I thought I'd try your free services since I didn't want all the drama and stress of negotiating the price. It worked! It was so easy to save money and I love my new car!
Los Angeles, CA
Price Range (MSRP): $34,150 (S60) to $43,950 (XC90)
Maker of some of the safest cars on the road, Volvo rings in 2016 with two sedans, two wagons and two crossovers.
The S60 sedan has two new variants in 2016 – the Cross Country with raised suspension, and the long-wheelbase Inscription model with additional rear legroom. The S80 loses its turbo I-6 engine, leaving it with just a turbo I-4 variant. But this car comes loaded with features like sunroof, dual-zone climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, navigation, City Safety and heated front seats.
The V60 is basically the S60 in wagon form. The top trim level is the T6 R-Design, with standard all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine. The XC70 wagon seats five passengers across two rows and was built with family friendliness in mind, sporting features like available built-in rear booster seats and a powered tailgate. Standard for 2016 – heated front seats and 18-inch alloy wheels. Look for the new T5 AWD model, with a turbocharged inline five-cylinder engine.
The XC60 small crossover is unchanged from the 2015 model. This is the model to buy if you want something more like an SUV than the V60 or XC70. The large, three-row XC90 crossover is all-new for 2016, with a new Drive-E family of supercharged and turbo four-cylinder engines and an eight-speed automatic transmission. City Safety comes standard, along with pedestrian and cyclist detection.
Zero percent financing, employee discount, cash back, out-the-door price tags...
Most dealers work hard to offer the public competitive prices. These incentives can grab your attention, but they can also obscure the actual terms you're getting on your purchase.
How can you fully understand incentives to get the lowest possible price on your car?
Most state franchise laws prohibit manufacturers from selling cars directly to the public, so the dealer will be your middleman. But in terms of financing and insurance, you can choose a bank or the dealer directly.
How can you determine what's in your best interest?
Destination charges, taxes, license and title fees, advertising fees... When going to a dealership, you must ask for an explanation of any fee you don't understand. But you need to choose your battles wisely. Your local car dealer may have taken a loss or slim profit along the way, and your fighting over something like a doc fee when the deal is nearly wrapped up may be counterproductive.
In any case, there are many fees and charges in the sale process: some inevitable, others questionable.
How do you tell them apart?
If you currently own a car, it probably represents profit. The question is, whose profit will it be?
With few exceptions, you'll get the most money for your used car by selling it privately. That's because dealers pay wholesale prices — not retail prices — for used cars, and they sell them at retail.
Your current car's value can be used to lower the price on your new car. However, most people underestimate their used car's value when going to a dealership.
How can you maximize your value?
The car manufacturer holds back a fraction of the price of all vehicles the dealership sells. Then, it returns the money to the dealership, usually on a quarterly basis.
Dealer holdback began its life as a safety net that ensured the manufacturers would have a security deposit of sorts if a dealership missed payments, and the dealerships would have money on hand to cover overhead costs when the holdback was returned.
How can you take advantage of dealer holdbacks to get the bottom line price?
Unlike consumer incentives, dealer incentives are factory-to-dealer incentives that reduce the dealer's true cost to buy the vehicle from the factory to below invoice.
Manufacturers offer these incentives on a regional basis to generate sales on specific models. These incentives are sometimes referred to as "spiffs," and they can touch off competition among dealers to move slower-selling stock.
For instance, a dealer incentive may kick in when a certain sales target is reached, with each subsequent sale resulting in a higher factory-to-dealer rebate.
How can you benefit from that?