How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

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BlackStrat
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How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by BlackStrat » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:48 pm

I'm driving a 21-year old Toyota so I've been out of the game for awhile. Back then I seem to remember referencing Edmunds for the actual dealer costs and was able to negotiate a good price with a more rural dealership. Now I see the web is inundated with all kinds of services but it's hard to cut through the noise and land at the most pain-free way to buy a new car.

Thanks for any suggestions.

averagedude
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by averagedude » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:55 pm

Buying a car the non traditional way will more than likely save you money. Also car manufacturers are seeing a slump in sales at this present time, and the next several months will likely be a good time to buy as they will have to offer rebates or other financial incentives to get vehicles out of inventory. Check out Clark Howard's website before buying, as he has a guide for new car buyers.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:58 pm

Seems like a thread a week or more often...

If you're buying a Ford, get the X-Plan and save yourself anguish and effort. Barely over invoice, less all rebates, $100 max paperwork fee...

viewtopic.php?t=271247

viewtopic.php?t=272409
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delamer
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by delamer » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:00 pm

Are you looking at newly manufactured cars or are you considering previously owned?

If the latter, check out CarMax.

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Quercus Palustris
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Quercus Palustris » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:06 pm

When I bought my car in Sept '17, I used Edmunds site to request quotes from some dealers in the area - not all participate, but it was interesting off the bat to see the difference in prices. Maybe it also helps that if you go to them with an Edmunds quote they know you're also talking to other dealerships. I also used my credit union's buying service, that had even less dealers participating (kinda far away) and the quote was similar.

I did most of the negotiations by email, two dealerships were very responsive. After meeting in person to look at the car (2017 Altima), I called one last time to ask if they could lower the price before I came back to sign the papers. I wasn't going to ask, but wife pointed out there was no harm asking, and they took a few hundred off.

According to True Car I got about an average price for our area (Washington DC). So I'm definitely not a pro negotiator :wink: good luck!

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Clever_Username
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Clever_Username » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:07 pm

It has been so long I don't remember how I bought mine. I got my current car, used, in 2007. It had 22000 miles on it (and was about a year old). Now it has almost 139000 miles on it and the sunroof (or is it a moonroof? I can't remember the difference) doesn't open (hasn't in years).
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gtd98765
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by gtd98765 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:08 pm

There was a recent thread on TrueCar, which I would avoid, since it is beholden to car dealers; several other organizations rebrand their service as well. I would look at Car Bargains, run by the Checkbook NGO: https://www.checkbook.org/auto/

cutterinnj
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by cutterinnj » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:20 pm

I find the car I want at the best price within 500 miles on cars.com.
Then I contact closer dealers with comparable cars and ask if they can beat it, out the door.

Once I get one at the lowest “out the door” price, I print the email, bring it to the dealership, test drive, and buy at the exact price documented.

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Watty
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Watty » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:26 pm

There is a long ongoing thread about how to buy a car by getting bids over the internet.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=124638

Here is a post I did about my new car buying experience where I did that last year.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=239526&p=3746230

likegarden
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by likegarden » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:29 pm

We bought a new Toyota Camry 5 years ago following the guidance given here. I sold the 12 year old Buick myself via Craigslist for $3,500.
2 years ago I figured out via Edmunds again what the price should be for a new Chevy Malibu this time, but traded in another 12 years old Buick for $500 because the selling of the old one 5 years ago was too much trouble for me.
Since we have now a Carmax in my area I would sell my old car there.

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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:04 pm

Be careful about thinking that ANY of the buying services will get you anywhere near the best price. Walk into any Dodge dealer and tell them that you're a supplier and ask if they can do better on that set price. Every sales guy laugh and say "Oh yah, I can kill that price". Tru Car has been talked about here as being a dealer's tool. I used them to get the "doc fee" and their lowest price for a Wrangler. I bought mine for $1600 less than their lowest price. Ford X plan is nice because you get to see prices right on the X plan web site for any dealer. But it's again, not the lowest price. I was about to buy my Mazda 6 back when Ford included them in X plan. My X plan price was $19k and change. I bought an ad car for $14.6k. So there is no easy short cut if you really want the lowest price. If you simply don't want to negotiate, Car Max is easy and Carvana is even easier and both take trades.
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carol-brennan
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by carol-brennan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:06 pm

BlackStrat wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:48 pm
I'm driving a 21-year old Toyota so I've been out of the game for awhile. Back then I seem to remember referencing Edmunds for the actual dealer costs and was able to negotiate a good price with a more rural dealership. Now I see the web is inundated with all kinds of services but it's hard to cut through the noise and land at the most pain-free way to buy a new car.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Glad to know you can get 21 years out of one. Mine is 15, and I have no desire to "upgrade."

