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Old 06-26-2015, 02:43 PM   #21
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What are your thoughts and experiences with car-buying services (Penfed, United Buyers Service ((UBS)) that pre-negotiate prices with selected dealers for specific models/options?

Do they really save money over traditional negotiations?
It can as has been pointed out if you do not like the negotiating process. We did that via Consumer Reports (turns out to be TrueCar anyway) and at the time I think it did better that I probably would have by myself.

Next time what I'll do is pick out what we want by test drives and such, then set up an E-mail address specifically for that purchase (we ended up getting a LOT of E-mail from dealers for a while) so I can dispose of it after buying. Then I'll let them bid against each other online. And I'll get the Consumer Reports dealer cost (not just the invoice, it includes dealer incentives and such) including any options and use that as at least a marker point.

And as has been pointed out, get an out the door price with any options.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:19 PM   #22
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k.......................Also when you do a test drive at the dealer, be sure to deal w/ the internet dept. If you deal w/ the regular folks, somehow that includes them in the final deal even if you then go thru the internet dept and the price will be higher, or perhaps the internet dept will not even deal w/ you if they know the other folks are involved.

ERD50....................How exactly do you do this?

k..............I'm assuming you're asking how to deal only with the internet dept? I don't know how much truth there is here since I've never done it but I did violate the rule and that dealer was not about to deal with me on as favorable terms. I would call one dealer that is convenient for the test drive. Ask to speak to the internet sales guy. Hopefully they have one. Make the appt thru him and when you do the test drive also go thru him.
If you don't do it that way, it's only a problem if they're the lowest bidder when you send your RFQ out for bid. If they're not, not a problem. If they are, it could be a problem if the guy who set you up for the test drive wants his cut since the price then may be raised if/when they find out a regular sales guy was involved. In both of the cars we bought this way, the test dealer was not the lowest bidder so it was not a problem in the end........but it could be.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:45 PM   #23
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I haven't done this in quite awhile but have you looked into Consumer Reports service? They used to offer a detailed set of numbers. Edmunds might to it for free. Seems that one wants to know the invoice price for the car in your area of the country and with all the options you would want and even the color. Then you have the details to discuss things with the internet guy at dealerships.

I suppose it's a bit chicken and egg. One needs to get into the dealership and test drive a few cars before deciding on one. In the past I've gone to a dealership, unlikely to be the final place I buy, to do the test drive. I do give them a chance to bid to keep this an ethical method.

I think there have been discussions over at Bogleheads on how to buy a car. Methods seem to vary a bit depending on the state of the market, the popularity and availability of the model you want, etc.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:00 PM   #24
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Used true car to buy my last car with cash. They did try all kinds of ad-one which i refused to pay for such as interior cleaning. Since they didn't want to turn away the $20,000 in cash, they had to do things my way. I love my paid for 2014 Nissan Rogue. Stick with your goals and you shall win.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:28 PM   #25
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Our "Family Bible" for Car Purchases

I cannot over-emphasize the practical wisdom of this book: Don't Get Taken Every Time, by Remar Sutton.

DH and I started using his advice, back in the'80's, with excellent success. Sutton is a former car salesman who explains every possible way by which a dealership will try to sell you a car, and then teaches you how to negotiate for your own benefit and win. He now has chapters on how to work with on-line buying services, etc.

Plus, it's entertaining reading. His typical car salesman, "Killer Monsoon," uses all the ploys you will see once you enter a showroom. Yet, even if all you do is make donuts for a living (as do one of Sutton's customers), you can still pay a fair price and not get burdened with payments.

Fun reading, and a treasure trove of advice!

Enjoy!

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Old 06-26-2015, 06:48 PM   #26
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Here is a bunch of good advice: How to buy a new car, FWF style

I buy vehicles for the company I work for and dealing with fleet sales is 100x better.

We have a dealer we have bought a few vehicles from in Colorado. We have a job there and when we needed more vehicles for our North Dakota job he beat the local dealer even though we was getting it from a Iowa dealer and having it delivered. Second and final vehicle for the North Dakota project he was low again and this time he is personally picking the truck up in Iowa and delivering it. Low dealer has to put forth extra effort and still beats greedy local dealer. North Dakota dealers got greedy during the oil boom. Even though we have have bought 5 or 6 vehicles from him we still shop it every time.
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:55 AM   #27
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I used Costco to buy my son a new Toyota 4Runner. It was very easy. He test drove it at a nearby dealer, decided exactly what he wanted, then we tried Costco. The Costco dealer (about 45 mins away) gave us a price. We went back to the local dealer, and they got close but not below the Costco price. They wanted us to bring it in writing and the manager would consider it. Ha-no thanks. The Costco dealer traded for the exact one we wanted with another dealer, we went in and picked it up with no hassle. A bit of a sell job on an extended warranty, but only half-hearted.
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:05 AM   #28
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........A bit of a sell job on an extended warranty, but only half-hearted.
It's humorous how the car (or appliance or whatever) is the greatest quality until it comes time to sell the extended warranty.
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:19 AM   #29
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If your so inclined, why not price out the car from both Costco and USAA's buying services and then see if you can beat it through your own shopping. One other consideration about price, if there is a terrific dealer locally from a service shop perspective, that is worth something to me versus having to drive many miles to get to the low purchase price dealer.
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:30 AM   #30
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Oh, I like that! Before settling a price, I will ask if we can put any of it on a credit card, although I would expect them to say no since it costs them.

We bought a small pickup truck off the lot in 1990 and even though we wanted to pay cash, the salesman still tried to sell us a lease. It's like they're programmed to ignore what you are saying.


