Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Best way to find exact car
Old 02-04-2011, 12:26 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,399
Best way to find exact car

We are planning to buy a new car (2011 Chrysler Town & Country). The last several cars that we bought we compromised on things we really wanted due to availability. This car we expect to have for at least 10 years. We want to get the features that we want and the color that we want. In the past, color was always the first feature to go. This time, I don't want to do that.

I've searched inventory as best I can within a few hundred miles of here and there is no vehicle that meets the specific features we want.

The last time I bought a car I priced it at Edmunds then they sent that information to some dealers who contacted us and we ended up buying one that was available wasn't exactly what we wanted. They could get vehicles from other dealers but apparently only within a specific area.

If you know that you want a specific set of features (including color) and you know that it isn't that common (the 2011 T&C just came out in January so there aren't tons of them out there) what is the best way to find the exact car and buy it for a reasonable price?
__________________

__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-04-2011, 12:30 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,897
I used to work for a car company. I would just order the car and have it built to my exact spec. I didn't have to dicker on the price, but I don't see why that should keep you from ordering it, after you agree on a price.
__________________

__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 12:35 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I used to work for a car company. I would just order the car and have it built to my exact spec. I didn't have to dicker on the price, but I don't see why that should keep you from ordering it, after you agree on a price.
+1

A co-worker of mine ordered a new Audi straight from the company(thru the dealer) with the exact features(including color) that he wanted.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 12:59 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,399
I've never done that. How long does it take to get the car? Do you have to pay MSRP to do that or can you still negotiate a price with the dealer?
__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 01:03 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,617
I've done that twice. Coming back to the USA after overseas assignments, I ordered the exact car I wanted from the factory, and took delivery at a local dealer when I got back to the states.

I particularly liked the option to specify the final drive axle ratio, so I could get the one that gave me the best gas mileage.
__________________
Pas de lieu Rhône que nous.
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 01:03 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
I've never done that. How long does it take to get the car? Do you have to pay MSRP to do that or can you still negotiate a price with the dealer?
Sorry, don't know the details. I just know it can be done.
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 01:07 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,617
IIRC, it all depends on the auto maker, but it was a few months each time for me.
__________________
Pas de lieu Rhône que nous.
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 01:22 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
You could also just email several dealers with your specs, agree on a price and tell them to let you know when they get one that matches your specs and price.

When I looked at the the TrueCar pricing that showed what people were paying for caes, there wasn't a huge delta between the 'average price' and a 'great price' (maybe $400 on a $25,000 vehicle?). So I don't think you will need to pay any large premium for them to do a little work to match a car to you so you get what you want. It might take time though.

I also question those TrueCar prices - are the people who got a 'great price' also the ones who agreed to a bunch of puffed-up dealer add-ons (paint protection, rust proofing, etc), so the dealer gives them a 'great price' on the car, but makes it up on the after-market stuff? That is not reported in those prices.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 01:32 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
For Japanese cars that may work. But for American cars with long lists of options, the exact car just may not exist.

Just for fun lets say there are 40 different options on a car including color and various packages. The number of permutations of the options is an astronomically large number. therefore finding the exact car may be a challenge. Especially if you move away from popular option choices.
__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 01:33 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,625
Yep, order the car, but do not act as if they are doing a special favor or you will pay too much. As in,

"Well, I'd buy that car, but you gotta lower the price a few thousand and convince me to get a color I don't want."

"OK, you lowered the price, but I still hate the color. Maybe if you lowered the price some more, I would start to love the color."

"Thanks for lowering the price, but that color makes me puke. Can I just order the car in my color with ABS, side-impact airbags, etc and pay the same price? I can? Thanks, it's a deal."

Then when the minivan comes, "I didn't order pin-striping nor the rear spoiler. Who ever heard of a rear spoiler on a minivan? I'm not paying for those options. In fact, you will never sell this minivan with those options to anyone, but if you lower the price another few thousand, I'd be happy to take it off your hands."

You might send a pm to cardude since I think he owned a chrysler dealership at one time.
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 01:35 PM   #11
Moderator
bssc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,933
We ordered our Dodge Grand Caravan through the dealer. It is the Dodge version of Town and Country with a higher roof. We went to Edmunds and picked the options we wanted including the color. We also recorded the model numbers. We paid $500 over invoice (this was in 2005, I bet you could a better deal). They tried to sell us what was on the lot first but we didn't want leather seats or a rear seat DVD player or Satellite radio. These days, I would email each dealer (from a special account) with the information and then see who has the best price. We waited six weeks and then went to the dealer and picked it up.

