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Seven Secrets To Help You Save Thousands Of Dollars When Buying A Car In The USA

The process of buying a car in America is fundamentally different from what we are used to at home. We have it like: come to a car dealership, look after the car, if you like the price, you don't like it - pay. In the United States, when buying even a brand-new car that has just rolled off the assembly line, you can and should bargain. The cost that you see in the showroom or on the website is not at all the price for which you can buy a car. It is quite possible to get a discount of several thousand dollars here, depending on the brand of the car and its initial cost. Further - from the first person.

Photo: Shutterstock

I'll say right away: I bought only one car in the USA, but my husband worked in the automotive business for many years and knows him from A to Z. So these are, rather, his secrets, not mine 🙂 I draw your attention that we will only talk about buying new car in the showroom and all advice is based on how the process works in California. Perhaps other states have their own nuances.

1. Find out the price in advance

When you have decided what kind of car you want, check on the sites Truecar и Edmunds its cost. Truecar, as a rule, shows the lowest price for which you are likely to buy the car you are interested in. On the site Edmunds you can compare what prices for cars are offered by nearby salons. However, in order to view them, you need to leave your data on the site: name, surname, email and phone number. You look and compare prices - car dealerships get your contacts. And then the "hunt" begins for you, which is very beneficial for you, a potential buyer, because thanks to the competition of salons, you can bargain for the best conditions for yourself.

2. Go shopping online

Many car dealerships now have special departments that work with customers who came from the Internet. It is important for sellers to lure you into the salon, so they are ready to offer fairly low prices. Here you can proceed as follows. Send requests for the car you are interested in to all more or less nearby salons (determine the distance you are ready to travel for a good deal) and choose the cheapest offer, even if it is far away and the car is not the color you want. Then announce this price to other salons and find out if they can outbid it and sell the car even cheaper. This maneuver can be done several times.

On the subject: 20 questions to ask a car dealer before buying a car

3. Bargain

Bargaining is also worth it when you have already come to the store. The policy of car dealerships may differ: some are more willing to give discounts, some are less. But everyone drops the price.

When the cost of a car is about 30 thousand dollars and more, it is quite possible to get a discount in 10-15%.

But keep in mind: if this is a new model and relatively few cars have entered the market, the salon may not reduce the price.

4. See invoice

Photo: Shutterstock

Ask the seller for an invoice for the car. Again - some salons may not give it, but usually they do show it. The real cost of the car can be determined by the invoice.

The price of the car on the invoice will be already less than the MSRP (Manufacturer's suggested retail price - manufacturer's recommended retail price). The seller may say that the invoice indicates their final price, but this is not entirely true, since it usually includes the costs of local advertising. Therefore, you may well bring down another 2-4% of the invoice price. If this is a luxury car, then even more.

5. Choose the right time

The best time to buy a car is the last days of the month or year. There is internal competition between the salons in terms of the number of cars sold. And if at the beginning of the month the salons look more at the profit they receive from the sale of cars, then at the end of the month they are chasing the numbers of cars sold. Then you can look forward to a really good deal.

In addition, on big holidays (Independence Day, Labor Day, Presidents Day, etc.), salons offer good discounts, so it makes sense to time the purchase on a public holiday.

6. Decide on additional services

Some salons are ready to sell you a car either with zero profit for themselves, or even go into negative territory. The secret is that they often receive their main income thanks to additional services, such as an extended warranty (extended warranty), prepaid service (prepaid maintenance) etc. Therefore, even if you, bargaining for a car, fight for every dollar, but then buy all these additional services during registration, the salon will remain with a good profit.

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If you have decided for yourself in advance that you are planning to buy additional services, tell the seller about it - he will be more willing to reduce the price of the car. At the same time, it is worth calling the nearest salons in advance and finding out how much they have for such services. You can also bargain when registering these services.

If you do not plan to buy additional services, do not say anything to the seller, otherwise it may be more difficult to get a favorable price.

7. Consider other financial factors.

Often car manufacturers offer special conditions to buyers with a good credit rating. For example, a refund of a certain amount (alarm) or super beneficial interest on the loan. When we bought the car, Toyota offered either a refund of $ 1000 (in fact, this amount is deducted upon purchase), or an interest rate of 0,9%. We chose the latter - with such a rate, we will need to overpay less than $ 25 for a loan of $ 5 thousand in 600 years. As a rule, such a low rate is a more advantageous offer than a refund, but it all depends on your individual situation - for how long you take out a loan and whether you are going to repay it ahead of schedule.

Buyers of all-electric or hybrid vehicles (but only those that are able to travel a certain distance solely on electricity) can count on compensation from the state - up to $ 7,500. For example, we bought Prius Prime Plug-in Hybridwhich, when fully charged, can travel 25 miles (40 km. - Ed.) solely on electricity. This model was more expensive than usual Prius, but customers who buy it receive bоmore compensation. We have already received a $ 500 PG&E check and still have a $ 4,500 tax credit to file our tax return. Compensation amounts for all electric and hybrid vehicles can be viewed here.

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Personal experience: how we bought our car in the USA

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Why I love America: three confessions of our immigrants

How to get a driver's license without a social security number

Three ways to check car history for free

Everything you need to know about auto insurance in the US

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