The Best Way to Buy a New Car

Step 7: Wait for responses

After submitting the contact forms on the websites, wait for a day or two for emails from car dealers. If any dealers call you, tell them that you prefer email. Email is written, so you will have a clear record of what the salesman said.

Step 8. Responding to the car dealers

The emails you receive from car dealers will at first usually just ask for confirmations. They will want to confirm the exact details of the model and the trim you are interested in, as well as the timing of your purchase. Respond to every dealership email, listing the model of car and trim you decided to buy; tell them that you want no extras and that you don’t mind the colors. Tell them you plan to buy the car right away.

Most importantly, tell them that you want a quote of the total cost, including all taxes, registration fees, stamps, dealer fees, everything. This is sometimes called an ‘out the door price’. Tell them the quote should include the car’s Vehicle ID number.

Step 9: Wait for your quotes

When receiving a quote, make sure that it is the total cost (‘out-the-door-price’), including all fees and taxes; the quote should include the car’s Vehicle ID number, so you know they refer to a particular car.

If a quote you receive does not include a total cost or the car’s Vehicle ID number, or if you are not sure whether the price quoted is the total cost, email back the dealer and ask for clarifications. You want a complete invoice, including Vehicle ID number.

Step 10: You have received quotes

After receiving a number of quotes, you can compare prices. You will find some very good prices among your quotes. Go with the lowest price.

Haggling is not necessary; some of the quotes you receive will be good prices. However, if you like, you can email back some of the dealers, telling them about the lowest quote you received, and asking whether they can drop their prices below that. When you do so, please do NOT mention the name of the dealer that gave you the lowest price, nor the Vehicle ID of the car. This is confidential information; it’s unbecoming to give it out to other dealers. Giving the information out might cancel your deal.

Does it matter where you buy the car?

It’s important to remember that it doesn’t matter from which dealer you buy your car. The manufacturer’s warranty is valid at all dealers, not only at the dealer from which you bought the car. You will be able to use your closest dealer for maintenance and warranty work, regardless of where and in which state you bought the car.

Step 11: Picking up the car

All that remains now to do is to pay for the car and pick it up. Inspect the car carefully before you finalize the deal. Make sure there is no obvious damage; check the mileage — it shouldn’t be more than a few hundred miles (cars in dealer lots are used for test driving, so they might accumulate some mileage). Test drive the car to make sure everything feels OK. Finally, when signing the paperwork, make sure that the bottom line price is not more than what you agreed upon by email.

Enjoy your new car!