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Use these Buy New Car Tips to Get the Best Car Buying Deals in 2018!

Last Modified: August 03, 2018 by Jeff Ostroff  | Originally Published May 7, 1999

Using our car buying advice and tools, you'll get a great deal that is more than fair for the dealership. If you aren't prepared, then prepare to get ripped off, it's that simple. People have no problem taking weeks to plan a vacation, but don't spend a few hours doing research before they buy a $30,000 vehicle. You'll be able to save a ton of money by following our advice.

1. The Best Price Doesn't Mean You Got a Good Deal

A good deal means that you were treated fairly and the dealership made a reasonable profit. The most important thing you'll read here on CarBuyingTips.com is to make sure that you don't just focus on the final price. Some dealers will play the "Cash Flow Shell Game" so they can rip you off while making you think you're getting a good deal. An example:

The buyer in this example thought they were getting a good deal because of the low price, but they actually got ripped off. We'll explain all of the tricks to look out for and teach you how to avoid becoming a victim. To save the most money make sure you read the whole site. If you miss one valuable topic on CarBuyingTips.com it can cost you thousands of dollars.

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Begin by getting the lowest price using services like TrueCar, CarClearanceDeals and Cars.com. Don't be a "monthly payment buyer" and only look at the payment amount - that is the worst thing you can do. Doing this or becoming a "trade-in buyer" is exactly what the dealer wants and you'll play right into their hand. Once this happens, you'll get ripped off, I guarantee it!

2. When is the best time to buy a new car?

This is more complex than you think. The incomplete answer is there are two "best times." September and October, as dealers sell off cars to clear space for the new models. Also, December when everyone is out shopping for XMAS gifts, leaving dealer lots void of customers, motivating them to cut prices to meet year end sales goals. For complete details visit our article: Best Time to Buy a Car.

3. All Prep Work Can be Done from Your PC, Tablet or Phone

The last time I bought a vehicle I was able to do all my homework without leaving my house. In the "old days" you wasted hours at many dealerships. Luckily, the internet was invented so you don't need to leave the comfort of your couch. There are many great sites that allow you to research and get quotes. Once you have determined the best price, take your research to the dealership and calmly negotiate the best deal.

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Exclusive for our visitors, this Free Research Tool gives you special friends and family pricing. Leveraging volume purchasing power of large companies and membership groups. Choose your automobile and configure options online. Get an instant quote from a local dealer in the network. If you don't enjoy haggling, you'll love our service.

4. Invoice Prices, Rebates and Incentives

As you follow this guide, you'll find there are a few critical pieces of information that you need to make sure you're getting a great deal. They include invoice price, rebates and incentives. We'll cover these in more detail later, but you should know, when talking about rebates and incentives there are some that are advertised and some that are "secret" between the manufacturer and the dealer.

The most important thing to remember about invoice price, is that it is not the amount the dealer paid for the automobile. We show you how to calculate what the dealer actually paid later in this guide.

What are secret incentives?

Secret factory to dealer incentives can be $1,000-$6,000 in addition to known rebates! Because of secret incentives, if you pay invoice, the dealer makes extra profit. You should haggle over this incentive, as many dealers willingly give up part or all of this incentive.

Fighting Chance Package

If you want the most accurate, complete and up to date data, I'd recommend acquiring the FightingChance package. They will also talk to if you have questions as you go through the buying process.

Get more in-depth details in our chapter on dealer invoice pricing >

5. Competition Gets You the Best Deal

Enter the dealership armed with "The Car Buying Folder" that I'll talk about in Chapter 3. Once they see you're prepared, it works to your advantage. The deal will now proceed on your terms, not theirs. Don't enter a dealership without having multiple price quotes! Commissioned salespeople fear "The Folder" because they know you did your homework. Salepeople rely on uneducated buyers who don't do their research.

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Recommended Car Price Quote Sites

TrueCar is an online marketplace for automobile shopping that provides transparency into prices that others paid for their vehicles. Consumers engage with TrueCar Certified Dealers. You'll be able to research the vehicle you are interested in and get accurate pricing on in-stock dealer inventory. See your potential savings before heading to the dealership.
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CarClearanceDeals.com searches pricing from their network of dealers to find the best price. Use their simple form to select make and model and start saving. Get quotes from the maximum number of dealers to give you the upper hand.
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Cars.com gives you free, no-obligation quotes from up to 3 dealers. Select your make, model, color and options. Getting quotes from multiple dealers pressures them to give discounts.
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The CarBuyingTips.com Car Buying Service lets you get a guaranteed price quote without leaving your house. This exclusive program leverages volume buying power of large companies, employers and membership groups to get you a low price.
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Autobytel has 20,000 dealers, they give you free no hassle low price quotes, list automobile prices and dealer cost.
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Use Competition to Your Advantage, When you Buy your New Car

Competition also works to get the best rate on your loan. The dealer is not the only one that can finance your automobile, online lenders are available. Once approved, you'll have a check in hand and know your APR before stepping foot in the dealership. Use your low rate to negotiate with the dealer or use your online financing if they won't match or beat the online rate. We cover this in more detail in our auto loans chapter. Remember, price is only one component of a complete deal.

Learn about getting multiple price quotes in advance >

TrueCar gives you great baseline pricing. Check the curve to see how your quotes stack up to what other paid. If their price is better, print the Guaranteed Savings Certificate and head to the dealership for a hassle free deal. Remember, you still have to pay attention to the other aspects of the deal that we discuss.

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Next: How New Car Dealers Pad Their Pockets at Your Expense >

CarBuyingTips.com has affiliate relationships with multiple web sites. We are paid referral fees for leads or sales generated from visitors that click on some links or fill out certain forms on this site. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.