of buying a car. Before you step foot onto the dealership’s lot, you need to know exactly what you’re getting into before signing any papers. Our goal is to improve your skills and knowledge of dealer fees and how to haggle for a new car to get the price you want. If you’ve noticed, the car dealership doesn’t spare any expense trying to attract your attention with rows and rows of shiny new vehicles. The smiling salesperson is ready to give you a tour of the lot to help you with your decision-making. With loud music, flapping sky guys, flag pennants, and balloons bobbing in the wind, you could easily get caught up in the rush of the car buying experience and lose your primary focus.
Negotiating car prices mean going in feeling on top of your game!
Ideally, you want to be working on a deal when you are feeling your best. If you are hungry or feeling a bit under the weather, you may be more likely to agree to terms that aren’t favorable to you. Postpone buying the car if you are not feeling well or are in a hurry.
How to haggle for a new car: stay focused!
Being prepared and focused is the key to knowing how to haggle with car dealers. It is up to you to find out what’s true and fair. Even if a car salesperson is not the oily type, he or she will still likely find opportunities to influence your purchase decision to receive a bigger commission.
When you enter the showroom floor, the salesperson is undoubtedly going to try to figure out how much you want to spend per month. This will allow him to find ways to increase the cost (and his commission) while keeping you within your price range for payments. For example, he might try to sell you an additional warranty or other types of upgrades, but increase the term of the loan so the payments stay at what you can afford.
The most important tip is knowing when the car dealer is pushing up the price for his profit and offering no service. Know what to consider when buying a car. Not everyone can walk in and buy a car outright, but you want to make sure that you are negotiating on the price of the car, not on how much you want to pay per month.
Make sure to collect the following important items first before you shop:
- Credit report w/credit score that you can get free online.
- Car loan pre-approval from a lender of your choice or an online broker like Valley Auto Loans.
- A list of rebates and incentives from the manufacturers website or online providers.
- Up-to-date average new car price for that car in your area.
- An accurate resale value of your trade-in as well as the trade-in value so you know what the dealer
will make off your car.
The Test Drive
Car salespersons are trained to react to your vibes. So, don’t act too giddy as you whiz through town or hit the highway ramp admiring how fast your new ride can go. They’ll feed into your excitement and then urge you to buy on impulse. All you need to concern yourself with during the test drive phase is performance, comfort and price.
Playing aloof (keep on your poker face) is one way of preventing a salesperson from reading you. Whoever asks the questions in a conversation instantly gains control, which is why it is essential for you to stay in the driver’s seat in this aspect. Make sure you are asking the questions and do not be too quick to respond to questions from the salesperson.
If it is Not In Writing, It is Not Part Of The Deal
Whatever promises mentioned by the dealership during the car buying process should be put in writing to legalize a dealership’s commitment. Many people make the mistake of letting their guard down when talking to a salesperson, only to find out that their negotiation skills were not so sharp after all. There are some key things you can do to avoid getting caught in these tricks Put the salesperson’s gender aside when it comes time for negotiations.
The biggest rule for guys: Don’t underestimate a woman’s intelligence. Having a massive ego could leave you with a less desirable car deal because you think you cannot possibly be outmaneuvered by a female. On the flip side, female car buyers need to come into the dealership with a reasonable amount of car buying knowledge, what price they should settle on and what dealer fees the finance manager will try to throw in the deal.
Car Customization and Transfer
If you want to get specific colors and options to customize your car, you may have to order directly from the car manufacturer through your dealer which can take within two to four months. Be mindful to keep a copy of all signed agreements to verify the price or any rebates that may require the vehicle be in stock to redeem them. There are circumstances where a dealer can find the car you’re looking for at another dealership and have it transferred. If you agree to have a car transported, it’s likely you’ll be paying a transport fee which is a legitimate charge. However, make sure the cost isn’t too expensive.
New car price negotiations
What is dealer invoice and how much should I offer?
Once you have located a car that you are interested in, you want to make a fair offer. You should not just throw out a figure, hoping for the best. It takes a little work on your part, but in the end, it will pay great dividends as you save money.
