A step-by-step approach to using Internet research and sealed email bids to get the lowest prices on new vehicles from auto dealers.
Debut author Kelton informs “battle-weary car buyers everywhere” that people typically pay $2,000 to $3,000 more than they need to when buying a new vehicle. He promises to remedy that with this book, a step-by-step approach to getting the best deal possible on a new car. Buyers have more leverage over car dealers than they realize, he argues, because it’s expensive to keep vehicles on lots and the smart dealers “understand the value of a quick Internet sale.” The basic idea is to find the bottom-line, “out-the-door” price for the car of one’s choice by researching credible sources, such as Consumer Reports and Edmunds.com, and then emailing seven to 10 dealers and asking each for a nonnegotiable, sealed bid. (Kelton excludes trade-ins, rebates and add-ons to make the bids comparable.) Later, he gives advice on how to sell one’s old car for the best price with the least hassle and how to get the best deals on add-ons by purchasing them from aftermarket suppliers rather than dealers. Using detailed instructions, including sample email templates, Kelton gives readers everything they need to know to try his method. He also offers solid tips on watching out for tricks of the trade, such as unnecessary rustproofing, and clearly explains the minutiae of the business, including dealer holdbacks and manufacturers’ cash incentives. Even so, he may be too optimistic when he writes that “most dealers run ethical and honest businesses”; more on target is his observation that “[l]ying is often expected by both the dealer and buyer.” Given the vagaries of human nature—and especially of car dealers’—will his system work? Readers may find that it’s worth a try, given the high cost and hassle of buying a new car the traditional way, although “no system is perfect,” as the author admits.
A clearly written guide, with many useful references, that could recoup its cost many times over.