Get the Best Price on a New Car With 4 Simple Steps
For this article, we partnered with Find The Best Car Price.com for their expertise on how to buy a new car at the best possible price. Unlike used cars, new cars are the same no matter where you buy them. As long as you compare the same trim and options, the only difference between dealerships should be the price of the car.
(New to AutoTempest? AutoTempest is the #1 rated way to find used cars online. We bring together the most used car listings from around the web to help find the ideal car for you. Find your ideal car now!)
So why not do some comparison shopping and see which dealer will offer you the best price?
In fact, if you negotiate with multiple dealers at once, you can systematically reduce the price of a new car to get the best possible deal.
You’ll want to figure out the type of car you want before you start the negotiation process. The AutoTempest car reviews tool can be a big help in determining what car you'd like to purchase.
When you’re ready to start the buying process, email multiple car dealers and ask them to compete with each other. You won't have to buy a car online, but you can settle on a low price before going to the dealership to sign paperwork and pay for your car.
Email negotiation can be broken down into four simple steps to buying a new car:
Get free car price quotes.
AutoTempest provides a free new car quotes tool to quickly and easily request quotes from up to five dealers near you. Enter the car you're looking for and choose from the list of dealerships. (We recommend choosing the maximum five, since the more competing quotes, the better for you.) The dealers you choose will email you with offers, usually within 24 hours.
If you like, CarsDirect also offers a similar quotes tool that you can compare with ours to get even more quotes.
Ask car dealers to get specific.
Many of the responses you receive from car dealers will be vague. But that doesn’t matter because all you really want is a salesperson contact from each dealership. Once you know who to talk to, send an email asking for a clear car price quote. (To get you started, try this email template from our partner, FindTheBestCarPrice.com.) Be sure to ask them to include ALL applicable fees, taxes, levies, charges, etc. That allows you to compare apples to apples, and may be helpful when it comes time to close the deal too.
Organize and compare quotes
Track all your emails and car dealer responses in a car price comparison worksheet like this one. To prepare for negotiations, order each quote from most expensive to least expensive.
Systematically ask dealers to beat your best price.
Email each car dealer and ask them, “Can you beat this price?” (get an email template here). Work your way down the list of dealers starting with the one who provided the most expensive quote. As you ask each dealer to beat your best offer, be sure to keep updating that “best offer” each time a dealer responds with a new, lower price.
Let’s look at an example of these email car negotiation steps in action.
If you have a trade-in, there's just one more step. Remember all that really matters is the 'net' price. If one dealer asks $20,000 for the new car and offers you $5,000 for your old one, that’s the same as a place asking $23,000 for the new car and offering you $8,000 for the trade. In both cases the net cost is $15,000.
So if you're trading in, you'll want to get quotes for your trade-in from all the top dealerships on your list. If one is willing to pay you more than another, it may make up for a higher quote on the new car. Before you talk trade-in though, make sure you check out our article, Get the Most for Your 'Old' Car.
After you've reached a satisfactory price, ask the dealer to email you the VIN number and the final “out the door price” for the car so you have something in writing. Make sure that no additional fees are added to this quote (since you did originally ask them to include everything). When you go to sign on the dotted line, it's entirely likely they will still try to sneak in some additional fees or options, but hold firm. You have an email stating “out the door price”, and shouldn't pay for any fees, options, etc. not listed there. (If they claim they have 'no choice' in charging a specific fee, you can politely insist that they decrease the price to compensate for it.)
That's it! When you are finished, you should have a great deal on a new car!
To get started, try our dealer quotes tool!
You can also check out our full list of car buying advice guides and tools.