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Old 09-18-2012, 08:48 AM   #21
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I can't remember when I bought a car without going through the internet first, it's been over 20 years. It saves a lot of driving around and time wasted negotiating from MSRP or some other silly high price. You still need to compare between several dealers, in my experience who's lowest changes from year to year if not week to week. I have bought at or below invoice every time, and without having to waste time. And don't think the best internet price you get is the bottom dollar, you may be able to do even better when you start visiting dealers if they can tell you're ready to buy NOW.

My last new car purchase this past March, I corresponded with 3 dealers via internet, went to my 2nd choice first expecting to use their offer to negotiate with the last dealer, but I drove off with a new car below invoice within an hour and half. Easy peasy!

I wouldn't dream of buying a car the old way, just walking in cold and going dealer to dealer. I assume they realize those people aren't armed with the facts most people get off the internet these days.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:11 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack
I can't remember when I bought a car without going through the internet first, it's been over 20 years. It saves a lot of driving around and time wasted negotiating from MSRP or some other silly high price. You still need to compare between several dealers, in my experience who's lowest changes from year to year if not week to week. I have bought at or below invoice every time, and without having to waste time. And don't think the best internet price you get is the bottom dollar, you may be able to do even better when you start visiting dealers if they can tell you're ready to buy NOW.

My last new car purchase this past March, I corresponded with 3 dealers via internet, went to my 2nd choice first expecting to use their offer to negotiate with the last dealer, but I drove off with a new car below invoice within an hour and half. Easy peasy!

I wouldn't dream of buying a car the old way, just walking in cold and going dealer to dealer. I assume they realize those people aren't armed with the facts most people get off the internet these days.
I can remember, since I have only bought one car (2 from friends) since Al Gore, or whoever it was invented the Internet. I definitely need to brush up my car buying skills, as the end is coming soon for my present one. Based on what I have read I will test drive until I find a car I like , then go through Internet salesmen like you and others mentioned then let the best man win, after I make sure I am getting a true good deal. I still dread the process, but maybe it will work out as good as yours has.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:24 AM   #23
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Researched the bejesus on the vehicle I wanted and contacted the local dealer internet sales rep. Test drove the model I wanted, found the model with the amenities I wanted and started dealing. No trade in and being a cash buyer tends to let them know you are serious. Also went during the end of the month as I have been told they are more likely to give you the best price in order to meet their sales quotas. Another factor was looking over their service department as I like to make sure they can give good service in the future.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:42 AM   #24
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I can remember, since I have only bought one car (2 from friends) since Al Gore, or whoever it was invented the Internet. I definitely need to brush up my car buying skills, as the end is coming soon for my present one. Based on what I have read I will test drive until I find a car I like , then go through Internet salesmen like you and others mentioned then let the best man win, after I make sure I am getting a true good deal. I still dread the process, but maybe it will work out as good as yours has.
There may be other ways, but the less you do face to face and the more you can do in advance of meeting with a salesperson the better. So if you need to test drive first, I'd go to a dealer who you seriously doubt you'll end up dealing with as they will jump through hoops to get you to buy. I pretty much knew what I was going to buy without a test drive so I did the research first and then test drives when I was already well prepared for the shark & his/her boss good cop & bad cop salesperson & "sales manager." BTW, I never share exactly what I get from one dealer with another, I leave them guessing. Just let them know what you'll pay and be prepared to walk if they won't meet it somehow. End of the month is a good time, or dead of winter also.

I actually enjoy the process of buying cars now that I know how to "win." I've even gone along and bought cars for family members, it's fun if you're really prepared. If you don't know enough and you go in and fall in love with a car, they've got you...
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:46 AM   #25
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I think it all depends on your comfort level and how much you want to get involved in doing the car buying dance.

The last car I bought was way back in 1995. I really don't like the car buying dance and instead used a car buying service (forget the name) where I specified the options I wanted and the service got lowest bidders from dealers nearby.

