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My general buying practice is the I ignore all the marketing nonsense, incentives, and other dealer slight of hand nonsense. I find what I want from a dealer and ask them for their best drive off the lot price. That includes everything including tax and filing fees. I shop different dealerships and ask for the same thing on similar vehicle I am looking at. I let each of them know I am also asking the same of other dealers. You might call it an open bidding process. Even if we are getting close to terms on a new vehicle purchase, I will tell them I am going to lunch and consider the deal before committing to it.

Whoever can come up with the best deal gets the sale. And one doesn't even have to go with a dealer that has the exact vehicle you want. A vehicle can be driven or transported to any other dealer. I have have struck deals at dealerships and they had the vehicle I wanted brought to them from another dealer. One of them over 200 miles away out of state on a deal I made back in 2006.

And the drive off the lot price negates the shuffling of me from 1st sales guy to sales manager to financial manager nonsense that goes on in dealerships. If the guy who greets me out front cannot complete a deal, then show me the person who can. I am not going to shuffle between sales staff and managers. That is a dealership gimmick that only works to their advantage. All I am going to pay is what the agreed drive off the lot price is. No add ons later, no additional filing fees, no dealer prep, no delivery charges, none of that. If they didn't roll all that into the drive off the lot price, then that is their fault. They try to play those games, i walk. I always have financing (if needed) pre-arranged before I ever start this process, so that is not part of any discussion at a dealership. Now, after we make the agreed sale price, I will tell them of any financing I have arranged and let them have a shot at beating what I have arranged. But it is not ever part of the sale. Only after the sale.

And any price off the lot we agree to does not include any trade, even if I intend to do a trade in. That is totally separate deal and is only discussed after the agreement on the sale price of the new vehicle. As far as the dealer knows, while we are coming to terms on the new vehicle, it is a cash buy off the lot. After we agree to that, then we can discuss my trade if I am considering that. The terms of the new vehicle are already in place. The value of the trade is a separate deal. None of the the slight of hand nonsense where pit one vehicle against the other and play number tricks. If we cannot come to a fair trade, no problem. I will run a free ad in my local trader rag and post up in my local credit union and sell it myself.

Not everyone's style to do things this way, but I find it avoids a lot of screwing over and hassles. If anything, both of us will feel equally screwed. That is the definition of a fair deal in the legal sector.
 

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Copperhead:

I do the same thing. I never set foot in a dealership to buy unless I have a written statement with an agreed-to-out-the-door-all-inclusive-price (including that stupid “dealer fee”, which is just a, 20-year now on-going, scam to jack up the sale price at the very last minute to unsuspecting buyers. Should be legislated out - just like the blatant fraud of the “double markup sticker” back in the 80’s)! Funny how these “dealer fees” started out small (Quirk Ford in Boston hit me with a $90 “paperwork fee” in 1998 ... first time I saw it), but today you can find these fees as high as $700!!!!)

Anyway - what happened to the OP? I see he got what he wanted, but some dealer drove 300 miles to trade a Denali for what - (?) another Denali (?) ... why? He was so excited he left no details...

And you know, I agree with the “don’t accept anything less than 20% off” advice - because new cars have boatloads of profit margin built into them (I don’t care *what* the propaganda numbers say), but I’ve found that you’re typically not gonna get that *during* the model year - unless you find a desperate dealer (or sales are just *really* sluggish and inventories are piling up). You can surely get it as a leftover (the following calendar year), but even then - it depends on *which dealer* is holding that leftover. A smaller volume dealer will still resist and hold out for the guy who walks in and buys it for 10-15% off. I’ve seen dealers hold units for a year, year-and-a-half, even *two years* AFTER the model year run hoping for that sap who’ll walk in and buy at the “off-the-truck” price two years ago. It’s crazy, but apparently it happens often enough to encourage the waiting.

Here’s some simple advice for people looking for their “best deal”: don’t buy local (unless your “local” dealer is a big-volume dealer). I think they take you for granted ... even see you as “lazy”, or someone who thinks the local dealer is just there to supply the town with cars at zero-profit deals. Generally-speaking, the larger the dealer, the better the deal, but it depends on timing, too.

And for God’s sake, IF you’re gonna go into a dealership, *never* “show your cards”. Always look disinterested. Don’t give gratuitous information out like, “my car just got totaled”, or “I have GM dollars to use on this purchase”.

Stuff like that just puts you in a very bad position right off the bat...
 
