4 Tips to Get the Best Price on a New Car



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I love my minivan.  It’s a 2010 Honda Odyssey.   It’s got some dents and chips, and looks totally lived in (that’s what happens when you have 5 kiddos), but it has been a great reliable vehicle.  It’s taken us on many a road trips and been a great mom taxi.  However, it’s reaching the 100,000 mile marker and has been having a couple little quirks happening recently – like all of a sudden the blinkers don’t work for a couple minutes.

While I LOVE not having a car payment, my husband has started to hint that it is time to start looking for a new car.    He feels old blue is loosing some reliability and is very hesitant for us to use it to drive any long distances – like a trip from Florida to Michigan to visit family.  So before it becomes an emergency, I’ve started searching for a new vehicle so we can get as low as price as possible.

Here are 4 tips to help get the best price on a new car.

Do Your Research

This is not just what type of car you want and will meet the needs of your family, but much much more.  Here is a list of questions to get your research started:

  • How does the car rank compared to other comparable vehicles?

  • How much would insurance costs for different vehicles you are considering?  It truly is amazing how different rates can be for the same year vehicles.  I found this out whyile working at an insurance agency during high school when many people will call for comparison prices.

  • What is my monthly budget for the car?   This isn’t just the cost of the car, but also insurance, gas and maintenance.  For bargaining sake, DON’T let the dealer know this number, but keep it in the back of your mind.  Your goal is to get the total price (including out of door delivery charges) as low as possible, not just get it to your desired monthly payment.

  • Where can I get the best financing option?  Don’t just count on the dealership for the best deal.  Check with your bank or credit union prior to shopping.  Being pre-approved for a loan can really give you some bargaining power.

  • How much is my trade-in worth?  – Don’t just accept the number the dealer gives you if you know it’s worth more.  Once again, a great bargaining tool.  One bit of money saving advice is to not even let the dealer know there will be a trade in until you are told the lowest total price for the vehicle.

  • What dealership should I go to?  Don’t just automatically assume  all dealerships are the same.  Sometimes being willing to drive a bit will save you thousands.

While some of this research  might require phone calls,  Cars.Com can be a great resource.   It definitely provided an eye opener in regards to the difference in dealership prices as you can see below:


Timing Really Matters

  • Time of Month – Many car salesman are required to reach a certain quota per month of sales or have their bonus based on the number of cars they sold each month.   Therefore, they will be willing to work with you to make the deal.

  • Time of Year – Think end of year, but for the car business this isn’t necessarily December.  Instead it means end of car year model.  For example, the 2018 vehicles start coming out as early as August 2017.  So starting at that time, dealerships will want to really start clearing out the 2017 stock and that can make for some awesome deals for you.    In fact, September has ranked as the highest cash back incentives per vehicle for year for the last two years.  That means a better price for you.

Check at Work

Growing up my dad worked for an automobile company so discounts on cars were sort of assumed, but even if you don’t work for a car company check to see if your company gives discounts.  I was very surprised to learn that my husband’s company, which is a construction management company, offers $1000 cash back when you buy a certain brand of car.

Be Willing to Walk Away

Buying a car is a huge investment.  If the deal reached at the dealership doesn’t meet your requirement, don’t be afraid to walk away.  There will be other cars available that will fit your budget and be just as good, or perhaps even better.  Better yet, sometimes when a dealer realizes they will lose a deal, they will offer your a better price.

Hopefully with these tips you can get the price down close to the dealers invoice price as possible and have a new car you know you got as frugally as possible.

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