Some people worry more about getting financed with small payments and don’t consider the dealer is charging an unfair “Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price” (MSRP) to start with. Getting the right selling price to offer is more important because once you sign the papers, the price of the car cannot be changed. However, the loan can always be refinanced later if you need lower payments by acquiring a new loan with a lower interest rate.
Don’t Buy a Car Without an MSRP Window Sticker
By law, every car on the lot should have a factory MSRP sticker also known as the “Monroney Label” displayed on its window to verify its options. It is the same principle as removing a pillow’s tags; only the buyer can remove them. Report a car with a missing MSRP sticker to the Attorney General’s office. One man in Ft. Lauderdale learned the hard way when he bought a car with no MSRP sticker. He paid $1,500 for ABS brakes that didn’t exist. When this individual confronted the dealer, the dealer wiped his hands clean of their deal without offering any resolution since there was no printed proof of the car’s options, only a verbal agreement. This was one lesson in how to haggle for a new car that he learned the hard way.
Before you can decide what to pay for a new car, you must have a good idea of the “dealer invoice price.” How much the dealership paid for the car is the primary factor when you try to offer what the dealer will accept. This way, you can make an offer that will give the dealer a fair profit while also ensuring that you do not pay too much for the car. Don’t get this confused with the window sticker or better known as the MSRP.
Dealer Invoice vs. MSRP
Dealer invoice price. How Much Should You Pay Under MSRP? After you have chosen a great car, you should ask the dealer to let you see a copy of the factory dealer invoice price.
The factory invoice has information that shows the base cost of the model of car you are interested in, as well as the cost of options and other dealer cost charged to the dealer. If the seller refuses to let you see a copy of the factory invoice or tells you the factory invoice price instead of showing you the dealer invoice, there is a way to get the information online.
When you are tricked, it is usually in the hands of a salesperson working the well-rehearsed system. However, keep in mind, the factory invoice price amount is not what the dealer paid for the car! We will show you how to decide what the actual dealer cost is in this part of the guide.
How Much Below MSRP Should I Pay?
Your initial offer should be three percent to five percent above the dealer’s actual cost. Most dealerships can survive on a three percent profit margin; most dealerships will accept a five percent profit. We have researched this information online to verify that it is accurate.
Finding The Correct Price to Offer The Car Dealer
Jot down new car fees and car options that come with the MSRP sticker; and, find out what options packages come with your car since this info will come in handy when you are ready to make an offer.
Many people buy cars on impulse without thinking their purchase through, which is what car salespeople excel in. Their primary goal is to convince you not to leave without making a purchase so that there’s no time to comparison shop at another dealership. Let the salesperson know you do not intend to buy right now and stick to your guns.
Seasoned salespeople will not put the squeeze on you to buy because if you want a car, you will be back. If a seller interjects with a quick reply like, “What if I told you can drive off today with no money down?” Don’t you want to save over $1,500 today?” or “What can I do to sweeten this deal for you?” Tell them, “Even if you were giving this car away, I would not buy today, until I weigh all my options.” Get the salesperson’s card for future reference if you decide to buy through them and offer no further explanations.
What Did the Dealer Pay for the Vehicle?
Even though I advised you to find out the factory invoice amount so you would have a starting point for your negotiations, you should realize that the real dealer cost is not what is shown on the dealer invoice price. Let’s see why the dealers’ invoice price is not what the dealer paid for the car.
Factory Invoice vs. Dealer Invoice
There are three components to the actual cost of a car that is sitting on the dealer’s lot. These three parts are:
- The actual price on the dealer invoice, minus
- The ‘hold back’ price from the factory, minus
- Any incentives extended to the dealer from the factory.
How much the dealer paid for a particular car is a big industry secret. The salesperson on the car lot will attempt to convince you that the factory invoice reflects the actual cost they paid for the car, but this is simply not true.
What is the “Holdback” Price From the Factory?
