Right now, buying new cars can be a stressful experience. Coupled with the fact that new car prices are higher than ever, you may not get a car at the price you want. What are some ways to avoid the dealers’ signs and still walk away with a vehicle you want?
Watch out for seller notes and added fees
Depending on the type of car, truck, or sport utility vehicle you may be interested in, there may be some type of dealer branding. This surcharge can be found on the window sticker or online listing. If the vehicle you want has this mark, you may want to find a less popular model. The Kia Telluride SUV and the Ford Maverick truck have been victims of this price change recently.
The more popular the vehicle, the higher the potential dealer markup. While some brands denounce these signs (looking at you, Ford), that doesn’t mean it’s not happening every day. According to iSeeCars, this latest study took a look at 1.2 million new car listings last month and found that most new cars sit somewhere around 9.9% above MSRP.
Try searching online for your desired vehicle to see a fair price. You can check local dealers or one in another state to see what the price looks like from another dealer. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you notice any extra fees added.
Shop to avoid dealer markup on a new car
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Gabe Shenhar of Consumer Reports oversees the purchase of cars for the auto-test program. He says, “If you can’t find the exact car you want locally, try broadening your search.” Many stores and online shopping websites will have a shipping option. CarMax offers to ship to your nearest dealer for a fee.
Finding a good deal can be worth it, even if there is a shipping fee. Some sellers have more success with additional seller notes, and others don’t put much faith in the practice. It depends on the owner and the brand.
Shenhar suggests taking a photo of the window sticker to see all fees and taxes. You can negotiate over the phone and then show up to sign the documents. While it still requires some work and preparation, shopping around can get you a better deal in the long run.
Know the trade-in value of your vehicles before you go to the market
You can use several tools to evaluate your trade-in before going to the dealership. Kelley Blue Book has the My Car’s Value tool to help evaluate your trade-in. Does Consumer Reports value your car? tool. You enter your car’s make, model, and model information. Add the mileage, condition of the vehicle and anything else that might affect the value. Consumer Reports will give you an estimate of trade-in value or private party pricing.
Buying a popular car like the Kia Telluride almost certainly means a dealership brand. Instead, try the 2022 Hyundai Palisade. The SUVs are nearly identical, but the Palisade isn’t marked down nearly as often.
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