Most auto dealers sell new cars at prices that you negotiate during the purchase. Prices listed on documents or tags affixed to cars on the dealer’s lot are based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price and on the cost of any upgrades or additions the dealer has made to the vehicle after receiving it. However, you may be able to buy a new car for near its invoice price, which is the price the manufacturer charges the dealer for the vehicle, if you prepare carefully beforehand and communicate your specific requirements to the dealer in writing.
Locate the invoice price for the vehicle you want to purchase. Vehicle invoice price for many current makes and models is available at Web sites like Cars.com and KBB.com. It should be noted that manufacturers do not officially provide invoice prices to anyone, so these figures come from varying sources, and different Web sites may offer slightly different variations on the same information.
Write a letter stating that you want to purchase a vehicle at its invoice price. State the specific make (such as Toyota), model (such as Camry), style or trim line (such as SE or XLE) and year of the vehicle you want and the invoice price you found.
Include contact information such as your e-mail address or phone number in the letter. Specify that the dealer should contact you only if the dealer will sell you the particular car you want at the invoice price you included.
Send the letter by e-mail or fax to one or more dealers. You can find a list of dealers using the dealer locator tool on the auto manufacturer’s Web site.
Purchase the car from the closest dealer that meets your requirements when replying to your letter.
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