Cost to dealier of new car. Cost to pay?
May 10, 2009 11:46 AM   Subscribe

How much does a Chevy Uplander cost the dealer and how much should my mom pay fin Toronto today?

My mom wants to buy a Chevy Uplander. Today. I know..I know...I know there are web sites that tell you how much a car costs the dealer but I can't find any that work for Canada. Do you know of one?

And how much is a reasonable mark-up for the dealer?

Any other tips on getting the best deal?

p.s. We know nothing about cars and my mom buys one every 12 years or so. I've never owned a car and hope I never do.
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The best I could find through google was this site, but annoyingly you have to pay to get the real numbers. IIRC here in the US, 10% lower than sticker price (MSRP) is a ballpark guide to the dealer's invoice price.

So, as it happens, I just bought a new car yesterday, here in the US. I really, really, really recommend you do not just walk into a dealership today to buy a car, because without all the preparation, you will not get the best deal. If you walk in fresh, the dealership knows they have no competing offers. If you can wait just a few days, you can play local dealers off against each other by emailing them asking for quotes, then comparing. That's what I did, and it worked beautifully.

In the current economy, I would say a reasonable mark up for the dealer is maybe $200 over invoice. Depending on the dealer, they often pay a little less than invoice even. It just depends how desperate that dealer is. I visited a few local dealers for test drives (when I was choosing which car to go with) and while some were clearly still surviving fine, there were others where you could smell the desperation. The desperate dealer offered me invoice (no mark up) if I bought a car off the lot that day, and offered to buy my old car at the blue book value. They didn't have the car I wanted anyway, and I wasn't ready to buy, but that's a best case scenario.

If you absolutely MUST buy one today (and again, I recommend NOT doing that), then go in and tell them its for a test-drive only. Make it clear you are not ready to buy. Take the test drive, see if they offer to give you some numbers. Act very reluctant, like you are in a hurry and just want them to write some numbers down so you can leave, because you haven't even settled on wanting this car yet. If you were going to go with your mom, maybe even go in without her, so it appears all the more as if you aren't ready to buy (well my mom isn't even here...). Be ready to talk out at any moment, and if they wont write figures down, just leave immediately and move on to another dealer in town. If you get good numbers off a dealer, then you can consider acting like you are reluctantly interested. You have to keep behaving as if you really don't want to buy today, and being on the verge of leaving, or actually leaving. If you want to trade-in the old car, don't give them the keys or the car, or your drivers license, as this is a way for them to keep you there.

Good luck!
posted by Joh at 1:10 PM on May 10, 2009

"p.s. We know nothing about cars "
You don't need to know anything about cars, you just need to know about that car, and not in the mechanical sense. Do your internet research first, read the manufacturers website and car reviews online. Know what all the options are, which ones you actually want, and which ones you don't want, and which ones you can live with. Have a list. See if the dealer has a list of their inventory on their website, so you can look through and pick one. Ordering a car where you choose everything will not get you as good a deal as buying one they already have on the lot, because they are already paying for that one, which is just sitting there, eating their money. Do not buy a 2010 model year car, buy a 2009 (or even a 2008 if they have any new still) as they will be keen to get rid of them to make space for the 2010s.
posted by Joh at 1:15 PM on May 10, 2009

Best answer: Current rebates for Chevrolet in Canada seems to indicate that you'll get 0% financing, 8.9% leasing or $7,300 discount if paying in cash. So that should be your minimum. The site I linked to supposedly also answers your "how much does the dealer pay" question for the cost of $40.

You and your mom should watch this video before going about buying a car. A bit of extra effort can save you thousands.
posted by furtive at 2:21 PM on May 10, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you both, so far.

The good news is that the dealership was closed so my mom did not buy a car on impulse. I share everyone's sense that cars shouldn't be bought on impulse. The bad news is that I've used my AskMe for this week just a few days before I go to Iceland and I would surely have found my question more useful for something Iceland related, but oh well.

Basically, she's been eyeing this car for months and she drove past the dealership today and the price had dropped dramatically (oh, and we drove there again, and she just mis-saw as she was driving past).I'm watching the video now and it's great. Now that the price is not dramatically low, hopefully she can wait a few weeks til I'm back in town and think about buying more deliberatively.

So I hereby modify my question for anyone still reading: My mom wants to buy a Chevy Uplander with some slim possibility that she'd be open to some similarly cheap other mini-van. Any advice related to this purchase would be greatly appreciated. Additional details possibly relevant to negotiation: I'm a woman. She's a middle-aged woman with an accent. And again neither one of us know anything about cars. The chance of being screwed here seems high, so basically I want to minimize it.

The video looks great and I may well pay $40 to find out about the price the dealer pays, since even with competitive bidding I'm guessing a woman is going to get an inflated prices.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:26 PM on May 10, 2009

I don't have too much to add except that I am a woman too and bought a new car in the GTA just over a year ago and did not feel the salepeople were sexist or out to get me and I definately did not get screwed. I think it really depends on the dealer though. Car prices (especially GM's) are not going to go up over the next month so she should be able to wait for your moral support when you get back. Have a great time in Iceland!
posted by saucysault at 5:30 PM on May 11, 2009

I'd reccomend going here.

I bought my last car through this service and with a membership fee, they quote the dealer costs on most major brands. You can even buy via APA with the commision as a separate line item. No haggling required. You have to pay to sign up, but if you are serious about buying a car, it's worth the fee IMO. If you think you can do better negotiating, then go ahead and if it turns out you can't, you have this as a fall back position.
posted by rooster416 at 5:47 PM on May 14, 2009

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