January 30, 2013 7:53 AM Subscribe
I love my car. It is reliable, trustworthy, and it has carried me safely through at least one rather hairy situation. Best of all, it was cheap. When I touch the dashboard, I remember the thrill of the negotiation process, and even the salesman's sweaty palm as we shook hands on a price thousands of dollars lower than what my friend paid for the exact same model.
posted by wolfdreams01 to shopping (21 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Nevertheless, it's time to upgrade to a new car. Since it's been eight years since I last purchased an automobile, my bargaining skills in that area are rusty. (I negotiate pricing at work all the time, but that typically involves transactions in the millions, which is a totally different animal.) It's really important for me to get a good deal on this car, since (for better or worse) a lot of the emotional joy of owning it will come from knowing that I got a better price than most other people could have.
What's the best way to instantaneously determine whether you are getting a good price on a car? What is the best way to get a good price? In the past, it used to be that shopping online meant you were effectively paying "retail price" and so the only way to get a good deal was to go to a dealership and negotiate in person. Is that still the case?
Potentially significant data points:
1) I will be buying a brand new car, not used.
2) I believe in always getting the maximum warranty.
3) It will be a hybrid with a very good safety rating (most likely a Subaru, but not necessarily).
4) I can make full payment upfront.
5) I would like to "pimp it out" a little (in a classy way) in terms of getting accessories like heated seats, remote starter, etc.)
6) I have no strong preference for which car I get, as long as points 1, 2, and 3 are met.
What is the best way to go about this, maximizing my leverage in order to secure the best price?