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Old 08-23-2011, 08:38 PM   #21
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I used USAA's buying service to buy 2 cars last year. I was very happy with it. No surprises.
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Yes I went thru AutoCircle @ USAA (going directly to the fleet mgr is much easier), but that does not stop me from trying to negotiate a bit if I can.

Question: When you go this route, do you also avoid arguing over all the add-on gimmicks the dealers try to load you up on (rust proofing, clear-coat, trim do-hickeys, etc)?


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Once I was given a $500 rebate for taking out a loan. Promptly paid it off a month later.
Yep, DD just bought a new car. $400 discount for new grads, but ONLY if you took out a loan. The $400 was after all other negotiations, and it is paid by the finance company to the dealer, so the dealer does not care - in fact they love it as it helps them make a sale.

In the TANSTAAFL category - they also consider 'new grads' to be 'higher risk', so you get a higher % rate. Guess what - it would come out to more than $400 over the life of the loan. Imagine that


I explained to DD - we pay off the loan in full, pay maybe one month of interest, and you got your $400 off. So maybe sometimes, there IS a 'free lunch', if you are suitably capitalized

STTIAFLIYASC? Not so catchy.

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Old 08-23-2011, 08:43 PM   #22
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Question: When you go this route, do you also avoid arguing over all the add-on gimmicks the dealers try to load you up on (rust proofing, clear-coat, trim do-hickeys, etc)?
The only upsell attempt I got using the USAA service was from the finance guy for the extended warranty.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:48 PM   #23
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The only upsell attempt I got using the USAA service was from the finance guy for the extended warranty.
Same here.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:35 PM   #24
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The only upsell attempt I got using the USAA service was from the finance guy for the extended warranty.
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Same here.
Thanks, I might have to look into how to connect with USAA. My last two car buying experiences were....experiences.

Does anyone know, are other car buying plans similar, Credit Union, Costco. other?


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Old 08-23-2011, 09:38 PM   #25
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Does anyone know, are other car buying plans similar, Credit Union, Costco. other?
I'm not sure, but it appears PenFed CU has the same service. I say that because 1) they have some sort of reciprocal agreement with USAA on insurance and 2) they came out with their service shortly after USAA introduced theirs.

EDIT: I checked out the Penfed program and it is definitely the same as USAA's program.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:42 PM   #26
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My last two car buying experiences were....experiences.-ERD50
You should try selling them.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:02 PM   #27
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My last two car buying experiences were....experiences.-ERD50
You should try selling them.
heh-heh - I'm sure it's a pain on that end also. No, I wouldn't chose to sell cars for a living, it just isn't in my 'skill set'.

I know there was a thread on this maybe a year ago, I should go look it up I guess. But it just seems to me so much of the pain of transacting a car purchase is self-inflicted.

I can buy many things in the multi-thousand $ price range easily and confidently, often with a few mouse clicks. Something 10x more expensive might take a bit more effort, but why should it entail so much more frustration - especially for something so many people 'love' (I don't, it's just transportation).

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Old 08-23-2011, 10:14 PM   #28
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It all comes down to one thing, Price!

If you were willing to pay the price that you are told it would make the whole process easy, no?

How many other things do you buy where the price is the problem? I've always found that car buyers in most cases don't know where the end is. This causes a problem for the buyer and the seller. Even when I pulled out the invoice no one want's to believe it's real. There in is the problem.

If folks would just walk in and pay the asking price it would would be a piece of cake.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:21 PM   #29
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It all comes down to one thing, Price!

If you were willing to pay the price that you are told it would make the whole process easy, no?

How many other things do you buy where the price is the problem? I've always found that car buyers in most cases don't know where the end is. This causes a problem for the buyer and the seller. Even when I pulled out the invoice no one want's to believe it's real. There in is the problem.

If folks would just walk in and pay the asking price it would would be a piece of cake.
The problem is that the auto retailing industry has made price discovery tough for the customer, at least in most cases. I have bought at traditional dealerships (games galore to find the price) and I have bought at a no-haggle dealership. Huge difference in customer experience. Its not the dealers' fault, it is the way the industry is set up. The flat price services like those offered by USAA, Costco, etc. are a way to get past the usual BS to get to price discovery quickly.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:27 PM   #30
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Dealers love USAA,Costco buyers etc.. Makes the whole thing very easy.

At least the customers believe USAA, Costco and others. When the dealer shows the invoice for proof of cost no one believes it. I'm not saying everyone, but most.

Funny thing is that the prices customers get from buying services are mostly higher than the dealer prices. Just adding another middle man, but hey, what ever works.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:30 PM   #31
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It all comes down to one thing, Price!

If you were willing to pay the price that you are told it would make the whole process easy, no?

How many other things do you buy where the price is the problem? I've always found that car buyers in most cases don't know where the end is. This causes a problem for the buyer and the seller. Even when I pulled out the invoice no one want's to believe it's real. There in is the problem.

If folks would just walk in and pay the asking price it would would be a piece of cake.
Except there is no 'asking price'. There is MSRP and Invoice, but those don't mean much as there are other ways that dealers make money (sales incentives, service, financing, etc).

