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How to get 15%-20% off MSRP

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  • How to get 15%-20% off MSRP

    Years ago, I came across an old thread in one of the car forums that discussed negotiation techniques when buying a new car. I have tried that technique several times and it works almost every time. Please keep in mind this technique obviously doesn’t work when a new model is introduced, like C8 or if you are looking for a rare or hyper car. I thought I share this as most of us buy and have other cars. I will try to explain the technique here:

    Step 1. Using or similar sites, search for year, make and model of the new car you are considering. Set the "Distance= All" as at this stage you are just trying to find the lowest priced car(s) in US (or the country you are in) regardless of the location, color or other options.

    Step 2. Do another search, except this time narrow it down to the color and trim of the car you want. Sort the results on "Distance= Nearest" Find the dealer(s) that have that car in stock and send a nice friendly email indicating you are interested in their car and include a link to the lowest priced car(s) you found in step 1. Ask if they are willing to match the discount. Depending on the car and how exclusive it is, as well as how picky you are with the options, you may have to broaden the search outside of your local area or state.

    I will expand on this using the following purchases I have made:

    * 2016 Z06 – I started looking for a 2016 Z06 in Oct of 2016. The 17 models were already on the dealers’ lots. I found one at about 20% discount in FL and managed to negotiate and buy one locally for $86K, the MSRP was $107K, so $21K below sticker or 19.6% discount. I was looking for white Z06 with 2 tone red/black, 3LZ with Z07 package. The Z06 I got was exactly what I was looking to get.

    * 2017 F-Type R – I started looking in Nov of 2017 and found 3 cars in FL, NJ and NY discounted anywhere from 18% to 21%. I bought one locally at $89K, MSRP was $112K, so $23K below sticker or 20% discount. On that one, I wanted either a black or white with 2 tone interior. I ended up with a black exterior and all the other options that were important to me but solid black interior , so I would say I got 90% of what I was looking for

    * 2018 Mazda CX5 – A friend of mine was looking to buy a base CX5 in Jan 2019, using the same technique, we managed to get her into one for $20K locally, MSRP was at $25K, so about 20% discount.

    * 2019 Huracan – I started looking for it in November of 2018. I managed to negotiate a $20K discount which in terms of percentage is only 8%, however, in this case, I could have bought a new 2018 model at higher discount with all the option I wanted, except it didn’t have magnetic dampers. I was pretty set on options for this car and was not willing to settle.

    * 2018 AMG GTS – I started looking in Jan of 2019 and found a new 2018 GTS in MN that was discounted by $26K. Finding the color and options locally was not that easy as most 2018 models were already sold. One dealer in TX had the options I wanted but was not willing to discount it more than $14k. I found 2 new 2018 cars one in CO and one in CA that were suitable for me. I ended up buying the one in CA at $122K, MSRP was $146K. $24K below sticker or 16% discount. They also paid for the shipping it to me in an enclosed transport. It took about 8 days to get my car from the time I signed the contract and wired the money. There are 2 options I didn’t get with my GTS, ventilated seats and Alcantera steering wheel. But If I had started looking for it a few months earlier, I would have probably gotten both those options, basically I missed the window of opportunity. In my experience it works best if you buy the current year model in the last quarter of that year.

    Again, I like to stress this technique obviously doesn’t work when a new model is introduced or if you are looking for a rare or hyper car. I am on a waiting list with a local Chevy dealer for a C8 and expect to pay full MSRP.

    Another point worth mentioning is that sometimes dealers list their new car under used category. That was the case with the 2018 GTS I found in MN. It showed 25 miles on odometer and Carfax indicated it was never titled. When I called to inquire, I was told the car is brand new and it is just a marketing tactic. I imagine some car manufacturers may have a limit as to how much a dealer can discount a new car and advertise it.

    I understand that some folks are more interested in building a relationship with a specific dealer or are not willing to buy from an out of town dealer and I totally understand and respect that. I keep my cars for 1-2 year and being able to save upfront to offset new car depreciation is very beneficial to me.

    Good hunting :-)

  • #2
    Thanks for the write up. Impressive deals you got! Also, nice list of cars.


    • #3
      I did somethong similiar. Found the car, the colors and the options and walked into the dealership and within 15 minutes got 25 percent off msrp so I picked up the car the next day...

      wonderful purchase experience.


      • #4
        I thought you were going to say ... buy a 2020 C8 from one of our early adopters when the "NEW" Z06 hits the street


        • #5
          Time is money as the saying goes. If you are willing to put in the time, and take your time, you can get a better deal. Shop around. But as someone said GM could raise prices after the first year too. Also that color you are dying to have? It might not be available the following year if you wait too long.

          I bought a Boxster and Macan at the same time. Most dealers were barely below MSRP not discounting Macans at all. Eventually I found one who needed to sell some cars so he could get an allocation for a limited production car. I got almost 9% off.

          Your dealer may be content to just move what C8s he has an allocation for and not motivated to sell under MSRP. Another dealer may be trying to sell the most in the state so they can be the biggest!


          • #6
            I purchased a 2015 C7 using GM's supplier pricing that was available through some credit unions. Found a participating one locally, joined by opening up a savings account with $20. Saved 10% off MSRP plus used the low new car rate by the credit union (1.86%) to purchase the C7! Win Win! That was when the C7 was only basically a year out. Who knows what can happen with the C8.