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How did you buy your last new car?
Old 09-18-2012, 12:16 AM   #1
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How did you buy your last new car?

Hello to all:
I am about to purchase a new car to replace my old Subaru (a new Honda Pilot, woohoo!). I haven't bought a brand-new car in many years, and I'd like to get the benefit of the experience of the board as to how to go about it. I plan to pay cash for the new car, and will be either trading-in or selling the old car separately.

What would you recommend? Use a broker, email the dealerships, or talk in person to the helpful sales professionals at the car lot? Or, something else?

Thank you all in advance for your advice. I may not get a chance to check the thread for a day or so (I still have a j*b), so please be patient if you have questions.

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:14 AM   #2
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My last 2 cars (2006 and 2007) both purchased new from the dealership were via the respective "internet manager". I listed the car I wanted with desired options and asked for their best price. They did not have the exact car, but came close. In both cases, it was within $100 of invoice according to Edmunds.com, then incentives. I was planning on paying cash, but took advantage of a 0% financing for 48 months. In both cases, I exchanged a few emails to secure the price and scheduled an appointment for the in person paperwork and pick-up which took less than 90 minutes at the dealership.

I sold my older cars via Craiglist.

If you belong to Sams' Club or Costco, I believe they offer a service like I mentioned.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:16 AM   #3
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We ended up buying through email / online. Started with test driving different models, DW decided what she wanted and got a verbal from the "helpful" sales professional. Went online, used Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds to see prices being paid in area. Contacted other dealers within 50 miles online. Negotiated price via email, went back to original sales professional, asked if he could meet or beat it, he laughed and said we couldn't get that car for that. Bought it from online dealer.

I have friends who have used Costco or BJ's and recommended it since we bought our car.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:31 AM   #4
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We ended up buying through email / online. Started with test driving different models, DW decided what she wanted and got a verbal from the "helpful" sales professional. Went online, used Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds to see prices being paid in area. Contacted other dealers within 50 miles online. Negotiated price via email, went back to original sales professional, asked if he could meet or beat it, he laughed and said we couldn't get that car for that. Bought it from online dealer.
This is how we purchased our current cars.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:57 AM   #5
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Bought car thru Costco Auto Program that provided prearranged pricing.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:59 AM   #6
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I also used the Internet Sales Desk after having gone to 3 dealerships in person and getting ridiculous (low, cash) prices and being called "honey" etc. Consumer Reports , Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book new car pricing were very helpful. I actually ended up paying less than I was expecting. I sold the old car myself, getting a better price than using it as a trade in.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:03 AM   #7
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Bought the last one In December 2011 the old fashioned way after some online research - walked into the dealer and negotiated a price with a salesperson. Sold the old Jeep through Autotrader. Bought my truck in 2009 after finding the one I liked in online inventory, and then called dealers and asked for their best price - which they gave me on the phone. Bought it from the dealer with the best price.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:46 AM   #8
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Bought car thru Costco Auto Program that provided prearranged pricing.
I did the same. The price I was quoted was about the same as my "reasonable to achieve " target price would have been based on Internet research.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:56 AM   #9
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I also used the Internet Sales Desk after having gone to 3 dealerships in person and getting ridiculous (low, cash) prices and being called "honey" etc.
This so reminds me of when I went out with my daughter to help her buy a car. Even after making it perfectly clear that she was the buyer and the decision maker the sales reps continued to focus on me and treat her in an offhandedly way - to their regret.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:06 AM   #10
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Last two times I used USAA buying service. It was convenient because they negotiated price and provided the loan.

I will probably try Costco or BJs next time.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:07 AM   #11
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We used Consumer Reports' service of providing us with the dealer's cost of the vehicles and options, then went to a few local dealers and negotiated from there.