The factory holdback or “H/B” is an amount that the plant provides to the dealership after a vehicle is sold. To figure out what that amount would be, you should calculate three percent of the factory invoice price minus delivery charges (for domestic cars). If you are buying an import, use a two percent figure.
The precise holdback amount will vary depending on the manufacturer, so if you use 3%, it will get you an accurate estimate.
What Is Factory Incentives To The Dealer?
A factory-to-dealer incentive is essentially a discount that is given to the dealer by the car manufacturer. The discount can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. These incentives normally increase as the year goes on. Manufacturers do not want an extensive inventory of their vehicles to be sitting on car lots near the end of the year.
Invoice price for new cars should not include any factory incentives before you negotiate the price. Factory incentives are not to be confused with consumer rebates. Consumer rebates are paid by the manufacturer to the buyer; dealer incentives are paid by the manufacturer to the dealer. Don’t let the dealer use your rebate as his tool for negotiating the sale price. Ask about the discounts before he attempts to use it to cut the sticker price. You should figure in the rebate after you agree on a selling price.
Although this may be a bit confusing, look at it this way: if you make a $40 purchase and then receive a $20 rebate, your actual cost is $20. That is your net cost, after rebates. So the Invoice reflects what the dealer was charged before the dealership received its incentives, kickbacks, and other rebates.
What Price Is Represented On The Factory Invoice?
What is dealer invoice price? The factory invoice that you asked the dealer to show you is a document that shows the basic dealer invoice price for the model of car you are purchasing. It will also show all of the various options, individual costs of body trim and custom paint, and the destination charge. Some manufacturers will also show the hold back on the factory invoice price.
Once you figure out what the dealer’s actual cost was, after deducting the numbers we mentioned above, it is smarter to negotiate up from the dealer cost. You should offer an amount that is three to five percent above that. We have created a quick formula to help you know what to pay for a new car. You can do these calculations.
Here is an example of how it works.
Start with the dealer invoice as an example. $20,000.
Subtract the holdback price: $600 or (three percent of the invoice price)
Then subtract the Factory-to-Dealer Incentive: $500
That gives you $18,900. Or what the dealer paid.
Add 5% of $18,900. for dealer profit ($945.)
He will add back the Destination Fees of $500.
And your price is $20,345.
Then you can let him subtract the Customer Rebate: $500
And the correct price is $19,845.
And your offer price is $19,845.
What Should I Pay For A New Car? – Make Your Offer
Your offer = $18,900 actual dealer cost + $945 = $19845. Now add the destination charge of $500, and you get $20,345 as your initial offer. This gives the dealer five percent profit. You will also get that rebate, so your end price will be $500 less than you offer, not including any taxes and registration costs. Compare that to the MSRP Listed on Car Windshield: $23,500 and you will see that a little research will bring you big savings.
The End of the Year
This can be an excellent time to purchase a car. Dealers want to get rid of inventory. People are in a spending mood, and there are usually many incentives, plus the incentives that are not always advertised. You still have to be careful about the extended warranties and watch the competition for a possible better price, but some good deals can be made.
However, there is a drawback. When you by a year-end closeout, the car, while it may be in perfect condition, it is going to depreciate as soon as the next year’s models hit the showroom floor. This is not as big a problem as it once was, but it is something to consider. Be sure to check with your insurance agent about and the company selling the extended warranty, if buying a car late in the year will have any impact on your coverage.
Please Don’t Be Rude
Please don’t go into a dealership with the sole purpose of making the dealership grovel for your business. Dealerships are more likely to negotiate a good deal with you when you practice good manners! Don’t haggle about a car’s price without actually knowing the dealer cost. Think first before putting down a deposit if you think you might change your mind on a deal. It makes no sense to cook up a better monthly income or debt ratio since this information can easily be verified when the dealership runs your credit report.
There’s no need to dictate how much a salesperson will make on your car deal. If you land considerable savings on a car price, they’ll automatically expect a much lower commission. Many dealers make the request to fill out a Customer Satisfaction Survey for you. Ignore the seller, and send the CSS to the manufacturer yourself. To sum it up, learn what the correct car dealer service fees are and don’t pay extra fees when purchasing a car.