Also, we got all the cash back and the like. We took out a $5000 loan to get $1000 back.
__________________
Angels danced on the day that you were born.
bssc is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 02:03 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,820
I did this a long time ago on a Chevy Malibu. No problem, 4-6 week wait. Notice that it's easier to compare prices between dealers since you are buying exactly the same car regardless of which dealer you work with. Also, note that the dealer doesn't have to pay financing on cars that are sold the day they're delivered. If you're ordering an unusual combination of options, the dealer may be a little concerned you won't pick it up and will leave him hanging with an unusual car.

I hope CarDude shows up and gives us the dealer's perspective.
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 02:20 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nodak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cavalier
Posts: 2,317
I've ordered cars from the local dealer several times with no problem at all. Tell them exactly what you want then come to an agreement on the price. The longest I've waited for the car to be delivered is about 7 weeks.
__________________
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
Nodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 02:39 PM   #14
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
The last car I purchased was not available in the colors/options that I wanted (Mustang GT convertible).

At the time, there was a manufacturer’s promotion with a $2k discount from the factory.

I ordered the car (from the factory) with the understanding that if the promotion was not on by the time I received the car, the discount would not apply. The dealer could not guarantee the discount, since they were not the ones who sponsored it.

Since I ordered the car in March (after the new models had come out and the initial "fills" were done), they had some open production slots and my car was moved into one of those. Where I was looking at a 6-8 week delivery, it really came out to four weeks.

I got the car, the color, the options, and the manufacture discount.

Just my story...
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 02:47 PM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
This car we expect to have for at least 10 years. We want to get the features that we want and the color that we want. In the past, color was always the first feature to go. This time, I don't want to do that.
If I was emotionally invested in a car then I'd feel really bad if something happened to it-- especially if it was due to my driver error.

Looking down the road, how would you feel if you got the car of your exact specs and then it got dinged or scratched on the way home? Would it still have been worth the extra time & effort to get precisely what you wanted?
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 02:56 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
A lot of credit unions offer car buying services. I've never tried it, but think it's worth looking into. Here's the link for Pentagon Federal's car buying service:

PenFed | Car Buying Home Page
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 03:07 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,399
In the past I've been the car negotiator in our family and usually end up doing really well. I've always been willing to give up color and stuff like that. So I usually end up with a really good price but never get the exact car that I want.

For the specific model we are looking at there are actually not that many options. I've found some that are close to what I want but usually one will lack one of the options that I want. If I was willing to give up color I could find the features I wanted in the more common colors...which I detest. The last 2 cars we bought I ended up with colors that weren't my first or even second choice. For once in my life I want to actually get what I want.
__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 03:09 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,399
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Looking down the road, how would you feel if you got the car of your exact specs and then it got dinged or scratched on the way home? Would it still have been worth the extra time & effort to get precisely what you wanted?
Sure.

I always hate the first ding or scratch on a car...even the ones that weren't exactly what I wanted. But realistically it will happen with any car.
__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 03:32 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,762
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
I've never done that. How long does it take to get the car? Do you have to pay MSRP to do that or can you still negotiate a price with the dealer?
You can do this without compromising the total price you want to pay. Only the dealer can tell you how long it will take for delivery of the car. For the dealer, they have a confirmed sale, and you get what you want at the price you want.

I'd suggest contacting at least 2 different Chrysler dealers to discuss what they can do for you.

-- Rita
__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 03:35 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,035
My Toyota Solara I ordered from the dealer with the exact things I wanted on it after I had negotiated the price . They found the exact car but it had an upgraded stereo system which they included at the agreed upon price . My Honda CRV the options were easy as Honda does not have a lot of choices but the color was harder . I finally found one about 40 miles away . Color is something I do not compromise on . If I dislike the color I will dislike the car . One dealer offered to find the car and have it shipped to the dealership but by then I had already found the one I bought .
__________________

__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My car after its annual car wash.... thefed Other topics 11 05-21-2008 11:50 PM
Find a job you like -- okay, how? Kronk Young Dreamers 35 03-29-2008 01:21 PM
How to Find a Subject? packrat44 FIRE and Money 13 06-25-2007 12:06 PM
Help me find the word I'm looking for...PLEASE thefed Other topics 21 06-11-2007 11:40 PM
Financing a car/car buying advice usc_et Young Dreamers 14 11-01-2005 11:59 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:17 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.