Hi everyone, I've been looking online almost religiously for the last couple of weeks for a challenger lol. I've considered used as well as new. As far as new goes, there are not many rebates or incentives right now, should I just wait it out till end of year? Does it get better? I'm looking for a scat pack. Also, there are a couple used scat pack listings I'm interested in, is there such a thing as negotiating for a used car? According to the dealership they can't go ANY lower than advertised, 36,900 for a 2016 sps with 7k miles. Just a couple days ago though, after they said it was already at lowest, it dropped to 35,900. Thank you
A good car deal is where and when you find it. You won't find it sitting at home.
Well, with the internet now maybe you can...
Car dealers like to sell cars. Anytime. This goes for new cars and used cars too.
I could fill pages relating my experiences buying cars and buying cars at a good price under "sticker" at various times of the year. Just a taste: Since we are coming up on a Labor Day weekend, I've bought over Labor Day weekend. Ford dealer sales manager told me I was his only customer the day I bought a new Mustang.
But I got a good deal buying a new car in the middle of January with snow on the ground. Ditto buying a new car in the middle of March with snow on the ground.
Or in spring with a bit of rain falling. Or in April with no rain. In April 2009 I bought a new 2008 Porsche Cayman S for $12K off of its $62.6K sticker price. And the discount was advertised! I didn't have to do anything to get it but walk through the door and point at the car. The *negotiation* was over the trade in allowance for my2006 GTO.
Managed to get a nice used Porsche Turbo for $5K under "sticker" buying the car in mid June.
More recently, Dec. 17, 2017, I bought a new R/T Scat Pack for base price plus destination. And I read posts by other buyers who did even better. Dec. 27, 2017 I bought a new Mini JCW under sticker. Then Feb. 17 2018 I traded in the R/T Scat Pack for a new Hellcat.
Like I said above a good deal on a car is where and when you find it.
There are as many ways to buy a new car as there are buyers. Each buyer has his system.
What I like to do is gather info on the market. Is the car I'm looking at in demand? That's not a good sign to me as it makes negotiating a good dealer harder to in some cases impossible.
Years ago I wanted a new Mini but the cars were so popular the sales staff had no time to talk to me. They were busy writing up orders. I'd watch a shopper, one person or a couple, come in and take a car on a test drive. The drive was scheduled on line. After a drive the person or couple would remain to do the paperwork to buy a car. I watched this for a while and realized unless I wanted to pay sticker (or more) for a new Mini I wasn't going to buy one.
OTOH, years ago I ventured onto a VW car lot. Looked around. No one came outside to greet me. And the weather was nice, too. Then I went inside. The place was dead. And still no one came to greet me. Offices were empty so salesmen were not busy with customers.
After a few minutes feeling like I was the invisible man, a couple came in. Finally someone showed up and walked up to the couple first. I did't say anything, but I observed. The guy said something about a new VW and a discount? The dealer employee replied back something along the lines of: Oh no we can't offer any discount. We have cars flying off the lot. It was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud. I had had my 'eye' on the dealer's inventory for a while -- to try to judge the market demand -- and cars were definitely not flying off his lot. But I could tell from the facial expressions of the people he was talking too they bought the line. Not long after I managed a good deal on a new VW, but not at this dealer.
As good as any place to put this, remember that everything a car dealer/salesman tells you is 1) Intended to get you to buy a car as soon as possible, and 2) Pay as much for the car as possible.
Anyhow, I try to get a feel for the demand. As I touched on above monitoring dealer inventory of the model I'm interested in is one way.
I try to come up with good idea of what I think I can buy the car for, and this also is the time I set my price limit.
One has to be careful. Years ago I found Chevy dealers had a 200+ day supply of new Camaros. I thought oh boy, I"m going to get a new Camaro at a very good price. Long story short I did, a Z28. But after 4 months I realized why there was a 200 day supply of these cars. The car was crap. The Camaro didn't manifest any problems in the 4 months I owned it and 28K miles I put on it. But every day I was reminded how lousy of a platform the car was and all the tarting up in the world couldn't mask that fact.
Since you asked about used cars, the same applies. But there's an important step in buying a used car even if it is from a new car dealer. And that is you must take the time to check out the car to be as sure as you can be the car is worth owning at all.
Just because a used car comes with a factory warranty is no reason to skimp on this step. While a factory warranty does mitigate the risk of buying a used car it doesn't eliminate it entirely.
