Last Year’s Model
Family or Friend Connection
Government and Dealer Rebates
Sales and Incentives
Though they may not like to admit it, prices at dealerships aren’t firm by any means. Use knowledge, including what other dealerships are selling the car for, and the dealer’s grip on the price will likely begin to loosen. Don’t be afraid to walk out if the price isn’t what you had in mind.
Dealerships operate on a quota basis. Saving your shopping for the end of the month puts them under pressure to get you driving a new car. If the salesperson finds themselves just short of their quota, they’ll be more open to knocking some numbers off the price. They might throw in some freebies too.
(Photo: H is for Home)
Though the majority of the population opts for an automatic gearbox, if you’re okay with rowing your own gears, you can save some cash – usually around $1,000. Automatics are often an option or part of a package on most vehicles.
If you’re not looking for luxuries, consider the base model. The price difference for these, compared to the more specced up models, can be quite substantial – usually a few thousand dollars. For example, a base model Volkswagen Jetta starts at $14,990. The next trim level up bumps the price to $17,190.
Buying a car can be a lot like an infomercial. There’s always someone to say “but wait, there’s more!” Dealerships love pressuring buyers to tack on extras with their purchases, such as car care kits, roadside service, or even extended warranty. While some of these extras can certainly be useful, if you know you won’t need them, or if you want to save as much money as possible, stand your ground and refuse them.
If you’re okay without having the absolute latest and greatest, you can save a fair bit of money by opting for an older or replaced model. These won’t be old to the point where it’s outdated though. It would be akin to buying an E92 BMW 3-series coupe now that the 4-series has replaced it. In cases like these, dealerships will want to get rid of their old stock quickly.
A lot of dealerships have programs in place for employees to grant discounts to family, or in some cases, friends. If you happen to know someone who works at a dealership, you might be able to take advantage of that program and score some pretty impressive savings.
If you’re in the market for a hybrid or electric vehicle, do some research first – you may be eligible for a rebate. These cars tend to command a higher price, so a rebate will help offset that. Dealerships can also offer rebates on regular models too.
Contact some dealerships and get a price quote for the car you’re looking for. You might be surprised at the difference in prices you see. You’re not done yet though. Go to those dealerships and show them the lowest price quote you received. Chances are the prices will either be matched or beaten.
During peak times of year, including the holidays or summer, dealerships often offer fairly significant sales, or throw in free upgrades with a purchase. Most of the time, those free goodies have a pretty high value.