Best Way to Buy a New Car

What is the best way to buy a new car today? I know that some people buy it on the internet, and then have it delivered to their home. However, I am not willing to buy a car unless I had an opportunity to see it first and do a test drive.

In the past I would decide what car to buy and then call up several dealers in the area to ask for their best price, but it appears that most people no longer do it that way.

I recall weenut had a good system for negotiating a price on a car, perhaps he’ll chime in.

I’ve done it your way and not sure why that still wouldn’t work. With online inventory it’s easy to see which dealer has the car you want. Then just call around and shop price.

He explained his process in post #19 in this thread:

@Weenut1

Do people actually notice these tags?

It depends on the vehicle. I wouldn’t forgo a test drive either, but the old way of negotiating with a dealer wasn’t a fun experience for anyone. I just bought my Tesla and they don’t use traditional dealers; you set up a test drive and place your order, either there, or when you’re ready, from home.

If I were buying another kind of vehicle, I might do a test drive or three, then go through a car broker. Costco has them and our credit union does too. You tell them exactly what you want and they negotiate the best deal and bring it to you. That’s what we did for my wife’s last car, but that was 2009.

Typically.

I do

Yep. But I look at my notifications (blue number over my icon). Seems some people do not.

Weenut’s strategy is brilliant. The internet makes it so much easier than driving around all over the place or even calling.

One reason I felt comfortable buying off of Vroom (online only, no test drive), is because I was very familiar with the type of vehicle I was driving.
The reviews, and the price difference made the $500 gamble worth it to me.
The $500 was the delivery fee that would be forfeited if I decided to return it in 7 days or 250 miles.

My girlfriend bought a car last year on Carvana and enjoyed it so much she hopes to never walk into a dealership again.

I just helped my son buy a new Mazda CX-5 Touring with SV package. I did the test drive first and he wanted the Mazda over the Toyota Rav 4. He test drove the regular and hybrid Rav 4, He then sat in the Mazda and fell in love with the interior. He also loved the way it handled and the ability to move.

OK what I found is the dealers are back to playing the ADM game. The Toyota had 6 grand of additional junk added to the car. From vent visors, weather tech mats to after market roof rack along with paint and fabric protection.

The madza dealer had 2 grand but only the 400 dollar window tint was already installed.

I did the email thing and even used true car and the truecar came the lowest price.

What was funny 2 dealers had different prices of each other by $300 dollars as we started to see how low they would go, They were the same name dealer but at 2 different locations.

My rule was first guy gets the deal. The only surprise was a $300 dollar paint and fabric that had already been installed. Son loved the car and even with this he was the lowest price.

Definitely get car appraised at Carmax as it was true wholesale value. They all use KBB and the first Mazda dealer tried to get the trade at fair quality when its was really a good quality car and the car max quote was higher than that by $500.

I’ll add more later

That isn’t good. Leads me to believe the automakers are issuing top down edicts to their dealers about how low they can go.

I also wonder if the auto industry is fixing TrueCar somehow.

True car is owned by a couple larger auto dealers if I recall.

Its possible. I also think there is a shortage of cars on the market much like homes. Car sales are currently a sellers market. New production is down due to covid and now semiconductor shortages. Low interest rates and people flush with stimulus cash are driving prices up up and up.

Mid priced cars, like what you would buy for a new driver, are out of bounds!
We got lucky with the two we bought for our kids, right before the pandemic hit.
But I know people now that can’t find a reasonable “first” car for their kids.

My understanding it is also crazy in the truck market as well.

Inflation is going to bite hard. Just wait for the infrastructure bill and skyrocketing steel prices as demand for rebar and structural steel goes bonkers. This alone will increase the cost of a new car or truck by $1000-$2000. It will also drive the cost up of the old clunkers for the higher scrap values.

I briefly thought about holding onto my Camry for my kid, but he’s 13. He’ll turn 16 early in his sophomore year of HS, so he’ll probably need a vehicle, but I’ve wondered if I can convince him to go to college somewhere with great public transportation so he won’t need to take it.

IMO, the truck market has always been crazy.
My wife wanted me to buy truck but I have a use for one maybe twice a year. I am not paying $10,000 extra for something that I rarely use.