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On doing the dance, the first time the salesman says " How much per mo. can you afford " I bluntly say " If you ask that again, I'm walking off the lot " . Sets the tempo
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:28 AM   #31
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I never buy new, always buy 2-3 year old used with less than 50k miles. Let somebody else take the 40-50% depreciation hit, most cars nowadays are very reliable and last forever.

There's a very high volume used car dealership here in the ATL (http://www.hennessympg.com/inventory/newsearch/Used/) that always advertises rock-bottom prices with no dealer fees, just ad price + tax/tag/title cost out the door. Most of their stuff is off-rental or off-lease and it's all no haggling whatsoever because the price they advertise is below market, they deal in volume. Have bought a couple of good cars there.
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:06 PM   #32
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I never buy new, always buy 2-3 year old used with less than 50k miles. Let somebody else take the 40-50% depreciation hit, most cars nowadays are very reliable and last forever.
.........
Agree, but I haven't seen those numbers for a loooong time. Turns out that all those years of low new car sales has created a relative shortage of used cars.
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:12 PM   #33
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Do they really save money over traditional negotiations?
I do not know but they definitely made the buying process much easier IF you know exactly what car you are ready to purchase. I used USAA and was in/out in a couple of hours when I bought a few years ago.
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Old 06-27-2015, 01:16 PM   #34
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I never buy new, always buy 2-3 year old used with less than 50k miles. Let somebody else take the 40-50% depreciation hit, most cars nowadays are very reliable and last forever.

There's a very high volume used car dealership here in the ATL (Used Vehicles Hennessy Buick GMC-Morrow Buick, Gmc, GMC Jonesboro,GA Roswell,GA) that always advertises rock-bottom prices with no dealer fees, just ad price + tax/tag/title cost out the door. Most of their stuff is off-rental or off-lease and it's all no haggling whatsoever because the price they advertise is below market, they deal in volume. Have bought a couple of good cars there.
I normally buy new, and keep well over 100k miles, so depreciation is not a factor, and those first few years are zero repair costs.

I would stay away from a previous rental. Might look shinny, bur lot's of renters drive cars hard , because it's not theirs. An assistant I had working for me used to be an agent for Enterprise, the stories what renters do to cars is astonishing. And those abused cars get " Reconditioned" then off to the used car sales dept or auction.

Off lease, OK.
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:09 PM   #35
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I bought a new car in 2012 and did all the negotiations on the internet and over the phone. I never set foot in a dealers showroom until I had an OTD firm price. I used Truecar (as it was the lowest offer) and the dealer honored it no questions asked. I did have to order the car as they did not have my model with the options I wanted. I felt as though I got a good deal.
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:09 PM   #36
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I haven't bought a new car since 1996, so I'm not very current on this but reading the fine print on the USAA and Truecar websites tells me that the price you get from using them isn't "THE PRICE" necessarily. There still looks to be some wiggle room for documentation and fluff.

When it finally comes time to buy the car for SWMBO, I am going to send written RFPs based on a very specific model/color/option combo and ask for a bottom line number on their sales contract as a response. That's the real deal and it gives me time to negotiate out any of the BS that may be in their contract.
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Old 06-27-2015, 03:38 PM   #37
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Agree, but I haven't seen those numbers for a loooong time. Turns out that all those years of low new car sales has created a relative shortage of used cars.
+1 Most recently, it seems that slightly used car prices are so close to new car prices that I don't buy used anymore since the difference is just a few thousand.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:02 PM   #38
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+1 Most recently, it seems that slightly used car prices are so close to new car prices that I don't buy used anymore since the difference is just a few thousand.
When I bought my last car in 1999 the 1-2 year old cars were actually more expensive than the new one at the ad price. I think it depends on the make and model whether there is much savings in a 1-3 year old car versus new.

The best experience I've had was in 1996 buying a new vehicle through a fleet dealer. He told me the price over the phone and what was available. I made an appointment with him and looked at both vehicles and chose the one to buy. There was an attempt by the finance guy to buy the extended warranty and finance, but I said no and there was no push back. I was out in less than an hour.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:53 PM   #39
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+1 Most recently, it seems that slightly used car prices are so close to new car prices that I don't buy used anymore since the difference is just a few thousand.
The same situation has prevailed in my area for at least several years now.
Since I normally keep cars for 150-200 thousand miles, it makes sense to buy new.

My impression is that PenFed and USAA both have good car buying services. I haven't heard any comments from users, but it looks like Edmunds also has a good service.
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Old 06-27-2015, 05:01 PM   #40
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I used a service last year,from checkbook.org here in the Bay Area. I got a list of quotes from about 15 dealers that offered anywhere from $500 over invoice to $300 under invoice. I told the nearest dealer about the $300 under and he said that he would match it. Up to that perfect, easy peazy.

I was paying cash but since the automaker was offering $500 extra to use financing, I decided to finance the minimum, I.e. 25% of the car, and then pay it off in 2mos. I went over all the pieces in email before I showed up. When I went to the dealership they had all the paperwork ready to sign. Except that they included the extended warranty and the maintenance contract ! We had never even discussed it beforehand. If I hadn't read it carefully I would've gotten shafted because I really didn't know what the monthly payment should be, nor did I care since I figured I'd be paying it off in a month or so. The full price of the car and extras were pretty well hidden, they just told me the monthly cost.

Anyway, my advice from that is that they offer these low prices to get u in the door, and they try to work their magic. Some are better than others. I thought these guys were pretty good crooks actually


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