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Jewish World Review
6 Tips to Get the Best Price on a New Car
Use these tips to put yourself in the driver's seat and get the best deal.
1. Forewarned is forearmed. For any vehicle you're considering, go to TrueCar.com to compare the average transaction price in your area with the sticker price. Next, head to Edmunds.com, and enter the make, model and trim level to see the dealer invoice price. Click on "Incentives and Rebates" (under "New Cars") to view current manufacturer offers. That way you'll know whether dealers get cash from the carmaker when they make a sale.
2. Prepare to cross swords. Salespeople have a host of tactics to boost the car's price -- and their commission. They will try, for example, to focus your attention on the monthly payment; to keep it low, they may push you to extend the loan term or to lease instead of buy. Insist on negotiating the price of the vehicle, whether you're buying or leasing. If the salesperson asks about your trade-in, steer the conversation back to the new car. Lumping the purchase and the trade-in together means the dealership can give you a lower trade-in value and still look as if it's giving you a good deal.
3. Stand your ground. If the price is at or near invoice, the dealership is making a profit. Don't waver if the salesperson leaves the room to "get approval from my manager" only to return and say, "We can't do it." Bottom line: Walking away is the best tool in your arsenal.
4. Or skip the showroom showdown. Once you've taken a test-drive and decided exactly what you want, go home. Contact the Internet managers at several dealers and ask for bids. Let them know you're shopping around, and get firm offers via email.
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5. Let a pro do it. Free services, such as those from TrueCar.com and Edmunds.com, offer prices from participating dealers that are guaranteed but may not be the lowest possible. CarBargains, the buying service of the nonprofit Consumers' Checkbook (www.carbargains.org), charges $200 to hire its professional negotiators to shop for your car at a minimum of five local dealers. Leasing? Check out LeaseWise (www.leasewise.org); for $350, you will get at least five bids.
6. One more hurdle: F&I. The finance-and-insurance office is where dealers make a chunk of their profit. Come with loan preapproval from your bank or credit union; unless there's a special interest rate from the manufacturer, the bank's financing may be better. Resist pitches for paint sealant, fabric protection and extended warranties; they aren't worth the money. Review the contract to make sure extras you didn't approve weren't added. Fees for shipping and regional advertising are standard, but document fees are suspect.
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Jessica Anderson is an associate editor at Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine
All contents copyright 2013 Kiplinger's Personal Finance Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.