How Much Should I Pay For A New Car If It Is A Dealer Demo?
You can get a good deal on a demo only if you treat it as it is, a “used car.” The dealer will tell you it is a new car because it has not been titled and that is somewhat true. They usually offer you a warranty that starts as soon as you title it. However, it does have miles on it and depreciation has already begun adding up. So, what is a fair price for that car?
Find The Price If The Demo Car Was New
What we need to do is find the fair price for the car if it were new. You can use the methods we just talked about in the search for the dealer invoice price and working up. Once you are satisfied, you know what the car would sell for if it were new, then we will figure out mileage and age depreciation.
Mileage and Age
Find the mileage that is on the car now and multiply that mileage by $ 0.20 cents. This will be your “mileage compensation.”
Next, multiply 0.015 X the number of months since the car was delivered to the dealers’ lot. Then multiply that figure times the MSRP price. This will give you the “age compensation.”
Subtract Mileage and Age
Now subtract both of these amounts from the cars at the fair price if it were new. It should look something like this. Let’s say the MSRP is $25,000 and the fair offer price you came up with is $21,000. If the car has 6,000 miles on it and is six months old, your example should look like this.
Mileage compensation= 6,000 x $0.20 = $1,200.00
Age compensation= 6 x .015= .09 x $25,000= $2,250
your fair price of $21,000 – $1,200 – $2,250 = your offer of $17,550
There is a point when a car has been on the dealers lot for close to a year. in that case you should offer 20% less than the fair price if it were new and subtract $0.20 for each mile on the odometer.
Remember the Deprecation
The dealer may try to tell you this unreasonable but remember the depreciation you will get hit with the minute you drive it off the lot. If the car got totaled that day in an accident, you have a lot to lose. You will owe the finance company for a new car. Your insurance company will not see it that way.
Most importantly, stick to your budget. A good deal is only a good deal if you can afford the terms. A Simple Budget will help you know how to pay for a car and what should I pay off first when it comes to reducing your debt.
Finalizing The Deal
You always have the power to walk away
When a car salesperson seems to be saying things that just seem a bit untrue or if the dealer doesn’t want to make a deal that’s in your favor, you can always walk out and get the same car for a lower price at another dealer. You may have to wait a bit if the other dealer doesn’t have the exact car you want in stock, but you’ll still get the car you want. At any point of the buying process, you are free to walk away but their main goal is to convince you, not to leave without making a purchase so that you can’t comparison shop. This is an enormous amount of power and the salesman knows this.
Carefully study these tips before you head off to the dealer to make your purchase. It is a lot to take in and remember, but it is going to help you get a better deal on your car.
Seal The Deal Quickly. You do not want to be stuck in the negotiating room for hours. When you know what you want, and know how much you want to pay, you should not have to waste anyone’s time.
Tell the sales person that you want the papers signed in less than 30 minutes and if it takes longer than that, you’re going to walk out.
Once you know what you want, and make an offer, let the salesperson know you do not have much extra time. You need to get the paperwork done in less than thirty minutes. If that seems a bit too pushy for your personality, consider telling the salesperson you only have 30 minutes before you have to leave. The longer they keep you in the finance managers office, the more time they have to slip in extra sale options that you do not need. If you are not careful, you will see the price going up before your eyes.
The most important things to take away, though, you are the person who’s bringing the money to the table, so you should always have the upper hand in the negotiations.
Remember it is all about the sales price if you have to get a loan with a high rate you can always refinance later to get a new loan with a lower interest rate.
Dealer Closing Techniques
Buying a new car can be an exciting process. It can also be anxiety-producing if you do not know what to know when buying a car. The dealer is there to sell you a car, and they do not make money unless you buy. There are several ways that they will get you to make a purchase decision if you are on the fence or unsure. Knowing these common closing techniques will present you as a savvy shopper and prepare you for the car-buying process. Your dealer can attempt to hide excessive fees by calling them something relevant during the closing paperwork.