But I don't want to go to the effort of figuring out a company's business model. I don't have the info I need to do it anyhow. But with most other products, if I see product A sells for $YYY and product B sells for $ZZZ, I make up my mind based on those prices, features, quality, etc. And if it is advertised for $ZZZ, I don't go there to find they added another $ZZ 'worth' of extras I didn't ask for and don't want.

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Old 08-23-2011, 10:37 PM   #32
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The asking price is always MSRP but if you ask for a price from a salesperson one will be provided for you. At that point is where the problem starts. Is that the price you are willing to pay? I doubt it!

You are correct that most dealers add items that people don't want in most cases and add to the MSRP. In an area where there are a lot of dealers it makes it harder for the dealers to play games as the other dealers will eat them up.

Most any info you need is on the internet today so the buying process today is easier than ever. Customers who have done their homework are the best customers. They know what cost is and in most cases know that the dealer has to make a reasonable profit. Who used to say "the educated customer is our best customer" I think it was Sy Sims who said that. Maybe he's out of business by now. (heh)
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:54 AM   #33
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I used USAA's buying service earlier this year to buy my truck and was very happy with the deal. I paid less than the price Edmund's said was the going rate and enjoyed not having to spend hours engaging in tag-team negotiations with the salesman and his manager.

Would you mind sharing... How much lower than the Edmund TMV did USAA negotiate (on a % basis)?
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:03 AM   #34
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Would you mind sharing... How much lower than the Edmund TMV did USAA negotiate (on a % basis)?
Nothing dramatic - about 3% 1% under TMV.

EDIT: I came up with the 3% number by looking at the current TMV vs. what I paid through USAA. After I posted I took a look at the window sticker off my truck and realized the current list price shown on Edmunds is higher by a little more than $1k due to a price increase from GM. Using the correct numbers I now come up with about a 1% savings.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:03 AM   #35
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Maybe he's out of business by now. (heh)
Actually no - still see "his" ads on TV...

He died in 2009, but the company is still going strong...
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:53 AM   #36
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When my mom bought her car she got a $1,000 rebate only if she took out a loan... when I asked the finance guy what the interest rate was he said "who cares, you pay it off next month"... which she did....

No loan, no $1,000... but she did get a good rate



As for showing invoice to a customer, that does not mean it is the true cost to the dealer... with hold backs, incentives etc. etc. (you know more about this than I do... I just know it is there)... the true cost is less...

One time I bought a car and a friend of mine went to buy from the same place.... his credit was not that good and he was denied.... but the paperwork was all filled out etc... and it was the end of whatever sales cycle where if the dealership had sold ONE more care they got a lot of money... they could not get another sale done for some reason (backdating or whatever they did)... so they dropped the price of his deal another $2,000 or so, he upped his down payment and the deal went through.... his price was WAY under invoice...
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:35 AM   #37
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Texas, please understand that most dealers get an additional 3% under invoice to keep the doors open. Usually no one gets paid on this money and it is used to defer some of the costs to keep the cars in stock and keep the lights on. A dealer who has 600 cars in stock can pay tons in floor plan costs and that's what this money is for.

Also the manufacturers are now doing deals with dealers to move more product. Let's say a Nissan dealer gets a factory offer to move 60 Altimas for the month. Nissan will offer an additional 500 for each car delivered if they hit this #. So dealers will take losers to get to that #. If they don't hit it they are out the money on the losers.

This is not always the case so the invoice is the real # to work off of. The last day of the month is always the best day to buy a car for the reason I mentioned.

Many times folks would come into my office to discuss finance and there would be a program for the customer for an additional rebate if they finance with the manufacturers finance wing. So as in your case the finance guy told you to pay the loan off in one month and take advantage of the rebate.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:00 PM   #38
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I closed the deal today. There is no rebate if you decline it on this model. A FICO of 720 is required to get a 0% deal. I had never known what my FICO score was, so that was enough to get me to apply. My FICO is 820. The guy said that was one of the highest that he had ever seen in the several years that he had been doing this. So I'm not too impressed with FICO scores if mine is that unique.

Anyway, no extra fees; I can pay off the balance at any time; final price divided by 36 is what I pay monthly. It's a promotion that Toyota is doing and the dealer is not part of it. I will set it up to draft automatically each month. I walked out with a new car and did not spend a dime today.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:43 PM   #39
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I closed the deal today. There is no rebate if you decline it on this model. A FICO of 720 is required to get a 0% deal. I had never known what my FICO score was, so that was enough to get me to apply. My FICO is 820. The guy said that was one of the highest that he had ever seen in the several years that he had been doing this. So I'm not too impressed with FICO scores if mine is that unique.

Anyway, no extra fees; I can pay off the balance at any time; final price divided by 36 is what I pay monthly. It's a promotion that Toyota is doing and the dealer is not part of it. I will set it up to draft automatically each month. I walked out with a new car and did not spend a dime today.
Yeah, if there is absolutely no negotiating a discount instead of the 0% financing, I'd take it too -- and immediately move the purchase price from my primary savings account into another account where I would make the payments -- and consider the money already spent.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:51 PM   #40
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Good for you mickeyd, sounds like it was a painless deal.
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