Thursday, July 17, 2014

Buying a New Car: Negotiating the Best Deal

Web Tools 
That Make 
the Negotiation Easier

After graduating from law school and joining the largest law firm in Oklahoma, I bought my first new car.  It was a Toyota Camry.  Beforehand, I thoroughly read and applied the advice found in a book on buying a new car.  

Today, the web puts you a few clicks away from very good advice on the subject.  This morning, I found this site offered by CNN Money on Tips for Buying a New Car.  It offered advice on a number of topics:

The page on setting your target price was especially helpful. It cited sources of objective criteria that equalize the negotiating power of the parties.  First, it gives you links to online sources that provide three pieces of price information:
  • The manufacturer's suggested retail price (the sticker price) or MSRP.
  • The average price paid in your area for the car.
  • The factory invoice price.
The website explains:
Using websites like or Kelly Blue Book, you can find out the dealer's cost for any vehicle. You can also find out about customer or dealer rebates, subsidized lease deals, or other special breaks that can cut your cost. Best of all, you can decide exactly what you intend to pay for the car or truck before you ever go near a showroom.

The next page tells you how to use this objective criteria to get a great deal.  In the end, it recommends that you pay about 2% more than the factory invoice price.  

On the 2014 Hyundai Sante Fe Sport SUV I like, that negotiating approach would bring the factory invoice price of $25,436 up by $509 to $25,295.

That number still makes my head swim.  But recently, I calculated the cost today of that stripped down, low feature VW bug my parents owned as newlyweds.  In 1959, the VW bug cost $1,995. Adjusted for inflation, you'd pay $16,309 for that car.  Seeing that number, I truly appreciate how much more value manufacturers are now adding to cars.  For one thing, they all have gas gauges.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you've taught me how to negotiate a deal with a car salesman. I am a fan of buying new cars, but not when it comes to the price. I'll be prepared to bargain now!