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Help This Reader! How Do YOU Save When Buying A New Car?

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Check out this question from Hip2Save reader, Amy…

So I was researching online but there are so many sites and options when it comes to buying a new car. I was wondering if your readers have any advice on buying a new car like what sites to use or if it is better to go to the dealership and haggle for hours. I don’t have hours to spend especially with a toddler.

Thank you so much! I love the Hip2Save community and they helped me so much! 


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Comments 80

  1. Reuben

    NEVER buy new! Check what the car is worth on kbb.com. Offer the dealer around private party price and you know your getting a good deal. Be firm with your price and be ready to walk out the door. Check out offleaseonly.com. They seem to have good prices if you don’t mind a trip to Florida. That is where I plan to buy my next one. Many of them have been in fender benders though.

  2. becky

    Just traded my gently used for new yesterday. I researched all the models I was interested in ahead of time. Every dealership should have dealer incintives listed and most of the time you will get a lower apr or rebates (Ford Focus currently has $3,000 rebates). Then I went to autotrader.com where i could look up 3 different makes and compare features, safety ratings, etc. I ended up trading my 2013 Fusion for a 2017 Fusion with the same payments but now I have 5 yrs of warranty.
    Sometimes buying used is the better option and sometimes you are in a situation where you have to purchase new (i was) so research is the best option.

  3. Suzanne H

    Research, research, research and don’t wait until you are desperate to buy!!! Figure out a fair price based on the dealer’s cost for the car. When you go to the dealership know which make, model, features, etc. you want but be prepared to be flexible on things like color (insisting on a certain color frequently adds to the bottom line). Do not let them add on extras like pinstripes, etc. that you don’t want to pay for. Insist that the car come with a full tank of gas, floor mats, washed/waxed and less than 100 miles on it (for free). Tell them the price you will pay including all taxes, tags and titling costs (you can find those for your state/locality online). Be prepared to walk away because, if you did your research, they are not going to say yes to that price immediately. It may take a month or more – they will give you the deal when they need to sell an extra car to make their incentive from the automaker. It’s never taken me more than 2 months though. I once had a salesman come within $100 of my price and my husband wanted to cave. I said, “no, I told you what I was willing to pay.” They met my price about a week later. Be respectful but don’t be wishy washy. You don’t want to waste their time nor have them waste yours. Contact multiple dealers and tell them all what price you are willing to pay. Research price points for dealerships within a reasonable driving distance – I once bought a car about 50 miles away and saved over $2k because it was in a smaller city and they were more desperate for business. Check around to see if it makes sense to buy new or used. I almost bought used once and ended up paying less for the same car (but brand new) after negotiating. That said, my current car was bought when it was 15 months old with 12k miles on it. Owners were desperate to get out from under their car payment. I ended up getting $10k+ off of the original price – definitely worth buying used. Also, best if you can pay cash or do your own financing (HELOC or your own bank loan). They like to lure you in with financing options so they can up the price of the vehicle. Know what you are paying including all of the interest if you do finance. Don’t fall for the “only $xxx per month” gimmick. Know your bottom line. Good luck!

  4. Cheryl S

    From experience — go to your local credit union for financing. We made the mistake of using dealership financing when we purchased, but we refinanced a few years later, and our payment went down by hundreds of dollars monthly. Credit Unions usually have much lower interest rates.

  5. JCS

    Research, test drive and know exactly what you are looking for prior to speaking to any sales people about pricing. Once you know the make, model, features, etc. that you want and the price you’re willing to pay, you may begin the negotiation process. My advice would be to call several dealerships in your area and ask them to give you the absolute best total price on the car in writing (email so you don’t have to travel to multiple places). Ask them to include all fees and do not discuss monthly payments. Then tell them you’re calling all the dealerships in the area and that they will be given the same opportunity to bid for your business. The lowest bid gets the sale and they only get one shot at it. They will always ask you what you are willing to pay, and I would avoid providing any numbers, as they may come in lower than you expect. When I purchased my car new, the sales person told me that they would beat my lowest offer by $300-$500. I told them I would not settle for anything less than $500, since that was the offer and I did get it. Timing is also essential, if you can wait and purchase a car at the end of the year. I have found that the best time to buy is the week between Christmas and New Year’s. They are anxious to get rid of the previous model year, get their bonus for the end of the month and the end of the year, and typically sales are very slow that time of year so you have more negotiation power. Finance through your bank or privately if possible. Good luck!

  6. Beth S.

    Definitely, do your research and don’t fall for the, “How much do you want your payment to be. You need to check several different credit unions because around my small town the interest rate varied by a point to a point and a half. Look at several different vehicles and call to check how much the insurance is going to be on the different vehicles, you don’t want to get something that the insurance is outrageous. I always make offers thru email so I don’t have to haggle in person. I’ve made several really good deals car shopping on the internet. I look at autotrader, car guru and cars.com. I always look at the carfax to see if the vehicle has been wrecked. I have only bought one brand new car, the others were used and much cheaper. Good luck. Hope this helps

  7. Diane

    My husbands brother is retired from Daimler-Chrysler in Illinois and his son is an engineer there. So, we always get brand new (family discount) Chrysler, Jeep & Dodge vehicles for 3% under cost and also don’t have to pay all the other fees. Then we take care of and drive our vehicles as long as possible. We haven’t had a vehicle payment for years.

  8. neverdramafree

    I just bought a new car, and one thing I learned is to make sure and ask questions, like does your company have a discount with a car brand? I also check out the Costco pricing, forget all of those website that can get you the best deal, literally within 5 minutes of signing up I got phone calls and a ton of emails from the dealership. NO thank you! Moreover, don’t let them try to talk you into coming in offering all of the incentives. I would buy new, but really I like going thru fleet sales or Costco I literally can’t stand the shark tank when you go to the car lot when you just want to test drive.

  9. 2pac

    Use one of the car buying services to get the best prices
    Some of them
    Truecar.
    Consumer reports car buying service
    I think even Costco does it

    This works out great since you mentioned you don’t have hours to spend

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