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May 02, 2021

Getting a better deal when shopping for a car

You can divide car buyers into two broad categories: those who paid too much for a new car and those that think they did. Seldom is anybody sure they didn't leave money on the table.

Now, however, thanks to TrueCar, you can get a straightforward snapshot of what others are paying for particular models, in their area, regionally, and nationally.

Unfortunately, the site only deals with the U.S. side of the equation. But Toronto residents, for instance, can easily get a quick baseline for the car they want by looking at prices in nearby Buffalo.

After you enter a zip code and details about the exact vehicle you’re considering, including optional equipment, TrueCar presents “good” and “great” prices, after factoring in rebates, factory-to-dealer fees, and other variables.

It will also tell you whether prices are trending up or down, allowing you to negotiate more effectively with local dealers -- assuming, of course, that you're up to the task, says negotiating guru Keld Jensen.

"When I ask people how many variables are involved in buying a car, I often get the answer 'Around two or three, I assume.' The answer is closer to 40," he maintains. And most people just don't know how to keep that many ball in the air. 

Click here to review his two-minute drill for would-be negotiators.

How have you fared when car shopping? Are you a negotiator or single-price shopper?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...