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Smart Car Shopping

Chapter 1: A Step-By Step Guide

This chapter contains a quick reference guide in the form of bulleted lists that cover the important points to remember when you:

It can be printed and included with the information folder (See Chapter 3) that we recommend you make when vehicle shopping. Use it as a reminder of what to remember.

Read the other chapters for more detailed explanations of the strategies covered here.

Choose the right vehicleChoose the right vehicle

  • This is a big purchase and a bad decision on a vehicle is something you have to live with.
  • Forget about everyone else and buy the car that is right for you.
  • Evaluate your life, loves and labors to determine your true needs in regard to a new vehicle.
  • Be honest with yourself.
  • Discuss your choice with those in your life who are honest with you.
  • Remember the little things.
  • See the full description of the range of vehicle options available in Chapter Two of this guide.

Set the price you want to paySet the price you want to pay

  • Be informed to have the power to get a better deal.
  • Determine the Dealer's invoice price.
  • Find out about any other factors affecting profit margin, for example, dealer incentives or a lot full of slow moving, over-supplied vehicles.
  • Remember the holdback.
  • Negotiate for a good deal.
  • Offer the invoice price for your opening bid (Don't forget options and incentives).
  • Separate your extras from your offer, add these in to the equation afterwards to determine your Total Cost. Extras include any applicable customer rebates, dealer advertising cost, sales tax and freight.
  • To calculate Total Cost
    1. Take the dealer's invoice price.
    2. Add the dealers invoice cost of any desired options.
    3. Deduct at least 50% of any dealer incentive.
      The total after these 3 steps is your opening bid.
      Let the salesperson know that you are basing your bid on the three considerations listed above and that the extras will be included later.
    4. Deduct any customer rebate.
    5. Add applicable taxes.
    6. Add the Freight Charge.
      Add the dealer advertising fee.
      The total after these 7 steps is your Total Cost.

TIP: When dealers compete for your business - You Save!

Compare dealer prices from multiple discount dealers in your area using Edmunds.

With multiple price quotes you'll be able to get the best deal on the vehicle you want.

It's the fast, easy and headache free way to shop!

Although checks with auto manufacturers and their representatives to confirm the accuracy of the data, it makes no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied with respect to the data presented here. All specifications, prices and equipment are subject to change without notice.

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