The sale still didn't go without a hitch as I think the dealer was playing around with their inventory. I still ended up getting a new car, but not after a long delay.

Fast forward to present and there are changes (the internet makes price comparing so much easier), plus my next car, I may go used instead of brand new.

Oh..I did pay cash last time.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:57 AM   #26
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1. Did some test drives and then decided on a model (honda element).
2. Arranged financing from credit union (now would probably pay cash)
3. Obtained consumer reports car report for that model (and dealer bottom line price)
4. Conducted queries via dealers' internet sales divisions
5. Took the price quoted ($13 above dealer bottom line) and went back to the sales associate who helped us with the test drive
6. Turned down dealer finance (was similar)
7. Paid off car loan early (2 years)

I was very surprised that the price they quoted us was so close to the dealer bottom line price. The element has since been discontinued but I suspect the dealer was having problems moving it.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:04 AM   #27
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Just ordered a car two weeks ago for my son's upcoming graduation present. One dealer has an invoice price deal for resorts at our residence and I verified with Edmunds.com that this was a few hundred under True Market Value pricing, and I also checked that they really did give us invoice.

For the previous car purchase (8 years ago), after test driving on a local lot and being told that they sold the model at sticker price, I found an online forum for that car where others shared their buying experience. Someone got a good deal from a dealer 3 hours away and I emailed them and asked if I could get the same deal, and they agreed. Then I called or emailed other dealers within 3 hours and a couple came close, but none could beat it.

And the time before that I used a car buying service through my credit union.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:06 AM   #28
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I used USAA's auto buying service.
I did too.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:03 AM   #29
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I leased my last/current car. I find that I like to get a new car every 2 - 3 years so leasing works in that case. A lot of the retired folks in my development lease too. They like to replace their cars every 3 years, and usually things like maintenance and Gap insurance are included now.

For me though cars are one of those little extravagancies, I do not like driving a little piece of junk so I simply acept the cost. (sorry no offence for those who do, what I mean is a lot of folk reasonably think of a car as mere transportation, and in that case I would get the cheapest too). You loose which ever way you look at it unless you keep the thing for eons. So why not pay for just the part you use, and then give it back. You can always purchase it later if you fall in love. The average depreciation is 30% for the first 3 years. So you pay for it anyway. I like a new car so leasing works. The best deals currently are 2 year leases on 2012 cars now as the 2013s are just coming in. I usually pay the whole lease cost up front and have no payments. You normally get a discount for that too, at least I did last time.

There are also a lot of disadvantages to leasing, but most are insignificant and just boil down to dollars and cents.

The advantages to me are huge. Here are a few I consider:

1) If you have an accident during the lease, the value does not change when you give it back ssuming you get it repaired


2) Maintenance is usually included

3) You do not need to worry about extended or abnormal depreciation because of unforseen economic conditions as long as you stick to your mileage limits, I choose 12000 and that works for me.

4) Gap insurance is included in the lease at least it should be.

5) you can Change your car every 2 - 3 years

6) You do not have to sell it, just give it back.

7) Typically you get a lot more car for your leasing dollar if you play your cards right. My Choices this time was between a diesel Passat and a Diesel E350 Mercedes. The mercedes proved to be cheaper than the Passat because the dealer wanted to get rid of his last one. You do need to shop at lot harder for a good lease. Also you DO need good credit.

In the days of CARFAX and AccuCheck a prospective buyer knows the complete history of a car and typically will not pay for a used car that has been in an accident, no matter how small.

The older I get the more I think leasing works for the daily driver.

Just my 2c.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:18 AM   #30
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The last time I bought a new car, I knew that I wanted a Toyota Venza, if the test drive was satisfactory. I am also happy with my local Toyota dealer and wanted to buy it there, if possible. So, I went on a test drive at that dealership and it was superb, much better than I had expected.