When I buy a car, I go to Carmax. P.S.: I only buy a car when the one I'm using has died, which means I don't buy one very often. I hate cars.

livesoft
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by livesoft » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:09 pm

First, I decided on a car that I wanted.

Second, I went to a web site where people who had bought that car reported all their out-the-door prices. I could see what all these folks actually paid. The lowest prices were always lower than any of the car pricing web sites.

Third, I went to the dealer armed with the knowledge that I didn't have to pay more than the lowest price found on that web site and negotiated down to that price. I only went to one dealer for a couple of hours.

Fourth, I had a a lot of fun doing negotiating because I already knew what dealers were going to sell the car for. I could chuckle at any numbers higher than the number I had already selected as their lowest possible price.

Fifth, I used a cash-back credit card to get the most cash back from my car purchase possible.

Sixth, I asked for a 0%-interest loan for the rest and they gave me the loan.
Last edited by livesoft on Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sandi_k
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Sandi_k » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:11 pm

I use Edmunds to price the MSRP and "Dealer Cost" for each option package.

Then add $300 to the Dealer Cost, and email the dealerships within 50 miles to get them to match it, based on my preferred options, exterior and interior color.

Then I get an out the door price from the top dealer, and do one more round of "can you beat this price" from the previously-responding dealers.

With an OTD price, I get a certified cashier's check from my credit union, and pick up the car.

Each time I've done it this way, I am in and out in under an hour. It usually takes a week from start to finish in the process.

I may not get the absolute bottom line price, but it's usually pretty close. And I don't spend much time being jerked around by the salespeople, which is valuable to me.

SanAntionetta
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by SanAntionetta » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:58 pm

I did not want to negotiate OR go to a car dealership (I have a two year old) so I purchased a car from Carvana this summer and love it! I did not like the first one they dropped off but they let me drive it until they brought over a different one. The car fax they supplied showed all the oil changes etc, got a car off a lease and it’s perfect. Could I have got a better deal somewhere? Maybe. But to me it is not worth the frustration of haggling with spurious car dealers or independent sellers.

harrington
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by harrington » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:00 pm

2-5% under invoice depending on supply and demand of the specific model.

retiredjg
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by retiredjg » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:16 pm

Bought my last 2 at CarMax. Sold 1 to CarMax. No complaints on any of these transactions.

All Star
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by All Star » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:29 pm

DON'T do X Plan, Supplier Pricing, Costco, True Car or anything similar. Dealers WILL price lower than those programs and services. Cast a very wide net. When I custom ordered, I emailed 26 different general managers for the best price. When I leased, I drove 4 hours out for delivery. All negotiation can be done by phone or preferably email. Best practice is to know more about the car and what you want than any dealer you walk into. Hell, invoice prices are irrelevant...when you cast a wide net the free market will decide what your bottom line pricing is.

Arrange your own financing and decline any extra services, warranties, and even having them wash the car for you.

lws
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by lws » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:36 pm

I used Costco recently. No regrets.

Bacchus01
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Bacchus01 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:42 pm

All Star wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:29 pm
DON'T do X Plan, Supplier Pricing, Costco, True Car or anything similar. Dealers WILL price lower than those programs and services. Cast a very wide net. When I custom ordered, I emailed 26 different general managers for the best price. When I leased, I drove 4 hours out for delivery. All negotiation can be done by phone or preferably email. Best practice is to know more about the car and what you want than any dealer you walk into. Hell, invoice prices are irrelevant...when you cast a wide net the free market will decide what your bottom line pricing is.

Arrange your own financing and decline any extra services, warranties, and even having them wash the car for you.