We weren't looking to shave the last nickel off the price, as we felt that if there were warranty problems we wanted to buy from a dealer that also had a good service reputation. If memory serves we bought them from the "middle-price" dealer that was only slightly higher than the lowest price. And there were indeed some early electrical system issues with one that were fixed without issues and no problems since then.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:13 AM   #12
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My last brand new car was purchased in the mid 90's. Been used since then. Funny how it works around here. I don't live in a big city(50k pop) but the prices in town are always higher than the smaller dealerships in a surrounding smaller town. I simply drive 20-30 miles away and get a better deal there. That appears to still be the case as friends do that today.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:36 AM   #13
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My last brand new car was purchased in the mid 90's. Been used since then. Funny how it works around here. I don't live in a big city(50k pop) but the prices in town are always higher than the smaller dealerships in a surrounding smaller town. I simply drive 20-30 miles away and get a better deal there. That appears to still be the case as friends do that today.
My experience is the opposite of yours. Have lived in the same small university town for over 30 years and we have attempted to purchase new vehicles locally first but had to go to larger city to get the best price especially on trade-in value as our old autos generally have about 150K before we trade.

Two of our last three have been ebay private sales and that has worked out great. In Georgia if you purchase from private party there is no sales tax so saves 7% for me right at the start. Still have to be careful and do your due diligence but for me it was fun. Also both autos had less than 20K miles and plenty of warrantee left on them. YMMV

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DW Class of 2012 (May, a done deal)
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:39 AM   #14
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One resource I found invaluable for my purchase (2 years ago) was a car forum catering to the make and model of the car I purchased. Members of this forum, some working for dealerships had posted (anonymously) the actual cost and invoice cost for each model and every package/option. This gave me a starting point from which I asked 4 or 5 dealerships to bid.

Eventually, I placed my order with an out of state dealership that happened to have an internet sales office and who arranged to have the cart delivered to me. Easy, Peezy, Lemon Squeezy.

Service (warrantee covered maintenance) is handled by the local dealership without issue.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:02 AM   #15
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Last new car: 2010 Toyota Camry SE. Traded in my '99 Ford F-150 that had transmission trouble, got the $4500 Cash for Clunkers money. The truck wasn't worth that much (pretty high mileage too). Also put $13000 cash down. I financed $5032 with Toyota Financial @ 0% interest for 3 yrs. Payments were $139 per month, and since no interest, I made the full 36 months worth of payments. Using their money, I figured no reason to pay it off early.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:03 AM   #16
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We just bought a car 9/11/12. We researched on the internet first and then went to some local dealers (within 30 miles). We ended up buying the first car that we test drove in our current city. My DH emailed for a price and a car dealer internet person called from a distance and said we had to come in and meet with a salesperson. We did not do this. We ended up buying from a young man who knew the car, but did not use high pressure methods. I had planned on paying cash, but Toyota had a 0% for 36 mos offer, so we took advantage of it.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:18 AM   #17
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I used United Buying Service. It's a pre-negotiated price participating dealers agree to sell the car for. Having said that, I'm pretty certain that if I expended the time, energy, and stress of negotiating myself, I could have negotiated a better deal, but all the frustration was just not worth. I got a decent deal without the stress and I was happy with the price.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:22 AM   #18
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I used USAA's auto buying service. You can access the same service through PenFed CU.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:33 AM   #19
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This is good info since I will soon be in the market for something new. I am eligible for GM supplier pricing or Mazda S-Plan, but might also try Costco or haggling via Internet sales.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:46 AM   #20
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We used Consumer Reports' service of providing us with the dealer's cost of the vehicles and options, then went to a few local dealers and negotiated from there.
This what I did, too, back in 2007 when I bought my cuirrent car, a 2007 Corolla. I traded in my existing 16-year-old car which barely ran so I did not care a whole lot if I got next to nothing for it (I was prepared to donate it to charity).

I figured out a "Consumer Reports bottom line" price based on the dealer cost, options, and destination charge and added a small amount for one useful dealer-installed option (much less than the dealer wanted for it) while insisting on adding zero for the other two useless items. And I got the price.

I had been checking every day for about 2 weeks the status of this car in the dealer's website. Other cars came and went quickly but his one did not go, so I knew the dealer might be eager to sell it (it had fewer options which was good for me but bad for the dealer).
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