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How To Lower Stress—And Save Money—When Buying Your Next Car?


2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

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When I talk to friends and family about the car buying process, there are usually two things they hate more than anything else: not knowing if they’re getting a good deal, and negotiating price.

It’s no wonder. Most people begin their car buying process by walking in the front door of their local dealer and announcing that they need a new car now. Do that and expect to pay hundreds, if not thousands of dollars more than necessary. You’re also putting yourself at the mercy of the dealership; talk about stressful.

The only way you’re going to know if you’re getting a good deal is by researching actual prices that others in your area are paying for the same car. Good research always begins at home on your computer. And if you’re at home and not at the dealership, your stress level will be way down.

There, doesn’t that feel better already?

How do you go about it?

How do you find out what others in your area are paying for the same car you want to buy? It wasn’t long ago that I was recommending Edmunds.com or Kelly Blue Book (kbb.com) to determine how much a vehicle was worth, and more importantly, what a person should pay. However, there’s a new kid on the block when buying a new vehicle. It’s called TrueCar.com.

TrueCar.com was founded in 2005 and specializes in gathering accurate information on new vehicle sales locally and nationally. The way it organizes and presents information to the consumer is radically different. On a larger scale, TrueCar.com offers the hope of transforming a retail car industry that’s badly in need of a transparent realignment from top to bottom. However, that’s a story for another day.

For now, simply go to TrueCar.com and test drive a system that will instantly put the exact information you need to make a car deal at your fingertips. And it provides that information in a visually stunning way that enhances your understanding of how new vehicles are priced at the dealership level. It specifies:

  • Sticker price
  • Average paid
  • Factory invoice
  • Dealer cost

For those who always suspected that the dealer’s invoice price was not their actual cost, your suspicions are confirmed. And TrueCar.com lets you know the exact difference between factory invoice and dealer cost in your area.

However, it doesn’t stop there. TrueCar.com goes on to let you know the different levels of pricing you can shoot for when you’re ready to negotiate directly with a dealer:

  • Above market price
  • Good price
  • Great price
  • Best local price

This is information you need to know to make a fair and reasonable car deal. And the depth of information is so much better than the competition that TrueCar.com really does stand a chance of revolutionizing how new vehicles are bought and sold in this country.

Coming soon: walk-through some examples to see if TrueCar's prices are on the money.

 
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Comments (3)
  1. Yes, TrueCar is info is good, but other than having a "certificate" to print out, I don't see much point. I certainly wasn't able to get the price listed on TrueCar, and just walked away. I guess I don't really understand how the TrueCar model really works. Looking forward to more on this topic. Right now the TrueCar info is just additional data in your pocket to help with negotiations.
     
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  2. See if my next article helps. It provides more detail of exactly what information is provided and begins to discuss how it can be used. I'll be doing a series of articles this week on TrueCar so stay tuned.
     
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  3. TrueCar only gives general base prices , options are not listed. If you watch the paper you will see trucks going for 3 to 5 K less , sometimes 10K LESS then sticker. You just have to wait for the sale , key word , wait for the best deal. Consumer Report will give you a detailed report for 14$ with all options prices so you can get low down on what exactly what the dealer paid, whats list and whats a good in between.
     
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