Buying a new car is usually not the cheapest option when you’re replacing your vehicle. In fact, you usually won’t save any money by replacing the vehicle in the first place. But, since the point of life isn’t to pinch every penny, you’ll likely decide at some point to replace your vehicle, possibly even with a new vehicle.
Some people love the car shopping process. They like test driving all the new cars, trying out all the features, and even like haggling with the dealers. I don’t. I want to be able to walk into the dealership, pay up and sign the appropriate papers, and still walk out with a good deal. You’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “dream on”.
A few months ago we were thinking about replacing our car and I came across this post at Money Under 30 that tells you how to score the best deal on a new car with a single email. Unfortunately, this really only works with a new car. You also should have decided on a make and model already.
I was wanting to trade in my bare-bones 2 door 2011 Hyundai Accent, no AC, manual transmission, valued at $3,000 according to Kelly Blue Book. I was looking for a 4 door 2016 Hyundai Accent with AC and auto transmission, valued at $16,000 according to Kelly Blue Book. So with the KBB values, I’d be looking at paying $13,000 plus tax, title, registration, and dealer fees. And the dealer fees are the part I hate most about car shopping, since they are usually tacked on after negotiations, and often are pretty exorbitant. So, since I was interested in a new car, and basically knew what car I wanted, I figured I’d try out the email strategy.
Even though the Money Under 30 post recommended emailing several dealers, I just started with the one that I had bought my previous car from. This dealer is 3 hours away, and there’s a Hyundai dealer in my area, so I figured I had enough leverage.
Hi Fidale,I’m looking around to replace the 11 Accent I bought from you with a 16 Accent. Eying the SE sedan (auto transmission). I’ll probably go with Stew Hansen here in Des Moines, but I figured I’d give you a chance to quote me your best deal.Dan Palmer
I want to earn your business just like before. I can trade you for a difference of $7400.25. This number already includes tax and title. Only your license plates have not been factored in. When can we close this deal?
Not only was his offer $5,500 lower than KBB values, it already factored in the tax and title, and seemed to have factored in the dealer fees. I called him up to confirm that dealer fees were also factored in. They were.
Perhaps I might have landed a better deal if I had emailed 10 dealers or so, as Money Under 30 suggested. And perhaps I got lucky because I was shopping for a new ’16 Accent just before the ’17 Accents were going to be hitting the lot. And maybe I could have haggled even more for a better deal. The point is, I avoided the entire torturous car shopping ‘experience’ with a single email exchange. I walked into the dealership, paid for the car, signed a few papers and walked out with a good deal. That’s the way car shopping should be.
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- While I do strive to only write accurate information and dispense valuable advice, I am not a licensed financial adviser. All information is based solely on my personal experience and personal research and should be treated as such. Find out more.