Here is the script for the “How To Shop For A Car” video above:

Now we’ve locked in a target car, and you know the different types of dealerships, so now it’s time to learn how to shop for a car.

If you’re looking for a new car, the best place to start is the manufacturer’s site.  Hopefully, you became familiar with them when we were going through the “Finding The Right Car For You” lesson.

Manufacturer sites typically have information on the inventory available for all of their franchisees.  You can search through local inventory on their website to see if someone nearby already has the new car you want.  If they have many options in your area, that’s a great thing!  If you’re in or near a populated metro and are looking for a more common vehicle like a Corolla or an F-150, then the local dealers know that you have hundreds or even thousands of options nearby.  It makes them far more flexible on price.

If you’re on something super unique or exotic where there’s only 1 in a hundred miles, then it gets a lot more “haggley.”

Is that even a word?

how to shop for a car

Anyway, when options abound, you’ll want to start looking through the franchise dealer sites.  When they show the MSRP but won’t show the “Internet Discount” or the “Price You Pay” without giving them your contact info, I’ll look somewhere else.  The reason is that I want to print something out as a baseline for negotiating.  Now that “internet price” comes with many disclosures and incentives combined with dealer discounts, so make sure you fully understand the combination of discounts they’re using by checking with the manufacturer’s site.  Manufacturer incentives are typically one or another and not a mixture.

For example, you can get a higher rebate with standard financing or sacrifice the rebates for 0%…but not both.

Another popular option when learning how to shop for a car is to go through a car research site.  Here we’re talking about TrueCar, Cars.com, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, etc.  They can consolidate inventory from dealers across the entire country.  They can also provide more information, product comparisons, reviews, and more.  Those types of sites have massive data infrastructures and overhead, so they don’t give that info entirely out of the kindness of their hearts.  They want your information so that they can sell you as a lead to a dealer.

Finally, when wondering how to shop for a car you can go through a car buying service.  One that comes to mind is Costco, or maybe one through work if you have a large employer.  The upside with these is that they already have a pre-negotiated price discount with the dealer and an exclusive relationship.  It can give the impression of a no-haggle situation, on price only though.

You’ll learn later how to negotiate a better overall deal though later based on internet or invoice pricing.

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