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rated:
Sounds like you're buying the deal not the car. The first thing to do is to identify the car you want. The best deal may be for the worst car. Buy the car, not the deal.

You can get 5k off MSRP if the MSRP is high enough, 5k might be easy on a Mercedes but tough when the list price of the car is in the 14-18k range. That would probably only happen to last year's models or an end of year clearance sale and you're already past that point for most models.

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Any thoughts on the 2014 Jetta S Automatic? Truecar shows a base model for $12,900.. Is it a comfy ride? Are repairs pricey? Reliable?

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AndroAsc said:   Is it possible to buy a car in a FWF way without commuting to a specific make/model until the very end? Has anyone tried this before?

I guess I'll need to identify the specific car model and email all the dealers in my area, and repeat this for every make that I am interested in? Any other advice?

Lastly, I've seen a lot of post where you guys are getting >$5k off MSRP, but based on the type of cars I want and TrueCar data, it seems that getting $5k off MSRP is a huge challenge. Do I have the facts wrong?

 
Two things:
1) Depending on a number of factors, not committing to a set of specific options can provide you a little bargaining and/or time leeway.  For example: it's mid-November 2014 now, and if you want exactly "X" from your dealer they will have to order it and chances are it will arrive in January 2015.  That does not help their Nov/Dec or overall 2014 unit volume.  However, if you advise the salesperson, "what have you currently got which is close?" -- that can help you.  For example, he may have the same model you want, same options, BUT it also has (example) satellite radio installed.  For the dealer this may be a $200 cost.  Tell the salesperson you'd take that car, today, for $25 over what he as quoted you on the ordered model.  See what happens with that. 

2) Depending on a number of factors, the discount on MSRP will vary.  End of the year through February is always slow for car dealers.  You'll get the biggest discounts then.  Competitive atmosphere is another factor; go and price a Range Rover Evoque right now.  They are selling right at MSRP, and the salesperson will stand firm on that.  On the other hand Mercedes and BMW are currently in a calendar year volume war right now in the mini-SUV and entry luxury markets.  So you will find that you can get 10% off MSRP on a BMW 3 series or X1 right now.  But price a Mercedes E350 or 5-series and it's a different story.  Built into Truecar, btw, is a ~$400 fee for "forwarding" interested buyers to a participating dealer.  So if you print out a Truecar estimate, and take it to a nearby non-participating dealer, they will generally match it or beat it to some extent, since it builds in about $400 up front.  Careful also with "what's included" when doing A/B comparisons.  To return to a prior example, BMW includes 4yrs/50K miles maintenance into their MSRP; Mercedes offers 2/3/4yr maintenance plans as extra-cost options. 

n.b.
I would avoid looking at the discount as an absolute value ("$5K" in your example) and instead work it as a percentage off MSRP.  It's a hell of lot easier to get 5K knocked off a 100K car than 5K knocked off a 25K car; but the former is only 5% off MSRP and the latter is a whopping 20% off MSRP.  It would be more fair to say that getting 10% off MSRP would generally be considered a GREAT deal.  On a 25K car that's 2.5K.  So start with 10% as a rough benchmark. 

wrooster

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I thought you guys might get a kick out of one of the responses I just received on a counter offer I made. Here's the background: I'm looking to buy a Mazda 6 and have a PenFed loan check (1.49%) ready for the purchase. All the Mazda dealers are pushing hard for me to use Mazda for the financing and they are all offering prices between $500 and $1000 higher if I bring my own cash/financing. I decided to counter the dealer that offered the smallest difference between the Mazda loan and cash price ($500 difference) by requesting he sell to me at the lower price for cash. I decided to throw in a mention of the large corporation I work for as I know a lot of local dealerships offer some kind of discount/special pricing for our employees.
My counter said: [Sales Manager Guy],

I appreciate you providing the quote on the Red Mazda 6. To be honest with you, I am aiming to purchase this car around the $xxxxx financed price but I am certain I will not be financing through Mazda. Please let me know if you are able to do any better than your initial offer when bringing my own cash/financing. Hopefully you can find some additional discounts somewhere. Does your dealership offer any kind of discount for [Large Corporation] employees?

Thanks,

[My name]

 
Dealer's reply said: [My name], It is amazing to me that hardly any of our customers want us to make a profit. I am sure that [Large Corporation] does not conduct it's business with a losing intention. The price I offered you has all the margin taken out of it and since you are not willing to finance with Mazda there are no extra incentives available. Good luck with your Target number and your new car.

His meltdown made me chuckle so I wanted to share. Everyone please begin playing your tiny violins for the poor dealer whose customers don't want to maximize his profits.

rated:
HI
Don't buy a loan condition.Our certified yourmechanics will go to the seller's location,those inspect u select car

rated:
HI
Don't buy a loan condition.Our certified yourmechanics will go to the seller's location,those inspect u select car

rated:
ailsajohn said:   HI
Don't buy a loan condition.Our certified yourmechanics will go to the seller's location,those inspect u select car

  Wow! Please, give me your contact information. Your well written, grammatically correct post instills so much confidence that I'm ready to literally throw money at you to get the answers I want!