As an aside even buying a new car you still want to check the car over carefully for any signs of body/paint work. Check the fasteners that hold the hood and trunk lid to the car for any signs they've been messed with. 'course, I have a story to go with this: My new R/T Scat Pack showed signs the hood fasteners had been wrenched on since the car left the factory paint shop. No other signs of wrenching were visible, for example at the radiator fasteners, or the front fender bolts or the rear trunk lid hinge fasteners, so the conclusion was the hood fasteners were loosened and the hood positioned to improve the fit of the hood between the fenders. I had read online hood and trunk lid alignment was a problem and my R/T Scat Pack had had this adjustment. (I checked my Hellcat and there were no signs of any wrenching on any fasteners.)
A thorough road test is called for with a used car. For a new car dealers are reluctant to let someone rack up miles on a new car. Believe it or not I don't always drive a new car before I buy one. But I do let the salesman take me on a test ride. As a passenger I can pay attention to how the car runs, drives, handles without having to deal with actually driving an unfamiliar car in an often unfamiliar area. In both the case of the R/T Scat Pack and the Hellcat I was insistent the engine be fired up and allowed to idle for a while before the test ride. Then after I gave each engine a careful listening to before I let the salesman shut off the engine. I wanted to avoid getting a new car with the engine manifesting a "Hemi tick" while still on the new car lot.
Ok enough blah blah blah...
What about price?
First remember this: Price is not fact only an opinion.
I can offer no specifics as I'm not current on market conditions new Dodge (or other brands of) cars. But I like to start out low. One can always raise his offer -- and how to do this right is a bit of an art -- but I generally like to start out at the invoice price.
Trouble is it is hard (make that probably impossible) to know the dealer's true cost of a car. The actual price the dealer pays for a car is a closely guarded secret, known only to the GM and his finance guy and maybe the sales manager. Salesman never know as they jump jobs at the drop of a hat. Either they get pushed out or they leave on their own to join another dealer and the last thing a car dealer wants is for his competitors to know what he pays for his cars. So salesman never know.
If one can find a public invoice price this is probably something above what the dealer actually paid for the car but it is less then the MSRP so there's some savings to be had it one can negotiate a deal for that "invoice" price.
Which reminds me. When you are negotiating for a new car you want to be sure your offer is conveyed to the sales manager/GM. A salesman can only say "no" to a deal and he will if you offer anything less than sticker. A low ball offer sees his commission drop maybe to nothing. (When I made my offer to buy the Camaro it was super low, $5K below sticker and sticker was $27K. Salesman exhibited real shock at the price. But he took my offer to the GM. I watched him. I then watched them talk a while then the salesman came back and asked me how I was going to pay for the car. I said I could write him a personal check or get a bank check. He returned to his GM and they spent more time talking. After a while I was told I could have the car at my price and the dealer wanted a bank check so I left to get one and then returned and drove away in the new Camaro. I arranged to pick up my other car the next day. Where I'm going with this is I was puzzled by how long the salesman and the GM were in conference. My Dad said my offer was so low the salesman probably made $0 on the sale and the GM was talking with the salesman trying to come up with something for him. If not then maybe other sales going forward, to make it up to the salesman.)
My point is and I want to stress this is you have to be sure your offer is getting to the person who can say "yes". A car salesman sees every car sale like a slot machine spewing coins after the pull of the handle. When the low ball offer comes in that image disappears. The GM OTOH just sees a car sale albeit at a lower price than he would have liked, but he still is making money on the sale or he wouldn't agree to it. And the new car sale makes dealer look good (better) to the factory. It also means the dealer can then have the money to floor another car and one that he might do better on when he sells it.
Used car prices have a substantial mark up. My father in law sold new cars, used cars, then new/used RVs. He made good money selling new cars. He was a good salesman which of course played a role in his success. He told me he made even better money selling used cars. But he made bundles of money when he moved to selling new/used RVs. Selling people what they need -- like a new or used car -- can be reasonably lucrative. But selling people what they want...Oh man.
Ok back on track. For a used car I use the 'net to research trade in prices for the car I'm considering. The dealer almost certainly has no more in the car than this and often the dealer allows for even less than the public trade in value for a car.
