Doing your research and having the right attitude when shopping for a new car helps ensure you receive the best price, as close to the dealer's net cost as possible. Since dealers often receive “holdback” from the manufacturer, which is reimbursement for keeping the car in stock for 90 days, they pay up to 3 percent less for the car than the actual invoice price. This allows you to negotiate and receive a better deal.
Research the type of car you are purchasing. Use sites, such as CarsDirect.com, AutoTrader.com and NADA.com, and compare prices. Have an idea of the manufacture’s price of the new car before visiting the car dealer.
Obtain financing before visiting the dealer. Having the funds available increases your negotiating power. Carry a copy of the pre-approval letter with you.
Go car shopping on a day during the week--instead of the weekend--when the dealership is not busy. For instance, trying to negotiate on a Saturday is a disadvantage for you if the dealer has other customers waiting to buy a car.
Ask for the dealer's invoice when you find a car. This not only provides you with the cost of the car from the manufacturer, but how long it has been on the lot. The longer the vehicle sits on the lot, the more likely you will get a better deal.
Request information regarding cash incentives. Since the manufacture offers the dealer these incentives to sell more vehicles, most buyers do not know about them. However, knowing the models that have incentives help you get closer to the net price.
Leave and visit another new car dealer. Playing dealers against each other helps you negotiate a lower price. Prepare to walk out and not buy a car if you do not get the dealer to his net price.
Buying a new car at net price may take several days. Be patient.
- keys to the new car image by Jake Hellbach from Fotolia.com