 

rated:
Thank you For Posting This beautiful Post with Us i also drive car when i m 15 years old it was well experience for me.

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carprice said:   Thank you For Posting This beautiful Post with Us i also drive car when i m 15 years old it was well experience for me.
 What???

Someone needs to lay off the green. .

rated:
gatorflux said:   I thought you guys might get a kick out of one of the responses I just received on a counter offer I made. Here's the background: I'm looking to buy a Mazda 6 and have a PenFed loan check (1.49%) ready for the purchase. All the Mazda dealers are pushing hard for me to use Mazda for the financing and they are all offering prices between $500 and $1000 higher if I bring my own cash/financing. I decided to counter the dealer that offered the smallest difference between the Mazda loan and cash price ($500 difference) by requesting he sell to me at the lower price for cash. I decided to throw in a mention of the large corporation I work for as I know a lot of local dealerships offer some kind of discount/special pricing for our employees.
My counter said: [Sales Manager Guy],

I appreciate you providing the quote on the Red Mazda 6. To be honest with you, I am aiming to purchase this car around the $xxxxx financed price but I am certain I will not be financing through Mazda. Please let me know if you are able to do any better than your initial offer when bringing my own cash/financing. Hopefully you can find some additional discounts somewhere. Does your dealership offer any kind of discount for [Large Corporation] employees?

Thanks,

[My name]

Dealer's reply said: [My name], It is amazing to me that hardly any of our customers want us to make a profit. I am sure that [Large Corporation] does not conduct it's business with a losing intention. The price I offered you has all the margin taken out of it and since you are not willing to finance with Mazda there are no extra incentives available. Good luck with your Target number and your new car.

His meltdown made me chuckle so I wanted to share. Everyone please begin playing your tiny violins for the poor dealer whose customers don't want to maximize his profits.

That is exactly why the last time I was approached by a Mazda corporate rep at a car show I told them I will not buy their cars.
Every other car dealer talks to me, Mazda just acts like a bunch of children...and this is 5 different dealerships in 3 different states, it is some sort of training they do.

rated:
carprice said:   Thank you For Posting This beautiful Post with Us i also drive car when i m 15 years old it was well experience for me.
 I want whatever drug(s) you're on!

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I'm down to between a Toyota Corolla and a Honda Civic. I have never driven a Honda before, and I am thinking of going for a test drive.

Am I "obligated" to buy the car after test driving it? I know legally I am not, but I want to know what kind of situation I will be in, if I test drive and say goodbye after testing it.

Also, how is the insurance handled? I do not currently own a car, and so I have no insurance. I rely on my credit card and insuremyrentalcar.com coverage to cover the costs of damage/theft to the car, and I have a non-owners policy for liability in the rental car I drive. However, this is a test drive new car, and I do not think my current setup insures it.

rated:
AndroAsc said:   I'm down to between a Toyota Corolla and a Honda Civic. I have never driven a Honda before, and I am thinking of going for a test drive.

Am I "obligated" to buy the car after test driving it? I know legally I am not, but I want to know what kind of situation I will be in, if I test drive and say goodbye after testing it.

Also, how is the insurance handled? I do not currently own a car, and so I have no insurance. I rely on my credit card and insuremyrentalcar.com coverage to cover the costs of damage/theft to the car, and I have a non-owners policy for liability in the rental car I drive. However, this is a test drive new car, and I do not think my current setup insures it.

  
No you don't need to buy it after test driving it. If you don't really like it, just say why and walk away. You can just keep some stock answers handy like you didn't like how it rode or it seem too small for you. 

When test driving a car, the dealer or individual should have insurance on the car, you don't need any insurance as you don't own the car. I suppose in Theory if you crash the car, their insurance would pay for it and then they would go after you. Just don't crash the car on the test drive. 

rated:
Thanks ALL for the information in this thread.  I just completed a new car purchase yesterday and it went almost perfectly smooth.

2015 Sienna XLE w/ Nav
Navigation
Carpet/Sill Protectors
Cross Bars
MSRP: $37,275

Found a couple dealers in Southern CA on Truecar.com that had that car listed really low, $31,829 after $1,000 factory rebate.  So this was my fall back if I didn't get better.  I would have to drive 80-150 miles one-way depending on the dealership.

On the 28th I send my bulk email asking for initial low price to 20 dealerships.  For many I could not find direct email addresses, but using buyatoyota.com it was very quick to open 20 tabs, cut/paste my generic email into each one, and send them.  I actually received 18 responses within 8 hours.  My best quote was actually slightly better than the Truecar.com price, and the dealership was much closer to my house.  13 quotes were at least $1,000 higher than my lowest quote.  On the afternoon of the 28th I sent one bulk email to all 13 dealers stating their quote was too high and I would be buying elsewhere.  A few responded back but I mostly ignored them.