The Venza that I test drove was exactly the configuration that I wanted, and I liked the color. I had done my research so I knew what Venzas were going for in my area. Like you, I wanted to pay in full, in cash. On the way out I made a lowball offer, take it or leave it, and it was accepted.

The whole process took just an hour or so, as I recall, and then I drove home in my new Venza. I have spent longer buying a dress.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:32 AM   #31
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After using the net to search prices with Edmunds. KBB, NADA I used Truecar.com quotes from local dealers to narrow my focus. I bought from the dealer with the lowest Truecar bid.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:35 AM   #32
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I would lease a car just to avoid the selling/trading nightmare that always seems to eat me up, but I like to hold onto cars longer. I'm 8 years on my Pilot now, and I like it as well as anything out there right now, plus I don't have to worry about the little dings anymore. And I'm 13 years on my Miata, which I bought 2 years used in the first place.

Sorry, I guess that's getting off topic.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:38 AM   #33
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Internet first,then I went to the dealer. I knew what I wanted as I had rented the same model car for a weekend when my van was in the shop.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:54 AM   #34
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If you elect to forego one of the buying services and do it yourself, I would suggest negotiating at the end of the month, quarter, or year to get a good deal, as the dealerships or sales folks will likely be trying to hit their bogey (sales target).
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:29 PM   #35
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Last two cars did the Internet Sales manager Email thing--test drove the car at a local dealer- knew exactly what I wanted and was willing to wait for the right car--wrote this to the various Internet Sales guys in the area and told them I wanted their BEST drive off the lot price.

don't forget the sales tax will have to be tacked on- when you are comparing...make sure that is included or not in the price.

also the last one wasted my time after coming to get the car trying to sell me extended warranty--
Hey sales people--this technique does not work on me:
SALESGUY: You can have this warranty for only $2000.
ME: NO thanks.
SALESGUY: Well I think I can get it for you for $1000!
ME: NO- and now knowing that you can get if for me for $1000 but were not going to give it to me for $1000 if I had accepted the $2000 makes me want to trust and do business with you why?
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:49 PM   #36
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It's always funny how when the dealers sell you the car, they say how reliable it is. But when the time turns to extended warranty, the sales pitch is you better get the warranty as cars are crappy and will break down on you.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:32 PM   #37
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Was planning to use a combination of PenFed and cash... but after picking out the car we found out Honda was offering 1.9% for 5 years and $1,000 off the final negotiated price. It was pretty much a no brainer to take them up on that.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:38 PM   #38
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I have a good regular mechanic that I have had for years. I ask him to let me know when he sees a reliable car/truck in my price range for sale from a regular customer. I get a history of the vehicle, and the mechanic gets to broker a deal that keeps two customers happy. I never get a lemon. YMMV
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:41 PM   #39
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I was making a cash purchase and planned to sell my old car privately.
I was interested in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid - when it first came out. I'd waitlisted it at 3 different dealers months earlier. None of them called me when the car was released.
I started calling various dealers and found a dealer that had one onsite/available. I went there to test drive/negotiate. They started the negotiation at $5k ABOVE MSRP. I balked. I did the test drive anyway. When I came back they said that since my dad had purchased his Prius there - they'd give me a "family" discount... Only $3k above the MSRP.
I walked away.
My dad was still alive at the time, and retired. I gave him the task of finding one for me for no more than MSRP.
Since it was a new, popular, car - most of the dealers were putting surcharges above MSRP from San Diego to LA. We found 2 dealers that were willing to *start* negotiation at MSRP and work down. I paid almost full price - but I got the car the first weekend it was out.
7 years later - I still love it.
But dealers are annoying and a hassle.

We haven't bought anything since... Hubby drives a 17 year old truck. Both vehicles are reliable, maintained, and garaged. We hope to get a few more decades out of them.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:59 PM   #40
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I looked up the dealer cost online. I found the rebates. Then I emailed 4 or 5 dealers for their best price. Several made no mention of the $3K rebate, but one had the car at invoice minus rebate so I told them to have it ready. Went in and bought it.
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