The Assumptive Close
This closing technique assumes that you will buy. The salesperson will treat you as though you have already made the purchase decision and are simply waiting to attend to the technical details. The assumptive close is the most typical of car salesperson tricks that sellers will use to sell you a car, and it is also the most subtle. If you are not paying attention, you could find yourself buying a car before you realize what’s happening.
Common ways that salespeople assume the sale are by starting to work out logistical details with you at the end of their sales pitch. They may ask you if you will take it in blue or black. They start filling out the sales slip or ask the spelling of your last name so they can initiate the finance application. They may ask if you want to take delivery today or tomorrow. They may start asking you for your driver’s license so they can make copies. The key here is that they do not ask if the car is something that you want, they naturally assume that you do and go from there.
Give and Take
If you are on the fence about buying the car, the salesperson may give you something then take it away to create a sense of loss. People do not like losing or being told that they cannot have something. In this conventional technique, the salesperson may take you for a test drive, showing you all of the incredible features the car has to offer. When you pull into the lot, he will get out and give the keys to another salesperson so they can take a different buyer for a test drive–in your car! This gives you the sense that you could potentially lose this car if you do not act quickly. This is a standard technique that uses the idea of scarcity to get you to make a quick decision.
Another variation on the “give and take close” is a limited time discount. The salesperson may sell you on the car of your dreams, telling you how great it is, then tells you he has to make sure it is still available. He may first tell you that the car is no longer available, or that the price that he quoted has gone up. This will create a sense of disappointment and loss in the buyer. He will then scramble around and “find” a car or a good deal for you. This close appeals to emotion and is highly effective in getting people to buy.
The Affordability Close
Sometimes it is simply the price that is standing between you and a brand new car. Dealerships and sales people know this, and they will try to break down every barrier possible to get you into your new car. The salesperson will appeal to your budget, asking you how much you are willing to spend. He will then present you cars that are within the range of that price, or maybe a little higher. The salesperson may also break down the cost into weekly increments. If the price is $400 a month, he may tell you that it breaks down to $100 a week, or $13 a day. These smaller prices make it easier for you to justify the price and is one of the ways that salespeople overcome a price objection.
Ask the Manager Close
At some point in the negotiation process, your salesperson may get a sense that you want to buy but are reluctant for some reason. He will see that you may be considering making the purchase today but are unsure of whether you want to make the leap. This is when it is time for him to pull out all of the stops and make sure you walk away with a car. Remember that if you do not buy, their time would have been wasted, so they will do what they must to get you to buy that car.
The salesperson may tell you that he can get you a good deal on the car, but he is only authorized to discount a certain amount. He may have to consult his manager to get authorization to lower the price. In this technique, you may be seated where you have a clear view of the manager’s office. This is deliberate. He will go into the room, make grand gestures, pace around the desk and make a huge spectacle of driving a hard bargain with his manager. The salesperson wants you to think that he is working hard to get you the best deal, This is the time it is important to know how to buy a car from a dealer and not get tricked.
In another spin on this technique, other salespeople may barge into your seller’s office, attempting to get help to negotiate a car price for their customer. Your dealer may help them find a bargain or get a discount, giving you the impression that everyone at this dealership is committed to getting you the best deal possible.
Another variation on the “ask the manager” close is one in which the salesperson will bring the sales manager in to talk to you and convince you to buy. This may be a subtle action. The sales manager may “happen” to be walking by and ask you some routine question. From there, he will start to try to sell you the car, and before you know it, there are two salespeople there working to convince you to drive it home today. It changes the dynamic of your relationship with the salesperson and makes it more likely that you will buy the car immediately.
The Three Yes Close
A lot of sales are based upon psychology. The salesperson is not necessarily trying to get you to buy something you don’t want–you visited the dealership after all. He is, however, trying to get you to make a decision today, which is where the resistance comes in.
