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  • New car buying and finding what others paid

    Friends,

    This is my first post and I am excited to find this group. I came across a great interview with Ben and I would have listened to few times. Thanks for all the info. This is a treasure.

    I am looking to buy a new car and this is not a good market to be a buyer. I spent sometime on the Internet trying to find what others paid and I am unable to find a good source. I tried KBB, Edmunds ..etc... Have any of you come across any sites or apps where users share how much they paid for a car. If so, can you please share the links?

    Thanks

  • #2
    I’m not Ben, whoever that is, but welcome to the forum! A big part of the art of buying a car is negotiation, which you may be out of luck on at this moment. Supposedly, Labor Day is the best day to buy a car, and it’s coming up. Of course, I’m taking you at your word and presuming you mean “new” literally, rather than “used but new to you”. This interesting link also showed up in my google query. Have you exhausted that line of research?
    Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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    • #3
      I used truecar.com and had dealers send me quotes, and then used email quotes I got to try to negotiate lower prices, with preference for dealers closer to us. Ended up driving 45min away for our new car, but we were only at the dealer for <2hrs because they deal was already done by the time we set foot in the dealership.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jfoxcpacfp View Post
        I’m not Ben, whoever that is, but welcome to the forum! A big part of the art of buying a car is negotiation, which you may be out of luck on at this moment. Supposedly, Labor Day is the best day to buy a car, and it’s coming up. Of course, I’m taking you at your word and presuming you mean “new” literally, rather than “used but new to you”. This interesting link also showed up in my google query. Have you exhausted that line of research?
        Thanks for the response. I meant Ben Bernstein's interview a few weeks back. I did consider the options mentioned in the link.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ObgynMD View Post
          I used truecar.com and had dealers send me quotes, and then used email quotes I got to try to negotiate lower prices, with preference for dealers closer to us. Ended up driving 45min away for our new car, but we were only at the dealer for <2hrs because they deal was already done by the time we set foot in the dealership.
          Thanks for the reply. The Truecar quotes I got just had a manufacturer rebate. Prices from all dealers were comparable. Did they quote a significant discount in the deal off MSRP?

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          • #6
            Use specific forum for make and model you're looking to buy at edmunds. Valuable info - who paid what for which model.

            Best advice for buying a new car is a thread at bogleheads - https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=124638
            - Basic premise is negotiate everything you can via email and go into dealership only when ready to buy and you've obtained best possible offer. It's time-intensive and means contacting multiple dealers and being willing to drive an hour or two to get best deal.
            - Advice may not stand up in current sellers' market but may as well try - YMMV

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            • #7
              Was looking at new vs used cars a few months back. Used cars from 2017 with 20-40k miles were only 5-8k less than a brand new 2021 car. I went with a new car. There was no room for negotiation as people are currently buying the car before they even hit the lot.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cvsvm2007 View Post

                Thanks for the reply. The Truecar quotes I got just had a manufacturer rebate. Prices from all dealers were comparable. Did they quote a significant discount in the deal off MSRP?
                When I bought a car several years ago, true car listed the paid prices much lower than msrp. I checked as I’m considering getting a new car and everything was at msrp. I think that’s just how things are currently with the chip shortages.

                Out of curiosity, what are you buying?

                If you’re a doc, spending ten+ hours haggling isn’t worth the few hundred/maybe couple thousand you could save. I emailed all dealers of the brand car I wanted within an hour of my house saying exactly what I wanted, what I had to trade in and said I would come and pick up the car within the next week at whomever gives the lowest price. Many emailed back inviting me to come in and talk/test drive. Don’t do that. Make the deal online then pick it up.

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                • #9
                  Agree with the advice above about finding a specific forum for the make and model you’re looking for. They usually have a tagged sticky thread where everyone reports the exact trim and specs they bought, what they paid, where they bought it, etc.

                  When I bought my car new in 2018, my cars forum probably saved me $5k. I found a dealer 4 hours away that specializes in internet sales - they undercut all the other dealers by 3-4k because they specialized in high-volume, low-margin sales. They said they often got people who flew in from 1000 miles away. Combine that with a couple other rebates and discounts and I had huge savings.

                  unfortunately, you’re unlikely to get these deals now. All the dealers are selling at MSRP and there’s no negotiating. On the plus side, it makes your job easier because you don’t have to worry you’re getting ripped off! You’re going to get roughly the same price everywhere.

