15 years ago when I was looking for a new car there were many Internet
web sites (including edmunds.com) that provided complete breakdowns of
the dealer invoice costs versus sticker price. At the time there were
also a lot of dealers advertising that they would sell any car for
$200 over dealer invoice minus an factory incentives. I bought a car
that way, looked up all the invoice costs and incentives and found a
dealer who would do the $200 over.
Now there seems to be no websites that show dealer invoice costs. The
closest thing might be Consumer Reports but to even see their info you
have to pay them and they don't really say exactly where their pricing
So did something change? Is there no longer any fixed "dealer
invoice" costs between manufacturers and dealers? Now edmunds just
has that stupid "best price" or whatever, which to me just means the
price the average sucker paid.
You can still find invoice pricing on Edmumds but it's rather a pain to
get to it."Build" the vehicle then click on the pricing tab and you'll
get the invoice price.
$200 over invoice is no great deal anymore because of factory to dealer
incentives. While you still get the factory to buyer incentives no
matter what, the factory to dealer incentives, not to mention the
holdback, bring the dealer cost way below invoice price for many makes.
The factory to dealer incentives are hard to track down.
I recall when I was researching Toyotas a while back and there were
three separate factory to dealer payments besides any incentives. They
paid the dealer 2% holdback, 2% for advertising, and 1% for "Wholesale
Financial Reserve," which I think was to help them finance their
inventory. The payments were based on base invoice price. But many
dealers tried to add an advertising fee that their region assessed them
even though they were being reimbursed for this by Toyota. They really
did pay this fee to their regional distributor ($500 at the time), but
they were already getting paid back most or all of this (or even more)
Those "TMV" prices are bogus. No one should be paying that much.
The best non-negotiation pricing that I've found is from USAA, if you're
a member. They use Truecar's system but their pricing is less than the
prices Truecar quotes. The last car we bought the USAA price was several
hundred dollars below Costco or Truecar. But alas, the only dealer that
dealt with USAA was sold out of what we wanted, and a much larger
factory incentive ($3000) was about to expire, so we paid the Costco
price at another dealer. They were selling every single car of this
model very quickly so we reluctantly paid an extra $300 (the Costco
Thanks for the info. I don't mind paying a fair price but I like to
know if what they are offering is fair. Without some idea of true
dealer cost it's hard to judge. I figure that at the very least, if
they TMV is mostly "what people are paying" then if you are willing to
walk away if needed you should be able to get it for less then the
TMV. The sales managers at these dealerships weren't born
"Dealer Invoice" was always a fantasy anyway. There were lots of
kickbacks and incentives that made the invoice a lot more than what
the dealer actually paid (perhaps for some dealers but not all).
There were plenty of high volume dealers who would be happy to sell a
car for "$200 over invoice" because they were making plenty of other
money off of it. Financing kickbacks and dealer installed options
have always been a big profit center..
These days that may not be true. I haven't bought a new car for a
while and I don't know anyone in the business. We used to know a
couple of guys who worked at dealerships..
On 10/3/2015 7:32 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Exactly. Dealers want people to think that the "Dealer Invoice" is how
much a vehicle costs them to buy from the manufacturer.
In fact "Dealer Invoice" is a good price to bargain down from once you
know all the extra spiffs the dealer is receiving from the manufacturer.
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