In the “three yes” close, the salesperson will ask you questions guaranteed to generate a “yes” response. This will prime your brain to start thinking about affirmative answers to questions that are yet to come. He may say, “did you like the way the car drove?” At this point, you will say “yes.” He will follow-up by saying, “is red the color you liked?” Once again, you say “yes.” Finally, he will say, “so will you be taking this car today?” At this point, many people will instinctively say yes and decide to purchase immediately.
The “Either Or Close”
Similar to the assumptive close, this technique will assume you have already made your decision to buy the car and are just deciding between two options. In the “either or close”, the dealer may say, “will this be in just your name or your spouse’s as well?” The salesperson may also say, “will you take this in red or black?” Once you have chosen either one or the other, you have committed to buy the car. This usually happens before you bring up any other objections and is one of the first closing techniques that your salesperson will use.
The Ben Franklin Close
Ben Franklin used to make major decisions by taking a sheet of paper, making two columns and writing the pros and cons of each decision.
Salespeople will often use this close, making sure that the pro column is longer than the con column. This is a great technique for people who need visual cues.
When it comes to your next car buying venture, understanding common closing techniques will help you with how to negotiate a car price. We hope you can use these tips for buying a car from a dealer. being able to recognize car salesman tricks will make you better prepared to negotiate a car deal that will work for you.
There are only a few more steps to consider, but these are crucial steps: A car dealership makes almost 25% of its money at the closing table, and most of this comes from playing off of the excitement of the buyer.
Here are the things that you need to know to close your new car purchase the right way.
Doing the Paperwork For Your New Car
Keep in mind that you have negotiated the price of the car but now its time to do the paperwork and close the deal. Most people require some type of financing to be able to purchase a new car, and that is where the price can change. What should I pay for a new car loan? The terms of your car loan will significantly affect this question and should be answered before your offer. You will need to go over your contract while it is filled out to see if your dealer has tried to sneak in any extras charges and bogus dealer fees.
After The Sale
Fill Out Your Own Survey
Once you have closed the deal on your new car, you will be asked to fill out a Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS). This is normal and no cause for concern, unless the dealer pressures you to return the survey to them instead of the manufacturer, a common trick in the arsenal of a car dealership. Don’t do it. Ignore the dealer, and send the CSS straight to the manufacturer. Many dealers make this request to ensure a good review, even after scamming you. To avoid any changes being made to your Customer Satisfaction Survey, it should be sent to the manufacturer and not the dealer. A lot of dealers will even go so far as offering things like free gas for returning your survey to them, as one customer stated in writing:
Subject: Customer Satisfaction Survey
I was told to mark 100% on my Customer Satisfaction Survey, and that if there were any problems all I had to do was contact the dealer. I politely informed the salesman that I planned to tell the truth. He proceeded to tell me that I would basically be hurting us both. When he saw I wasn’t going for that, he offered me a free tank of gas to return my survey to him personally. That’s when I began to get worried, and he seemed to grow more and more afraid by the second. What’s the big deal? Why was he so anxious to get his hands on that survey?
How to Handle Bribes for Your CSS
The best way to handle this type of trick is to trick them right back. All you have to do is make a copy of your completed Customer Satisfaction Survey. Take the original copy into the dealership and get your free gas. Why not? They offered. The copy should be mailed to the manufacturer. Along with this copy of your CSS, You should also include a letter. In this letter you should tell the manufacturer that you have returned a copy because the dealer offered you free gas for the original.
Some dealers go even further than bribery, requiring you to buy extended warranties or credit life insurance to be approved for a loan. This is illegal and should definitely be included in your survey. It is also wise to include that you will be contacting the Consumer Affairs Division with your complaint.
Always Be Honest
It is never a good idea to lie on your Customer Satisfaction Survey because dealerships get bonuses for maintaining a certain level of customer satisfaction. If no bonus is deserved, none should be received. Of course, if you had a pleasant car buying experience, there is nothing wrong with saying so in your survey. You, the customer, have the power to ensure that credit is given where it is due.
