2) Get Car Price Quotes
Now it’s time to make dealers compete against each other for your business. For step 2 in our “how to buy a car” resource, there are no good shortcuts, and you’ll need to do a little legwork yourself so that you can truly get the best price for your new vehicle. Bears are strong, and they always get the sweetest deals. Be the Bear.
We’re beary serious when we say that you could save over $1,500—when you take the time to price shop for your vehicle. Here’s how you’re going to do it.
“Be The Bear” in 3 Easy Steps
Bottom line: You can’t rely on or trust online car pricing services to find you the best price. Most make their money by serving auto dealerships. The New York Times has written that buyers who do the legwork themselves (as we recommend) can save more than $1,500 over using such services. Yes, you read that correctly: $1,500. That kind of money could buy your cubs a lot of honey.
So here’s the plan: Call or email 3 or more dealers to ask for their best “out the door” price—in writing, including all taxes, titles and other fees—on the car you’ve selected. Click here to download our script and organizer to help you negotiate like a pro.
Now isn’t the time to discuss financing or trade-ins. You need to keep these transactions totally separate in order to get the best deal on each.
Step 1: Find the Right Person to Talk To
It’s important to get to the right person when you call or email a dealership. Ask for the “internet sales manager” or “fleet manager”. If he or she’s not available, ask for an email address and follow up using our language below.
Step 2: Make Contact
Here’s what you say or type:
“I am shopping for a [year, make, model, with any important features]. I saw [VIN #] listed on your website, and I’m interested in buying it. Please email me the [buyer’s purchase order for new cars or bookout sheet for used cars] with your best price, including all taxes, registration, and processing fees. My email address is [your email address]. I'm asking a few dealerships in the area for quotes on similar cars, and I’ll go with the best offer. What is your email address and direct telephone number so I can follow up?”
Step 3: Stand Up For Yourself
The advantage of a phone call is that you know you have the salesperson’s attention. The disadvantage? You might have to hear a big sales runaround. Keep in mind that you’re making a very expensive purchase—the dealership isn’t doing you a favor by selling you a car. If the dealership won’t work with you on your terms, find another dealership that will. Here are some suggested responses to some common, and ridiculous, sales lines:
Now you’re ready learn about trade ins.