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2006 Toyota Tacoma
by: Stuart Simpson

The only bad part about the deal is, well… the deal.

Fortunately, there's a way get a great price on a new car and this insider info will save you both time and money.

How many hours have you wasted talking about a new car deal, only to find out that the dealer had other contract clauses in mind that exploded the cost? I have wasted entire days in the car buying process.

What does "factory invoice price" really mean? The price that you see on the car is the “manufacturer’s suggested retail price”. You don’t want to pay this over-inflated price. Supposedly, the "factory invoice price" is what the dealer paid the manufacturer for the car. The dealer will have an invoice with this price on it.

When you hear a dealer say that he’ll sell to you “below invoice”, you wonder how on earth he could make any money. You may think that you’re getting the bargain of the century.

Well, not so fast. See, the factory invoice price probably isn’t what the dealer had to pay for the car.

Dealers get all sorts of incentives on top of this base price. Carryover allowances and other special discounts added in make the actual cost of the vehicle less than the price on the invoice. This can add up to the tune of $500-$2000 dollars.

So you could buy a car at $100 below the factory invoice and still be fattening the salesman’s wallet more than enough.

Ask if the car manufacturer offers a factory-to-customer rebate. You have to get this straight from the manufacturer, but every little bit helps!

The more you know about factory-to-dealer incentive payments, "holdbacks," and other allowances the dealer will receive, the better off you'll be. Do your research so you’ll know the best prices cars like yours have recently been selling for.

Now, you don’t want to get a great price on a car, and then lose out by paying too much for financing, for an extended service contract, and for unnecessary add-ons.

Also, check to see what the market value is of your current car if you’re considering a trade in. Don’t talk about a trade in until you have agreed on a price.

Before going car shopping, check the annual percentage rate currently offered by banks in your area. Sometimes credit unions offer good rates.

Many new cars are very reliable and often carry long manufacturer warranties. An extended service contract may be a waste of your money. If you do want one, make sure you check over it with a fine-toothed comb to see what it covers and what it doesn’t. Nothing like being surprised by a repair bill.

If your car already has rust-proofing, paint sealant, or fabric protection, make sure you don’t end up paying more than $50 for it. Any more than that will be pure profit and mark up.

A good deal on your new car can be negated if you get a lousy price on your trade-in. Go ahead and take your car to a few dealerships beforehand and ask what they’d pay you for it straight out. Explain that you’re selling your car and getting offers from different dealers.

If the dealership where you’re buying offers you a ridiculously lower price, you may as well sell your car outright to one of the dealers you checked with.

You do want to get the true wholesale value for your trade-in. A dealer who offers some extraordinary trade-in allowance is likely making it up on the new car price.

It takes a little extra time to ensure a great deal on your new car, but your savings can be substantial. You just might find the whole process fun!

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