Sure, if you have the time. At $250/hr, I’m not putting more than a few hours I to this process.

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rh00p
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by rh00p » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:52 pm

Back when I bought my 2010 Santa Fe (new) I was emailed three quotes from area dealers via American Express's car buying program. I had no intention of patronizing the responding dealers. Instead I took this email to my local dealer and asked, "what can you do?" Left a deposit for the color of my choice arriving in four days. Took about fifteen minutes. The key here I had other dealers' quotes in writing and was face to face showing I was serious.

Currently I'm casually shopping for a used sedan, mainly the inventory on Carvana and local dealer's websites. If I do visit a brick and morter I will come with printouts of competing offers to again see what they can do.

I gave up on Craigslist. Too many salvage and ex-taxi vehicles in my area. As for Kelly Blue Book, TruCar, etc. watch this vid for your entertainment. As someone who was in the business I highly recommend his channel.

https://youtu.be/yUwx3TEJuAs
Preparing for the worst. Hoping for the best.

bryansmile
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by bryansmile » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:01 pm

Carite.
They carry popular cars at low mileages - honda, toyota, etc. Prices are fixed, lower than dealer prices. They have all inventory online, with carfax reports. Their employees do not earn commissions, there's no pressure on customers. You browse their inventory online, identify a few listings, go there to test drive. That's it.

Starfish
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Starfish » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:39 pm

I used a site (truecar I think) to get initial quotes. I also used Edmunds.
I wrote emails to ~10 dealers them that I had this offer (I subtracted 500$, i was worth the risk).
I got more offers, I negotiated against each other, about 3 days over email. It started at ~25k after the initial round and it ended at 22.5k.

I used a very simple configuration (usually base) and I was willing to buy pretty much any car on stock regardless of color etc.
A way to get a good deal is to buy a model when is out of the door and they have very few left, and the worst time is when a new model is just in.

3504PIR
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by 3504PIR » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:00 am

I’m sure I am not the norm, but I order my cars directly from the manufacturer, setting it up with color, options, etc exactly the way I want them. I place the order and take delivery in 2-3 months. The last time, with Porsche, I wired the funds for payment when I received notification that the car would be built and available for pickup on a specific date. They gave us a heads up about a month before the build date if I remember correctly.

I haven’t dealt with a salesman in over 20 years except for occasional test drives, and don’t miss it.

randomguy
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by randomguy » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:14 am

3504PIR wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:00 am
I’m sure I am not the norm, but I order my cars directly from the manufacturer, setting it up with color, options, etc exactly the way I want them. I place the order and take delivery in 2-3 months. The last time, with Porsche, I wired the funds for payment when I received notification that the car would be built and available for pickup on a specific date. They gave us a heads up about a month before the build date if I remember correctly.

I haven’t dealt with a salesman in over 20 years except for occasional test drives, and don’t miss it.
Most manufacturers will not take orders. Heck it isn't even legal in a lot of states. See Teslas issues. Even for things like Eurodelivery most require you to go through the maker. But ignore that. What price did you pay? It isn't like the salesman experience is remotely tough when you walk in and say I will pay you what ever you want.:)

The basics of buying a new car.
a) Figure out what the most you will possible pay is. That is the true car price
b) write/talk to a dozen dealers and see which one will beat that price and then who will be the next price
c) Buy from whoever ends up cheapest.

There is no cheapest one stop shopping place with fixed prices. Carvana, Carmax, and the rest are decent prices but they are far form the best. You are paying more for the convenience.

longleaf
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by longleaf » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:43 am

Came across this awhile back.

https://hiddenrides.com
Frugality, indexing, time.

Trism
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Trism » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:42 am

We have had new car dealerships in our family for three generations.

Most of the time I buy at cost from my brother, although I bought my last new car through a relationship my employer had with the auto manufacturer, and I paid the same price as the manufacturer's employees pay.

I recommend both approaches. ;)

tmcc
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by tmcc » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:53 am

Ebay is hands down the best resource for competitive national prices.

dekecarver
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by dekecarver » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:55 am

Trism wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:42 am
We have had new car dealerships in our family for three generations.

Most of the time I buy at cost from my brother, although I bought my last new car through a relationship my employer had with the auto manufacturer, and I paid the same price as the manufacturer's employees pay.