(When I bought the new Cayman S I traded in my 2006 GTO with just under 40K miles. I got something like $15,500 trade in allowance for the car. A bit over the public trade in allowance but I didn't have to deal with the hassle of trying to sell a car that everyone that got a chance to drive the car drove it like they stole it. This included GM/Pontiac techs when I took the car in for service. (I had a logger in the car.) Anyhow, the Porsche dealer owner also owned a GM dealership and after a while I visited the GM dealer's used car lot and spotted my GTO (it was torrid red with red hot leather interior and easy to spot) offered for sale. A sign in the window had a price of $21999 but this was crossed out and a 2nd sign below the 1st one had a new "low" price of $18999. Just to give you an idea of the kind of mark up used cars can have. Oh, the GTO was in super good condition, inside and out, well taken care of, with good brakes, tires, services all up to date, etc. The car only needed a good wash and vacuum to have it ready to put on the lot for sale.)
So I have a starting (and ending) price in mind.
Now I have to mention here I have set the stage so to speak for my low price by making it clear I'm there to buy a car. Today. Provided the dealer and I can arrive at a satisfactory price. I show the dealer my check book, the title to my car if I'm trading a car in, a current pay check stub to help with the financing qualification (even though I almost always pay cash), and a list of comparable cars that should I fail to buy a car from this dealer I can then go try for a buy at another dealer. The idea is to make it clear to the dealer that if he sees me (you) walk off the lot without one of his cars he's lost a sale to another seller. I (you) won't be back.
Actually though you can come back. In the case of the Boxster purchase the deal didn't go down and I was surprised it didn't. I had a lot of confidence in my numbers. I left and went to get a bite to eat. I had time to reflect on what happened and remembered I forgot to allow for the flooring cost in my offer. I returned to the dealer and asked to see the car again to at least start the engine to see if it smoked upon restart. The salesman was reluctant but I assured him I had no desire to road test the car again just to start the engine and let it run only long enough to verify it wasn't smoking. The salesman agreed. I started the engine and there was no smoke. But this also gave me the opportunity to check the build tag on the door jamb and note how long the dealer had had the car.
I then did the math and came up with the dealer's flooring cost and added that to the last offer I had left on the desk. The sales manager, who was sitting in a nearby booth and with whom I had been negotiating with and yet never meeting him face to face, when he heard my offer said "we'll take it."
In the case of my VW purchase I came back after a couple of weeks and the car I had test driven was still parked where I left it after the test drive. It had no more miles on the odometer. (I had noted the odometer reading when I parked the car.) Besides it was clear from the snow no one had looked at the car and it had not been moved. I then sat down again and this time the GM accepted my offer he had rejected 2 weeks prior.
A long post to be sure but I'm almost done.
Be careful. I like to write down prices and numbers and such because the numbers can fly fast and furious. I trust the dealer or I would not be there but you have to be careful nonetheless. There is a lot of money involved.
Also, be aware the dealer might try to spring extra costs on you. In CA most of the fees and such associated with car purchases are limited by law. No $1000 "doc fee" for instance. But the dealer an apply some super duper kryptonite paint protection treatment and want to charge you $750 on top of what you have already "negotiated" to pay for the car for this treatment. Or just when you helieve you have finished negotiating and are going to buy the car at a good price the dealer then spring on you it has installed some anti-theft tracking device -- in the JCW a Lo-Jack and something similar in the Hellcat -- which adds hundreds more to the car's purchase price.
Be aware of these as best you can and take them into account when you come up with your offer price and your final/top price.
Remember you can always walk away. Walking away is a powerful tool. I "walked" away when the negotiation for the Hellcat appeared to reach an impasse but I suspected I would not be allowed to actually drive off the lot so I was kind of slow in leaving. And sure enough the sales manager came out before I got in my ar and I let him talk me to going back inside where we finalized the deal for the Hellcat. I ended paying a bit more than I had foreseen, but not lots more, and I still got the car for a good price.
The dealer got a bit more than my "last offer" but not lots more and while he sold the car for less than sticker he didn't give it way. He also sold a pretty high end car that freed up some considerable amount of money to pay for flooring 1 or 2 or more cars that while they wouldn't be Hellcat expensive could collectively make him more money than the Hellcat sale.
This is often how it works out. One side or the other doesn't come out way on top. And this is what goes into making the deal good.
You have to remember that car dealers are professionals. They make their living and most of the time a good one selling cars. But you can help your self arrive at a better deal -- read buy a car at a lower price -- by doing your homework. I look back at what I "saved" negotiating for new/used cars and the savings makes for a very good hourly wage when figured that way. I mean to save say $5K on a car purchase I can spend some nights online and visiting some dealers to get a good feel for what I can buy a car for. That's a fair trade off in my opinion.
Ok, that's it. For now. Happy shopping.