The top 5 dealers including the lowest all received personal emails stating (LOWEST PRICE - ~1%) and asking if they could do better.  All five responded they couldn't do better.  Fine, I'll go with the lowest I have.

On the morning of the 29th, I emailed the lowest dealer MY offer, stating if they take it we had a deal.  They called me back a few hours later and said they accepted.  I would take delivery on the morning of the 30th.  I got exact OTD pricing, slightly higher than what I was expecting, but I let it go.  Excellent.

I showed up at the dealership with a cashier's check for the full amount in the morning.  To my surprise, they had sold the car the night before after my salesman went home!?!?!?  No car!  They said they could find one in a couple days, or by that afternoon.  I said I wasn't waiting around and couldn't come back.  A few minutes later, they located the exact same van 25 miles away at another dealership.  The salesman would go get the car immediately and bring it back within an hour.  I agreed, left for Starbucks, and the dealer went to go get the car.  He was actually back at the dealership within about an hour.

I test-drive and inspected the new car.  Fine, I'll take it.  They took it into detail and I went to go sign papers.  Signing was largely a smooth experience with no real pressure to up-sell anything.  I drove the car home a bit later after it was all cleaned up.

I ended up spending about 2.5 hours MORE at the dealership/Starbucks than I would have if they had had the car in stock and cleaned up before I got there.  However, my time was better spent waiting than returning later, or restarting negotiations with another dealer.  I didn't really push for them to throw in some free accessories or service, but I suppose I could have.  It was have been nice of them to at least give me a free water bottle or lunch or something, but I was offered nothing.

Final numbers were:
MSRP: 37,275
Invoice: 34,820
Price: 31,812 (inc. $1,000 rebate)
Charged: CA Taxes (8%), Title, License, $80 doc fee, CA tire fee

Out The Door: $34,866

-Pak



 

rated:
Pakaderm said:   Thanks ALL for the information in this thread.  I just completed a new car purchase yesterday and it went almost perfectly smooth.

2015 Sienna XLE w/ Nav
Navigation
Carpet/Sill Protectors
Cross Bars
MSRP: $37,275

Found a couple dealers in Southern CA on Truecar.com that had that car listed really low, $31,829 after $1,000 factory rebate.  So this was my fall back if I didn't get better.  I would have to drive 80-150 miles one-way depending on the dealership.

On the 28th I send my bulk email asking for initial low price to 20 dealerships.  For many I could not find direct email addresses, but using buyatoyota.com it was very quick to open 20 tabs, cut/paste my generic email into each one, and send them.  I actually received 18 responses within 8 hours.  My best quote was actually slightly better than the Truecar.com price, and the dealership was much closer to my house.  13 quotes were at least $1,000 higher than my lowest quote.  On the afternoon of the 28th I sent one bulk email to all 13 dealers stating their quote was too high and I would be buying elsewhere.  A few responded back but I mostly ignored them.

The top 5 dealers including the lowest all received personal emails stating (LOWEST PRICE - ~1%) and asking if they could do better.  All five responded they couldn't do better.  Fine, I'll go with the lowest I have.

On the morning of the 29th, I emailed the lowest dealer MY offer, stating if they take it we had a deal.  They called me back a few hours later and said they accepted.  I would take delivery on the morning of the 30th.  I got exact OTD pricing, slightly higher than what I was expecting, but I let it go.  Excellent.

I showed up at the dealership with a cashier's check for the full amount in the morning.  To my surprise, they had sold the car the night before after my salesman went home!?!?!?  No car!  They said they could find one in a couple days, or by that afternoon.  I said I wasn't waiting around and couldn't come back.  A few minutes later, they located the exact same van 25 miles away at another dealership.  The salesman would go get the car immediately and bring it back within an hour.  I agreed, left for Starbucks, and the dealer went to go get the car.  He was actually back at the dealership within about an hour.

I test-drive and inspected the new car.  Fine, I'll take it.  They took it into detail and I went to go sign papers.  Signing was largely a smooth experience with no real pressure to up-sell anything.  I drove the car home a bit later after it was all cleaned up.

I ended up spending about 2.5 hours MORE at the dealership/Starbucks than I would have if they had had the car in stock and cleaned up before I got there.  However, my time was better spent waiting than returning later, or restarting negotiations with another dealer.  I didn't really push for them to throw in some free accessories or service, but I suppose I could have.  It was have been nice of them to at least give me a free water bottle or lunch or something, but I was offered nothing.

Final numbers were:
MSRP: 37,275
Invoice: 34,820
Price: 31,812 (inc. $1,000 rebate)
Charged: CA Taxes (8%), Title, License, $80 doc fee, CA tire fee

Out The Door: $34,866

-Pak



 

  Hi Pak, I'm also looking at the sienna. Seems like you got a decent deal, do you mind sharing the dealer name?

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