I recommend both approaches. ;)
Seriously just wondering if you or your family members get a chuckle out of the "how to buy a new car threads" and the strategies discussed? :)

Trism
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Trism » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:07 am

dekecarver wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:55 am
Trism wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:42 am
We have had new car dealerships in our family for three generations.

Most of the time I buy at cost from my brother, although I bought my last new car through a relationship my employer had with the auto manufacturer, and I paid the same price as the manufacturer's employees pay.

I recommend both approaches. ;)
Seriously just wondering if you or your family members get a chuckle out of the "how to buy a new car threads" and the strategies discussed? :)
I chose a different career path, but yes, I understand the business, and some of the discussion here is really amusing.

I try to stay out of the auto buying threads, but mostly because it makes me cringe when people argue over which of the world's most boring cars is most suitable to drive around for the next 37 years. I would rather get around on a pogo stick than drive a Toyota Corolla. :)

carol-brennan
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by carol-brennan » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:55 am

Trism wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:07 am
I would rather get around on a pogo stick than drive a Toyota Corolla. :)
No, you wouldn't. When was the last time you drove a Corolla. I think it's one of the most fun cars to drive, ever. It's also fun not to be throwing money at a car constantly throughout its life.

Trism
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Trism » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:34 am

carol-brennan wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:55 am
Trism wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:07 am
I would rather get around on a pogo stick than drive a Toyota Corolla. :)
No, you wouldn't. When was the last time you drove a Corolla. I think it's one of the most fun cars to drive, ever. It's also fun not to be throwing money at a car constantly throughout its life.
A smiling emoji following a sentence is a common way for an internet stranger to indicate that a joke has been made.

Example: The Corolla is one of the most fun cars to drive, ever. :happy :D :) :shock: :twisted: :mrgreen: :annoyed :confused

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BoglePaul
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by BoglePaul » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:45 am

In Fall 2018 we purchased an X3. We tried TrueCar, Costco, and another service. We also had the local dealers quote us directly over email. The direct quotes from the dealers were the lowest. We purchased from the dealer with the best price. The final price was 11% below MSRP with an additional ~1% rebate through the car club.

Trism
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Trism » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:21 am

rh00p wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:52 pm
As someone who was in the business I highly recommend his channel.

https://youtu.be/yUwx3TEJuAs
There is a reason that no dealer advertises great deals on cars priced at Kelley Blue Book "value."

The pitch is always something like, "We are selling this car at $1,300 below KBB... Can you believe that? My boss says we have to move these things out of here because new trade-ins are coming in faster than we can sell them. I would grab this deal while you still can, before he has a change of heart. I've never seen a discount like this on this particular model. Honestly, I'm wondering if someone made a mistake."
Last edited by Trism on Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

All Star
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by All Star » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:43 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:42 pm
Sure, if you have the time. At $250/hr, I’m not putting more than a few hours I to this process.
It doesn't take long to fire off some emails and do some internet browsing. Vehicles are only the second biggest purchases people make in their lifetime next to housing. Price aside, don't you want to do some research on something that you are going to spend a significant amount of your time (time valued at $250/hour) over the next several years?

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BlackStrat
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by BlackStrat » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:02 am

OP here - just wanted to thank everyone; I'll be scrutinizing all the great advice here this week.

michaelingp
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by michaelingp » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:18 am

My daughter is probably the best car negotiator I've run into. For her last car (10 years ago) she simply contacted the "Internet Sales" department of the local Honda dealer, and then waited. They called her constantly. I said, "Isn't this a huge hassle?" She said, "No, I see who is calling and I don't answer." But she listened to their messages, and each time they lowered the price a little. After about a month or so, she was pretty sure they were down to the lowest amount that dealer would sell the car for. She went in and got that price. You do have to be sure not to crumble in the "back room", where they will try to sell you financing, extended maintenance, seat stain protection, etc.

For her, it's somewhat of a game, plus a measure of not wanting to be "taken". Personally, for me, I don't want to be "taken", but it's not absolutely necessary to get the best price. I do my homework, get a good idea of what a good price is, then negotiate somewhere near it. If I overpay by a few hundred, I'm just happy that I'm wealthy enough not to care. If you keep your car until the wheels fall off as we do, it really doesn't matter.

