How to Negotiate a New Car Dealer Invoice

January 10, 2018

Research, Shop and Negotiate

Step 1 – Use popular internet pricing guides to determine what the invoice price is on the vehicle you want. You will find that many dealers do not order the cheapest model and you need to figure options into the price of the vehicle for accuracy. Have this guide printed out and ready to show the dealer for negotiations.

Step 2 – Locate several dealerships in your area that have the vehicle you want. Send emails to the Internet department of each dealer and offer a "buy-now" price. This way you will have backup if your local dealer does not meet your price. You should be open to colors or options—if a dealer has to purchase or locate a specific car for you it could potentially cost more money. Dealers will most likely agree to your terms if the vehicle is in stock. Decide how far away you will drive for the right price, and be prepared to do so.

Step 3 – Maintain friendliness during the time you’re at the dealership. Bad attitudes will not help you get the best price. Dealers often feel that an unhappy customer, or one who is difficult, will be a problem in the long run and they may decide not to sell you the car at a negotiated price, in hopes that you will leave. Be friendly to everyone. Ask to meet the sales manager and introduce yourself, as the sales manager is the ultimate decision maker.

Step 4 – After test driving the vehicle, let the salesperson know that you would like to buy the car that day, if he will meet your price. Show him your copy of the invoice and offer the price you wish to pay. Dealers might have a different invoice than what you have, based on particular options, and once you show your invoice, ask to see theirs. Your salesperson may present a different invoice amount than yours, and if he does be sure to ask him to explain the differences.

Step 5 – Negotiate with the dealer. You may find that because you are ready to buy the car that day, your dealer may immediately agree. If he cannot reach your price, tell him that you will be in contact. When contacting other dealers, you may use the price that this dealer offered you as a shopping tool. Dealers will compete with each other.

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