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For the last 3 new cars I've purchased over the past ten years I research what the new vehicle is worth, what my trade is worth and ask the dealer what the difference would be. It doesn't really matter whether they come down on the new vehicle or go up on my trade, my only concern is how much I write the check for to cover the difference. With my '18 Equinox Premier I did go with dealer/GM financing to get another $2000, made one payment then paid it off.
 

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With my '18 Equinox Premier I did go with dealer/GM financing to get another $2000, made one payment then paid it off.
But had you negotiated a price of say, $8,000+ off MSRP, no way are they gonna give you $2,000 more off with no guarantee they’d get it back on the financing.

It’s like those “zero percent” deals: I’d *always* qualify for it, but I never bother to ask because they’re not gonna give it to you *with* the rebates. It’s one or the other. I think you pretty much pay sticker (or close to sticker) on a “zero percent” deal. It’s smoke and mirrors...
 

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It’s like those “zero percent” deals: I’d *always* qualify for it, but I never bother to ask because they’re not gonna give it to you *with* the rebates. It’s one or the other. I think you pretty much pay sticker (or close to sticker) on a “zero percent” deal. It’s smoke and mirrors...

You're right, it's one or the other, but both are on top of the best deal you make.
You need to do the math to see which option is cheaper.
 

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It’s like those “zero percent” deals: I’d *always* qualify for it, but I never bother to ask because they’re not gonna give it to you *with* the rebates. It’s one or the other. I think you pretty much pay sticker (or close to sticker) on a “zero percent” deal. It’s smoke and mirrors...

You're right, it's one or the other, but both are on top of the best deal you make.
You need to do the math to see which option is cheaper.
Well, I don’t want the payments, so I don’t bother. I bought my first new car at 23. My older, wiser brother told me, “you better finance and make payments to build a credit history”. I listened to him, but after 9 months decided it was stupid to be making payments when I had the money, so I just paid it off. 30 years later, I’ve never had a car payment since, and I’m not gonna start now - even if the math says I could save a few bucks over 4-6 years worth of payments. Just too much aggravation for me.
 

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But had you negotiated a price of say, $8,000+ off MSRP, no way are they gonna give you $2,000 more off with no guarantee they’d get it back on the financing.

It’s like those “zero percent” deals: I’d *always* qualify for it, but I never bother to ask because they’re not gonna give it to you *with* the rebates. It’s one or the other. I think you pretty much pay sticker (or close to sticker) on a “zero percent” deal. It’s smoke and mirrors...
On our 2017 ( bought in Aug 2017 ) we got "all" the rebates being offered, plus the employee rebate and the 0 % financing. We even negotiated a trade value for our 2013 Trax equivalent to one for sale on their used lot. Not sure if it was due to clearing out the 2017 on the lot or because we purchased the extended warranty offered, maybe both ?
 

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On our 2017 ( bought in Aug 2017 ) we got "all" the rebates being offered, plus the employee rebate and the 0 % financing. We even negotiated a trade value for our 2013 Trax equivalent to one for sale on their used lot. Not sure if it was due to clearing out the 2017 on the lot or because we purchased the extended warranty offered, maybe both ?
Well, we'd have to see *all the details* of your deal to determine what you actually got. That means *real numbers* - including what you paid for the Extended Warranty. And *then* after all the smoke clears, and the mirrors are pushed aside, we can qualify the deal you got.

And, BTW, if you bought a 2017 in August of 2017, they weren't 'clearing them out' at that point. WAY too early for that. Big dealers will 'clear them out' at year's end, while mid-sized dealers will hold them into the following calendar year (typically as late as Spring). But then you have the smaller dealers holding them a year, year-and-a-half, ... even TWO years hoping (beyond all hope) that someone walks in and buys at their inflated asking/advertised price. I've seen this play out again, and again, and again over the last 30 years!
 

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Sorry Colt tried to answer yesterday...I posted the breakdown of numbers from my purchase agreement and my post got deleted again ? Funny, I post the details you needed to see and my post disappears, guess I can't post actual numbers here ? In my case, the dealer obviously saw an opportunity to make money on my trade-in and few extras I left with the trade-in I guess ?
 

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Sorry Colt tried to answer yesterday...I posted the breakdown of numbers from my purchase agreement and my post got deleted again ? Funny, I post the details you needed to see and my post disappears, guess I can't post actual numbers here ? In my case, the dealer obviously saw an opportunity to make money on my trade-in and few extras I left with the trade-in I guess ?
Yeah, whenever there’s a trade-in - You gotta watch ‘em. A little slight of pen and they can make hundreds (even thousands) disappear from your wallet.
 
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