A440
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by A440 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:24 am

Last time we purchased a car it was a Subaru. We were able to get VIP pricing from a neighbor who worked for Subaru. VIP pricing provided 2% below invoice on everything without needing to negotiate. It was the easiest (and perhaps the most savings) car purchase we ever made.
I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future.

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GoldStar
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by GoldStar » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:35 am

Know the invoice prices and ignore list prices. Realize that dealerships get other incentives so getting you a car under their invoice price should be the goal you are striving for.
I start with web-based quotes or emails. I let each dealership know that there are at least 3 dealerships I am reaching out to so I'd like to know upfront what their best price is as I am looking for a good deal on the car with the package(s) I want. I usually do give each one chance to redeem themselves and give me a better price (e.g. respond to their email telling them that someone else gave me price xxx and can they do better). I then go to the dealer that quoted me the best price and buy the car. I usually am close to or under the invoice price.

Admittedly I haven't bought a new car in about 5 years and am obviously a little behind the times as I didn't realize Carvana, CarMax, eBay, etc sold new cars!?! (or maybe some respondents missed the part of the OPs post where he said he was looking to buy new).

caffeperfavore
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:44 am

I have a similar process to some others above and follow these steps:

1. Identify the car I want with the package/options I want. I do my research online and narrow it down to a few makes and models. Then I do test drives to make my pick.
2. Contact dealers' internet salespeople and ask for pricing for what I want. I refuse to come in as it's a waste of time. I force them to give me offers in writing with the out the door price. You can use offers from dealers to get lower offers from others. If one person won't do email, then find another that will. I use sites like Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book to reality check offers.
3. Once I've reached an agreement, I work out financing, etc. virtually so that I can just come in and pick up the car.

I've been doing this for at least 12 years now. I can't believe anyone would bother negotiating in person.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by LiterallyIronic » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:49 am

How do I buy a car? I check the classifieds for a sedan that is under $1,000 (this means it will surely be at least ten years old and have at least 100,000 miles on it). Then I contact the seller, meet somewhere, take it for a test drive to my mechanic who briefly looks at it to ensure there isn't a nightmare of a problem (but there will be some problems at this price range), and then give the seller the cash. I repeat this process roughly every six years, as that's about how much life I can squeeze out of a $1,000 car.

Nowizard
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Nowizard » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:57 am

I believe that arming yourself with available information about invoice pricing is a first step followed by haggling with a dealership. Their model of haggling exists for one reason, that being it works in most cases. If you are willing to get outside your comfort zone and haggle, it will typically work in my opinion. For example, we recently purchased an Odyssey. The price for the vehicle was below the lowest posted on Edmunds for sales, and the trade-in was within $100 of the lowest posted. We also had tried Costco but did not even go to the dealership they listed due to their $599 documentary fee. The fee where we purchased, at a dealership approximately 80 miles away was $84, so check the documentary fee before purchasing or reserve your final offer for the vehicle (They will not negotiate on the doc fee itself), reducing it by the amount you feel the doc fee is excessive, after the dealership has made its "final" offer. We purchase new vehicles and keep them, and I suspect it is more difficult to determine the value of a used vehicle.

Tim

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dm200
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by dm200 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:03 am

For new cars over many decades, we has used ubs4cars.com

Mike Scott
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Mike Scott » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:40 am

If you enjoy hard ball negotiating, walk into a dealership and have at it. You will probably end up with a good deal. If you despise the price negotiating process, the car buying services already mentioned will get you a much better deal than walking into a dealership and paying sticker price. You have to decide how much the difference is worth to you and how much time to spend on the process.

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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Bacchus01 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:48 pm

All Star wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:43 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:42 pm
Sure, if you have the time. At $250/hr, I’m not putting more than a few hours I to this process.
It doesn't take long to fire off some emails and do some internet browsing. Vehicles are only the second biggest purchases people make in their lifetime next to housing. Price aside, don't you want to do some research on something that you are going to spend a significant amount of your time (time valued at $250/hour) over the next several years?
Researching which car, sure. Spending a huge amount of time trying to save $1K? No.

