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Car Values:
Know the Market Value of a Car or Truck Before You Buy

Money and Keys - Car Values at www.realworldautomotive.com
Be an Educated Car Buyer, First

 

When it comes to buying a new car, truck or SUV, here's a straightforward method for getting the right price, starting by knowing the real market value:

 

1 - Find the Invoice Price

 

A source we recommend is the True Market Value Appraisal Tool provided by our affiliate edmunds.com. The invoice price is (basically) the wholesale cost of the vehicle to the dealership. The amount above the invoice price (basically) is the commission which is divvied up between the salesman and the dealer. There are exceptions. If a vehicle is not selling well, and the manufacturer decreases wholesale cost below the published invoice, you can get a car below invoice. And vice versa, if it's a super-popular big seller, the dealership may be getting MSRP or higher.

2 - Know what it's Worth and You're Ready to Negotiate...

 

Get quotes from multiple dealerships in your area, in person, by phone or online through portals like edmunds.com New Car Dealer Price Quotes.

 

3 - Go to the Dealership with the Lowest New Car Price Quote

 

And take the vehicle for a good test drive (if you haven't already). This is a big investment and you want to be sure you're buying what fits your style, comfort level, performance needs, safety requirements and budget. When you're sure this is the one, ask the salesman to give you the absolute lowest quote possible. Also mention that you're going to contact every local dealership with the same model and ask them the same question. Whoever gives the best answer (lowest price) wins your business. No matter what, do not sign anything on your first visit to the first dealership. Most salesmen are very talented at getting you to do just that. Go home and start calling the other dealerships, taking notes on who you spoke to and what they're quotes were. Then, let it simmer with the salesmen for a day or two. Sometimes you'll get a call back with an even lower price. Once you're confident the lowest quote you've received is the best price, and this is truly the car you want—make the deal.

4 - Equally Aggressive with Financing Rates, Terms and Fees

 

Shop for a new car loan Inside and outside of the dealership. Financing is as much a part of vehicle cost as the sales price. And don't buy an extended warranty unless you're absolutely sure this car will be in your garage far beyond the original manufacturer's warranty period, you can always get one down the road. Also, be wary of salesmen offering incentives like the extended warranty or dealer installed options as part of negotiations. They often plan to roll the cost of extras into the financing. In that situation, they're not giving you anything. You're actually buying more products, and agreeing to pay principal and interest on these products for years to come. RWA

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Reliability | Fuel Economy | Cost of Fuel

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