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How do YOU negotiate purchase price for a new car?

19 April 2005
San Jose, CA
Im sure this has been discussed before but searching didnt really uncover anything.

When purchasing a new car....do you have any general practices on negotiating a purchase price?

I tend to try and make it sweet and short and shoot for sticker OTD.
That represents roughly a 10-11% discount off the sticker price.

Its worked for me on a few cars but then it got me wondering...am I even close to getting a good deal or am I just throwing money away trying to do it as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Im accompanying a friend who is purchasing a new G35 coupe. I beleive sticker is ~35k. What would you shoot for and why?
These are the steps I follow:

1. Do some research on that vehicle
2. Find market value (invoice/msrp/etc....)
3. Set up your own $$$ figures
4. Go in the dealership and make your offer...if they don't like it, tell them you'll go elsewhere :wink:
I agree, you need to do all your research in advance. But I don't think you should use the "make your offer, else walk" strategy. I think you need your starting price, which should be slightly unrealistically low, and your "max" -- a dollar amount that you will not exceed, no matter what. This gives you and the dealer room to negotiate. Of course, if he never comes below your max, then you walk :smile:. That's really the most important thing -- never be afraid to just walk away without the car.
Do what everyone else does. Look on the internet and find the invoice price, subtract the holdback and offer us $5000 less :tongue: :biggrin:
First, I would find out what car you want: Colors, Options, Warranties, etc.

Next I would compose an e-mail or letter to the dealers you are considering purchasing from that states the following: exact vehicle you are interested in, your contact info, method of payment and purchase timetable. I would ask them to provide an itemized quote for the car out the door, with the understanding that the car will be serviced where it is purchased. I would assure them you do not intend on either negitiating the price down any further, or paying one dollar higher than that price out the door before moving to the next dealer down the list.

But that is just me - I hate the whole new car purchase process and that is my way around it.
When I bought my 2nd NSX I said I'll pay cash and promised I would cruise a lot through the region (that's what the dealer wanted as an advertisement for his dealership and the model). Both reduced the sticker price from 165,000 Deutschmarks to about 145,000 back in '98.
Did months of research at home(on line). Talked with then current owners. Read lots of articles about them. Looked at manufacturer history.
Decided on car then went to dealer that was competition for the company I work for and told them to make me a better offer....and they did. :biggrin:
kbb.com to determine invoice price and add whatever you want dealer to have for a profit. it is not too often dealers go into holdback on a car. profit will depend on supply and demand of car. econ 101.

i think g35 coupe still has a good demand on them.

ex. i just bought 05 F250 SD 6.0 diesel at invoice + $500 profit and spiffed sales guy $100. i wanted him to make more than $50 bucks. i could have got the truck invoice but did not want to spend all day at the dealership to save $400-500
It all depends on the car in question.

Some cars, like enthuiast cars, it's tough to negotiate.

Try getting a new Ford GT at list for example.

If the car is not very popular, it gets easier to negotiate.


PS and somewhat off topic...

I think those first year wacky stratospheric prices that many Acura dealers were asking for, in many ways, hurt the long term sales success of the NSX. I was all ready to purchase in 1991 and walked away when the dealer wanted $20K more than list. I'm not against letting the market decide the price, but in this case I think it's one reason why Acura has been less than successful with selling the NSX in the numbers they anticipated.
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rs250 said:
ex. i just bought 05 F250 SD 6.0 diesel at invoice + $500 profit and spiffed sales guy $100. i wanted him to make more than $50 bucks. i could have got the truck invoice but did not want to spend all day at the dealership to save $400-500

If you don't mind, PM if you like, what did you pay for your truck?
Get Triple A (AAA) to do the work.
If you're a member, call em up, tell them exactly what you want - car, model, trim, options etc, and they'll have a fleet manager call you up.

No BS, upselling, regular salesman to deal with.