My experience is that dealers are "marking to market" so quickly now that it's really hard to get a "deal" over one dealer to the next. If you want to send 28 emails, fine. I think it takes about 3.

I bought a 2017 Grand Cherokee in late 2016. I used some websites to do a search on the options/specs I wanted and searched the whole country. The cheapest one was about 30 miles away from me. I emailed that dealer and two others. No one came down to this dealer. I called them and told them to do all the paperwork I was buying it. If I was there more than an hour I wouldn't bother. No upsell or I'd walk.

I was in and out in 30 minutes with the best price in the country. I did not send 28 emails. I did not put a bunch of dealers against each other for $500.

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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by 3504PIR » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:51 pm

randomguy wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:14 am
3504PIR wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:00 am
I’m sure I am not the norm, but I order my cars directly from the manufacturer, setting it up with color, options, etc exactly the way I want them. I place the order and take delivery in 2-3 months. The last time, with Porsche, I wired the funds for payment when I received notification that the car would be built and available for pickup on a specific date. They gave us a heads up about a month before the build date if I remember correctly.

I haven’t dealt with a salesman in over 20 years except for occasional test drives, and don’t miss it.
Most manufacturers will not take orders. Heck it isn't even legal in a lot of states. See Teslas issues. Even for things like Eurodelivery most require you to go through the maker. But ignore that. What price did you pay? It isn't like the salesman experience is remotely tough when you walk in and say I will pay you what ever you want.:)

The basics of buying a new car.
a) Figure out what the most you will possible pay is. That is the true car price
b) write/talk to a dozen dealers and see which one will beat that price and then who will be the next price
c) Buy from whoever ends up cheapest.

There is no cheapest one stop shopping place with fixed prices. Carvana, Carmax, and the rest are decent prices but they are far form the best. You are paying more for the convenience.
I’m not sure about most manufacturers. I am not aware of any European manufacturers who do not take orders. So I’m not sure how much experience you may have doing it. I’ve bought my last 3 new cars through factory orders. I paid just over $45,000 for our Macan S in 2015 after it was all said and done. Prior to that I ordered a BMW 5 series in 2007 and paid $34,000. The pickup price on the Porsche was significantly better than prices I’ve seen at various Porsche dealers, but perhaps I could haggle to the point of getting close. FWIW, I was offered $43k for the Porsche last month at the dealer in Honolulu, but prices here are insane.

Not sure how it could be illegal. You take your certificate of origin to the DMV to register it, no problem. I’ve done it in Virginia, Florida and Hawaii without an issue.

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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by schwank » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:45 pm

Bought a new Toyota in December, Costco was cheaper and easier than True car. No annoying sales calls from Costco either. Dealer GM said Costco is typically the cheapest option, and it also mandates any dealer add-ons like nitrogen or door edge guards are included in the base price.

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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Smk18 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:00 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:09 pm
First, I decided on a car that I wanted.

Second, I went to a web site where people who had bought that car reported all their out-the-door prices. I could see what all these folks actually paid. The lowest prices were always lower than any of the car pricing web sites.

Third, I went to the dealer armed with the knowledge that I didn't have to pay more than the lowest price found on that web site and negotiated down to that price. I only went to one dealer for a couple of hours.

Fourth, I had a a lot of fun doing negotiating because I already knew what dealers were going to sell the car for. I could chuckle at any numbers higher than the number I had already selected as their lowest possible price.

Fifth, I used a cash-back credit card to get the most cash back from my car purchase possible.

Sixth, I asked for a 0%-interest loan for the rest and they gave me the loan.
Great Advice. Just curious which website you looked to check the outdoor car prices?

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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by livesoft » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:08 pm

I googled "Subara Outback OTD" and got some web sites, such as
https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/13 ... d-628.html

I learned that these cars always sell for about 15% off MSRP and 8%+ off of invoice.
Last edited by livesoft on Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Smk18
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Re: How do YOU buy a car? (TrueCar, Costco, Carvana, etc)

Post by Smk18 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:11 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:08 pm
I googled "Subara Outback OTD" and got some web sites, such as
https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/13 ... d-628.html

I learned that these cars always sell for about 15% of MSRP and 8%+ off of invoice.
Thank You.

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