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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all!
While I’ve owned Toyota’s since 1976 (Celica), I’m new to this site. Decided to retire my beloved 1991 4-Runner and treat myself to a 2007 RAV 4. I’ll be taking delivery next week. Unlike some people who are easily intimidated, I’m one of those people who enjoys car shopping and haggling with the sales person. I thought I’d share my techniques, which ultimately got me a very good price.

  • Know what the dealer pays and know what you want to pay BEFORE you walk in. The Internet now allows us to obtain true dealer invoice prices. While there are several sites that eventually give you this info at no charge, I decided to use the service that Consumer Reports offers. For $14 you can get the full printout on one model (including true cost of accessories) or for $39 you can have unlimited use of the service for 90 days. I opted for the later. They also provide you with the “dealer holdback” charge, which you should absolutely refuse to pay.
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/customer-service/consumer-reports-advice-and-prices-on-buying-a-new-car/index.htm?page=index&section=:cars&pdxview=CRO

  • Visit the site below and read through the tutorial so you are familiar with the things you may be asked to pay for. I strongly suggest using the spreadsheets you can download, loaded on your laptop. I intimidated several dealers, but they quickly realized I was an educated customer. The web site has a huge amount of info so I encourage all of you to go the main site and explore each link. The brunt of the tutorial begins at the link below.
http://www.carbuyingtips.com/car1.htm

  • Initially my target was 4% above the actual dealer invoice, + shipping cost, tax and motor vehicle charges. I decided that the “window etching” and all the other hidden charges were unacceptable and non-negotiable. Extras such as Toyota’s extended warranty are definitely negotiable and you can purchase them on line from dealers who discount them. E-mail me and I can give more info. In my case, I got the $1350 - 7 yr/100K warranty for $860. Make it very clear that you know the price you are willing to pay, BUT have the dealer give you his best deal first. Explain that you don’t want to waste the dealer’s time and certainly not your own if he’s not willing to negotiate.
  • For the record, I walked out of the first 4 dealers after they told me that my expectations were unreasonable. My response, adios amigo! BTW, these were all the large mega auto mall dealerships that typically have higher overheads. Next I visited a much smaller dealer, Toyota of Hackensack (Bergen County, NJ). Immediately, much less pressure! I walked the lot, found a vehicle I was interested in and punched up the vehicles options into the spreadsheet to come up with my target price (invoice +5%). To my surprise the price he quoted me was lower and it took me a few minutes to realize that his offer was only 3% above true invoice. His offer was genuine and he handed me the original multicolor itemized Toyota invoice. We could have concluded the deal at that time, but I still had one more ace in my hand. My sister was in the market for a new Corolla and I made sure to mention that. We made an appointment for the following day with the understanding that we’d both purchase for a better deal. Ultimately, we got both vehicles at 2% over the invoice. I got the extended warranty considerably discounted and they also deducted $100 of the Lojack I opted to purchase.
  • Don’t be afraid to walk and look for the smaller dealers. These mega-dealers are generally a lot of sales pitch and BS. One final note. If asked whether you are going to finance or trade in, respond as follows: “I’m here today to negotiate the cost of the vehicle. A trade in and / or financing hasn’t been decided. If you are going to finance, know your credit score and generally you’ll get better rates outside of the dealer. They simply have you fill out the loan paperwork and sell it to loan companies who pay them.

Good luck!
 

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Pretty good info. but check your state laws. It is illegal to overprice or discount extended warranty's in the state of Florida. I beleive it has been regulated by the Insurance Commissioners office for years. It does however make a competitive market for any company selling extended warranty's in our state.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The extended warranty has generally been represented as a "one price" item. Toyota allows you to add on the extended warranty anytime during the initial 3 yr / 36K mile period. I have a dealer in MA who i discounting the list price. It's an option and I can't see how / why there's anything illegal about that. Selling above MSRP is certainly not ethical, but discounting is in the customer's favor.
 

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Dont forget - BUY at the end of the month! - the invoice is only the starting point for what a dealer pays - ther are MANY incentives that only INSIDERS are aware of, and they can drastically (thousand $$) reduce the price you pay - especially if you are the tipping point to the monthly target. my wife paid 3700- under MSRP ( no add ons) for a BASE rav 4 - We paid less than what Hyundai dealer wanted for the POS Tuscon!
 
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