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                  • #10
                    Cargurus has a nice research tool. Cast a wide net and wait for end of month or end of quarter. You need about 3-5 different dealerships in the game - a few serve to help you refine your approach and research presesentation and pitch, a few to find actual bottom (and how this compares to internet research) (you typically make these guys mad because you walk out on them) and one to buy.

                    I bought a new one about 9 months ago. Managed to get about every dealership to refuse to talk to me anymore because they didn’t want my price. Finally, on the last day of the quarter, I got a 15% off email. Called the dealership and did the deal over the phone for $500 more than my price, which was likely too low. The process took me 2-3 months from initial inquiries (multiple cars) to purchase.

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                    • #11
                      your ability to negotiate prices for cars is drastically reduced from what it was years ago.

                      the last 2 times i bought a vehicle the salespeople basically just started at me blankly when i tried to negotiate price. i walked on one my man didn't even follow up by email.

                      the issue is that the web has led to total price transparency and obviously as soon as anyone sees the new ride they whip out their phone and check every other seller in 100 miles.

                      i suspect this suggestion of pitting dealerships against each other for a new car is going to save you hundreds (not thousands) of dollars.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SpacemanSpiff12 View Post
                        Agree with the advice above about finding a specific forum for the make and model you’re looking for. They usually have a tagged sticky thread where everyone reports the exact trim and specs they bought, what they paid, where they bought it, etc.
                        .
                        Right. Who would have thought there are car enthusiasts for nissan versas or something? But there probably is a forum full of them..

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                        • #13
                          i suspect this suggestion of pitting dealerships against each other for a new car is going to save you hundreds (not thousands) of dollars.
                          To each their own. I estimated that I saved 3k based on conversations with other dealers and where their “bottom” was. Different dealers do have different bottoms because they have different incentives, inventories, and goals. I also bought on the last weekend of the quarter, again, likely a business decision by the dealer to take a loss on one vehicle to hit bigger or bulk deliverables.

                          It was 9 months ago where supply chain was very different. It’s also going to depend on your area, timing, and model. For instance, when I bought my Honda Pilot, I also explored the Kia Telluride, but it was selling for well over MSRP given it’s great reviews. I was out for a deal and not a specific car, just a 3 row SUV. There are deals out there. It just depends how hard you want to work and what sacrifices you will make to find and get them.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MPMD View Post
                            i suspect this suggestion of pitting dealerships against each other for a new car is going to save you hundreds (not thousands) of dollars.
                            This is correct in my experience. Recently bought an approximately $45K vehicle and the spread between lowest and highest price was about $1200. Top 4 were within $300 of each other. It was a custom ordered vehicle, so the prices were for literally the exact same vehicle.

                            I still do it because it's a huge time saver.

                            About 20 min of checking and responding to emails per night for a few nights. Then I go in and pick up the car when it's ready. There is a little hassle when the finance person tries to sell you the extended warranty, maintenance plan, etc. But otherwise, you're in and out real fast. And on top of that you get a bit of savings.

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                            • #15
                              If you have any negotiating power, it is through dealing with the dealerships online sales department. Once you walk through the door, you will get nothing.

                              The last time I bought a car I emailed this to all of the local dealers, and some further away:

                              Hello,

                              I would like to purchase the following car:


                              ### Insert car model here
                              Preferred color: ### and interior ###
                              Also acceptable: ###

                              Please be sure you have, or can obtain this car quickly through a dealer trade. My zip code is ##### for pricing calculations. I will be paying cash for the car. Please provide me with an out-the-door price quote (after taxes and fees) as quickly as possible as I will be purchasing the car before the close of business on ### - which should give you enough time to ensure a dealer trade if it is necessary on your part.

                              To be fair, I am requesting pricing from several dealers, so please be sure to obtain authorization from your manager if required before quoting a price. I do not wish to waste anyone's time and I would appreciate a confirmed offer on your part as well.

                              Also please provide me with your phone number so I can call you once I receive the quote.

                              Thank you, and good luck!

                              I have now found that I want to trade in the 6 year old vehicle and get a new one. I haven’t figured out how to trade in a vehicle without getting hosed. There is no way to maintain your advantage when trading in a vehicle - at least not that I have figured out.

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