General Question

anartist's avatar

Has anyone out there bought a new car by first going to local dealers to determine eactly what you want then putting specs online and getting bids from local dealers?

Asked by anartist (14774points) September 29th, 2011

I have been told that that is the best way to get the lowest price. How exactly, do you do it? Any particularly good clearing-house sites? Also how much does specifying paint colors a nd a few basic accessories affect this process? Are the bottom-dollar prices only for cars on the lot or are they for cars dealer can sell. What affects the additional offer of rebates or 0% financing? I haven’t bought a new can since long before the openness of the internet changed the process.

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14 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

We usually go online first, and find all the comparable cars. We then go to a dealer, and if he tries to sell us something we don’t want, we just leave. With the past two new cars we bought, they lowered the price to the lowest price we found online.

The last time we went to buy a new car, the dealer showed us a very low mileage used car with the same warranty as a new car, and we bought it – saving thousands of dollars.

The most recent car purchase, a used car, was handled for us by our credit union. They found the cheapest, lowest mileage car, and arranged for the dealer to deliver it to us. We signed the papers in our home, and the dealer and his sales person drove away in their car, leaving our shiny, used car in our driveway.

Before we accepted the credit union deal, we had spent two weeks looking at cars all over town, so we knew they got us the best deal possible – from a dealer 75 miles away. I would have never driven that far for a car.

JLeslie's avatar

So many ways to do it. I would need to go to the dealer to test drive the car, I’m picky about the seat, the steering wheel, and some other things. I like to go by myself, because then I can get out fast without the sales bullshit, by saying I will bring my husband back with me next time. Although, I do try to get a feel for how much they might sell it for, andnif they have the one I want on the lot. I would look on the internet, including ebay, dealers put cars on ebay. Your local dealer might charge you a little more, but remember you don’t have to pay for shipping, so they make a little more, it costs you the same. It’s ok.

My husband buys cars on the internet all the time. If you find a deal from a dealer trying to get rid of old stock on a new car it should be fine. Always check the dealers website, not just ebay, to verify it is trully a dealer.

janbb's avatar

I was looking for a late model used car recently. Went to one local dealer, then checked online the inventory of the other local dealer, found something and went in and made a deal. Not really what you are asking, but we’ve found that buying a year or two old car saves us a lot of money and allows us to get the bells and whistles we want.

Bellatrix's avatar

I haven’t but since I may have to very soon, this is a great idea. I am going to look into it too. Good tips @JLeslie. Do you (or your husband) just contact known sellers of the brand/model and see who gives the best deal or is there a way of say getting different dealers to tender/bid for the sale?

anartist's avatar

Thank you all for your suggestions and experiences. I have for years been a ” find a good cheap used used car for cash through your mechanic or buy directly from a the owner [single-owner, professional or military, has good service records]” shopper so this is all new. I am finding also that good used cars only a few years old with some warranty left, particularly on Carmax, are not necessarily cheaper than a good deal on a new one.

anartist's avatar

@YARNLADY How did your credit union do that? My credit union offers car loans but doesn’t buy cars as far as I know.

janbb's avatar

It was for us at the dealer. We got a 2008 in 2010 fully loaded for about $15,000 less than we would have paid for new.

anartist's avatar

@janbb I’m glad for you that you got such a deal. Maybe that holds truer for higher end models. I am searching very low end, and bells and whistles are scarce altogether.

janbb's avatar

Got ya and good luck in your search.

Mermina's avatar

YES !!! I have done exactly as described and wound up with a brand new car $ 10,000. lower than list price ! Apparently, when they make an offer on line, they MUST hold true to it…and sales are down…so, you do get the best price that way. I contacted ten dealers and five got back to me within 24 hours !

JLeslie's avatar

@Bellatrix No, he just searches on ebay. Dealers list their cars the same as individuals. For higher end like Porsche, Mercedes, etc, you can also go totheir club websites.

YARNLADY's avatar

@anartist The credit union has information from dealers who have repossessed cars that were financed through the credit union. In our case, they contacted the dealer and made arrangements for the dealer to bring the car to our house, where we signed the papers for the loan which had been prepared by the credit union.

anartist's avatar

Thank you all for your help—my first new/almost new car since my college graduation. The deed is done. The deal was fair if not splendid. The credit union gave very good financing. Although you all may think I am silly I came to genuinely like our car salesman and want him to get the commission [a former IT person down on his luck] and after I took one more walk around the internet block and found no significantly better choice [although a few slightly better choices] to go with the first Honda Fit I drove [after having decided it was a Honda Fit or a Ford Focus and I was not impressed with the Focus].

janbb's avatar

@anartist Mazel Tov! Enjoy it. And, by the way, I do not think it silly to want to give the commission to a nice salesman.

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