Pracitcal Tips for Buying A Car

Pracitcal Tips for Buying A Car

I had made up my mind to buy a particular car (make / model) with no bells and whistles. I checked the Edmunds website and they have what is called a “Price Promise” from dealers who agree to sell the car (make / model) you are interested in at a price as captured in the “Price Promise”. So, I reached out to two new car dealers saying I have an Edmunds “Price Promise” from your dealership. Will you sell it to me for exactly how much it is listed in Edmunds “Price Promise”? I also asked the dealers to give me the complete price breakdown.

Dealer #1

This dealer started giving me the run around and didn’t answer my questions. He started asking me questions like are you paying cash or are you financing? I am like, dude, I am asking for a price breakdown and you are talking about payment. So, I called Edmunds and complained that the dealer wasn’t giving me answers to the price information I had requested. The representative at Edmunds was so kind and helpful. He said he would talk to the dealership directly and escalate the issue with them. He did and the Manager from the dealership called me and wanted to work with me. I thanked the Edmunds representative for the help. However I didn’t proceed with this dealer because of the initial bad experience. Due to the inconvenience I had experienced, Edmunds gave me a $100.00 Amazon gift card.

Dealer #2

I asked the same question. Here is the Edmunds “Price Promise”. Can you give me the complete price breakdown for the car? This dealer gave me the complete price breakdown in an email, I have listed every single line item he provided that totaled up to the “Total Cash Price”.

  • MSRP
  • Discount
  • Sale Price
  • Total Financed Aftermarkets
  • Doc Fee
  • State and Local Taxes
  • Total License and fees
  • Total Cash Price

Here are the key take aways:

Make up your mind on exactly what make and model of car you want.

To avoid any misunderstanding, get a written email from the dealership that has the complete price breakdown.

Review the details thoroughly and see if there is room to negotiate.

Dealerships have a tendency to gouge you on “Doc Fees”. Here is a link where you can get an idea of how much it actually costs in each state and how much dealers charge on average. Some states regulate and set a limit and some don’t.

Some times the car dealers will say that the destination fee wasn’t included in the Edmunds “Price Promise”. If they want to charge you the destination fee, it must be listed in the price breakdown you receive via email. If it is not listed, great, don’t ask about it. They probably baked it into the total price already.

Do not visit dealership until you receive email with price breakdown, and have reviewed the information.

You have the upper hand when you are negotiating via email. The moment you step into the dealership, the dealer has the upper hand. You have now taken the time off work or your weekend to visit the dealership. They know that you don’t have time. So, it is better to negotiate when you have the upper hand. The goal of the dealer is to bring you into the dealership. If they can bring you in, then they have got your business.

Edmunds Price Promise is a great way to save money when purchasing a car. I saved $1200 using the Edmunds Price Promise.

If the dealer doesn’t honor Edmunds “Price Promise”, representatives from Edmunds are available to assist you. Leverage their expertise.

Decline all the after market offers – the $700 stain proofing the car interior, extended warranty etc. I don’t get any of these things. The only thing I would recommend is GAP Insurance if you are financing your car purchase.

Remember, the deal is off if the dealer changes the price once you show up at the dealership.

The second dealer I communicated with was honest, straightforward, and helpful. There was no nonsense. Guess who got my business – I will state the obvious – it was Dealer #2. Once I had done my homework, it was a breeze to stop by the dealership, finish the paperwork, pick up the car, and leave. I was happy and the dealer was happy.