If you were given a great deal, don’t be afraid to say so. And you can thank them further by sending your friends and family there when they are shopping for a new car and a great deal. Customer satisfaction is a major part of sales, and dealers that provide this deserve to be acknowledged. There are a number things you can do to avoid getting caught in these tricks.
What if I Get Cheated?
If you get cheated, you definitely will not be the first. More often than you may think, salespeople and other dealership employees break the law. Here are some examples of this illegal activity:
- Adjusting the figures so you receive eventually nothing for your trade-in.
- Trying to sell a used or titled car as if it were a new car.
- Running unauthorized credit checks during test drives.
- Using a VIN or model number on paperwork that does not match the car sold.
- Being forced to purchase extended warranties or credit life insurance to get approved financing.
- Failing to show deposits, trade-ins, cap costs and any other fees on a lease.
- Falsifying information about earlier accidents the vehicle has been involved in.
- Reporting a car stolen, weeks after the purchase, when the buyer refuses to make larger payments.
If, for any reason, you feel that you got scammed try to handle it with the dealer first. Not all dealers are out to scam you. Checking with them first could save you both tons of trouble, especially if the problem is the result of a simple mistake. Most dealers should be happy to correct any mistakes made by them. If not, to avoid getting cheated, file a complaint with the Consumer Affairs Division.
Who Can Help?
- The Better Business Bureau (BBB) will try to take care of the issue and will help to warn other consumers.
- The Attorney General in your state; all you have to do is file a complaint on their website.
- Your local news; consumer reports that appear on newscasts have been very effective at handling issues of this nature because no dealer wants to have their reputation questioned and/or ruined on television.
- If your situation is especially complicated, you should hire an attorney
Always be sure that you have proof of wrongdoing before you file a complaint.
Can I Return My Car If I Am Unhappy?
Do not think for a second that you can exchange a car within three days for a refund because most states have no law that allows this. That is why you should always be sure BEFORE you finalize the deal.
Your States Lemon Law
Although most states have no buyer’s remorse rules when it comes to purchasing a new car, lemon laws do exist. These laws, which vary from state to state, prevent you from being stuck with a car that does not function properly. If your car is a lemon, your state’s Attorney General can help. Visit their website to file a complaint. Be sure to read their directions to make sure that you have everything you need and that your claims handled properly and in a timely fashion.
Remember that as the consumer you have the power to make sure high-quality car shopping experiences. All it takes is returning your Customer Satisfaction Survey directly to the manufacturer. And always remember that if you feel you have been scammed, you have the right to do something about it. Let it be known. After all, how will manufacturers know there is a problem if they are not made aware?
A Check List That Will Save You Money
To sum up, everything you just learned about getting a good deal on a new car we have compiled a 20 point review that you can use when you head out to the car dealer. You can find this list on our vehicle locator page along with other useful car buying tips and information.
These examples are typical of what you’ll see from car dealerships, but they are not helping you gain anything. Their goal is always for you to buy a car at MSRP from them. They do not want to assist you with your current lease or loan, and they do not wish to give you a great deal in itself, they want to sell cars for profit.
On the other hand, they do want your trade-in car, but that is only so that they can give you a small value and then turn around to sell it to someone else with a higher price tag. Knowing how to get the best price on a new car includes not losing the assets you have in the car you trade in. Beware of assuming that if you trade in your leased car, you will get out of your lease or loan. This is not true. There are strong penalties for terminating your lease agreement early unless you buy out the leased car as described in your lease agreement.
In fact, this is one thing that gets many people in hot water. You might think you are replacing a debt, but you are adding an additional bundle of debt to your load, this is known as a negative equity trap. There are no favors here. The trick is quite cunning. When you see the ads for cheap financing and other gimmicks that seem to be too good to be true, you will know that they are too good to be true.
The bottom line remains that if you currently owe money on a car, don’t trade it in. There might be other problems in addition to the most significant issue, which you’ll probably get into more debt. For example, you might incur penalties from your bank because dealers often do not pay the bank on time when they take over your loan.
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