It was only a few years ago that a limited number of dealers would provide new car price quotes, but things are very different today. The Internet has changed the car the way that people shop for and buy cars. Today you would be hard pressed to find a dealership that wont supply a price quote on a specific vehicle if you ask for one and if they don’t I can assure you that they wont be around very long. However there are some things you need to know about these figures and how to analyze these quotes for truthfulness.
Since practically all car dealers are willing to supply you with a new car price quote today and the simple fact that all car dealers pay the same price for a new car they needed to find a way to outshine their competing dealerships. They want you to visit their car dealership before their competitor and they believe that the best way to do that is to provide you with the lowest price on a new car. Sounds logical, but the accuracy of many dealers’ price quotes are questionable.
What You Should Know About New Car Price Quotes
The first thing you should know about getting new car price quotes from a car dealership is that verbal doesn’t cut the mustard and neither does the scribbling’s of a car salesman on the back of their business card when you are on your way out. These two types of price quotes are the easiest to dispute and they usually are once you get back to the car dealer. These types of price quotes serve no other purpose than to get you in to the car dealership or to get you to come back. When you show up at the dealership and talk about a verbal quote you will soon discover that the particular person that gave you numbers is gone for the day. You may also find out that the salesman you talked to is not qualified to give you a verbal price or they forgot to tell you it was only for a particular vehicle that was sold only minutes ago, either way you quote is worthless and you have to start over from scratch.
In my book the only new car price quote that is legitimate is a written quote received in person, through the mail or via email. The price quote should contain a stock # or VIN number (vehicle identification number aka serial number) of the specific you requested. It should show the MSRP price and the sale price of the vehicle. It will have dealer disclaimer stating that it does not include tax, title, license and doc fees. It should also state whether the price includes rebates and/or incentives. It should also be made clear whether or not the price includes destination. You should confirm that the price doesn’t include any discount for which you may not qualify such as military or graduate programs.
A New Car Price Quote Is Not a Contract
Even if you revive the quote described above that does not mean you have a formal agreement. You find that some dealers will honor the new car price quote, but when it comes to completing the vehicle purchase will add charges such as destination charge, dealer prep fee, handling charge, accessories that are already installed, services rendered like paint and fabric protection or some other charge that was never disclosed so make sure you read all of the documents carefully before you sign them.
When new car price quotes are too good to be true or considerably lower than the other price quotes you have received be careful. Dealers need to make up for an unusually low price somewhere and if you are not trading in a car or financing they need to find somewhere to add some profit to the deal. I am not saying that all dealers use sneaky and deceptive practices, but you need to be careful. Some dealers will actually sell a car for zero (0) profit and hope they can make it up on financing, warranties, add-ons and trade-ins. It’s a numbers game and most buyers will buy these extra items, accept the add-ons, finance their new vehicle, purchase warranties and have trade-ins. Follow this car buying guide on this site and you will make a great deal on your next car.
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