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Hey guys, I'd really appreciate some tips/advise for buying a new 16/17 Volt since I've never bought a new car before. The must-have is leather seat, I do like the blue color, but if the deal is too good to pass, I can live with other color as well.

I've been browsing the local dealers' sites, and only find two blue Volts premier trim, being ~50 miles away. So do I just drive ~50miles and take a look? My instinct tells me it would be a bad choice, since I could be well wasting my time when I get there and told that that specific car is gone and caught un-prepared with alternative choices.

What should I do before going to the dealer in this scenario? Pick up a few alternatives as well? Do I have choice to go to my closest dealer and ask them to get a blue color from the network, assuming the car drives the same with same trim/optional packages, I don't necessarily need to test-drive the car I end up paying, do I? Sorry about the amateur questions, but I'm a little bit nervous about getting ripped off at first try.
 

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Depending on what other features you want, you don't necessarily have to get the Premier model.
The LT is also available with leather seats so that made be able to widen your search.
 

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In all honesty I feel that LT model is just fine. The premier simply has some bells and whistles like the Adaptive Cruise Control. While it's a nice feature, it's not on the top of most people's lists. The premier model seems too overpriced for what you get to me
 

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You should be able to go to your local Chevy dealer, test drive there and have them do a dealer trade, however, there may be cases where the dealers won't work with each other. My two closest Chevy dealers do not get along and won't swap, but I've had the closest one get both of my volts from other dealers as well as an Equinox and Camaro, just not from the closest, most convenient dealer.

The single most important thing you need to do when walking into a dealership to buy a car is BE WILLING TO WALK AWAY. DO NOT let them talk you into anything you don't want. Don't want an extended warranty? Don't buy it. If they offer you some kind of paint protection - don't buy it even if you want to - it is not worth it. Don't let them play games.

If you need to finance the car - that is one transaction. If you have a trade-in, that is another transaction. You may have three distinct transactions going on - they will try to game you every step of the way.

Do your homework before going in: know your credit score/situation if you need to finance. Know your trade-in value - even get an appraisal at a local CarMax if you want before you go. Know how much the car you want should cost - there are plenty of resources in the internet that help (don't even consider paying anything over "dealer invoice")

The dealership exists to separate you from your money.

EDIT: Don't get into a conversation on monthly payment - that is not how much the car costs. The monthly payment (well, you have to be able to afford it, but...) has nothing to do with the cost of the car -- they will stretch out the payment for years and years to lower the payment.
 

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Hey guys, I'd really appreciate some tips/advise for buying a new 16/17 Volt since I've never bought a new car before. The must-have is leather seat, I do like the blue color, but if the deal is too good to pass, I can live with other color as well.

I've been browsing the local dealers' sites, and only find two blue Volts premier trim, being ~50 miles away. So do I just drive ~50miles and take a look? My instinct tells me it would be a bad choice, since I could be well wasting my time when I get there and told that that specific car is gone and caught un-prepared with alternative choices.

What should I do before going to the dealer in this scenario? Pick up a few alternatives as well? Do I have choice to go to my closest dealer and ask them to get a blue color from the network, assuming the car drives the same with same trim/optional packages, I don't necessarily need to test-drive the car I end up paying, do I? Sorry about the amateur questions, but I'm a little bit nervous about getting ripped off at first try.
OK, I will try to help here. You go to your local dealership only for a test drive. A new car is a new car is a new car.

Figure out exactly what you want. Only buy what you want, otherwise you will have buyer's remorse.

Figure out what a good deal is and what you are willing to pay. This is the hardest and requires the most work. Once this is handled the rest is easy. You only negotiate with yourself, not the dealer.

Search far and wide using autotrader.com cargurus.com and cars.com even Ebay too

Find what you want and offer an OTD (out the door price). OTD is very important as this way you know your total cost and don't get hit with some goofy fees you were not expecting. You can pay any fee you like, and a dealer can include it, but don't let it affect what you are willing to pay.

Once you find what you want, email the dealers and say "I will buy for X amount of dollars" If they agree, buy the car. If they don't, move on and keep searching.
 

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Hey guys, I'd really appreciate some tips/advise for buying a new 16/17 Volt since I've never bought a new car before. The must-have is leather seat, I do like the blue color, but if the deal is too good to pass, I can live with other color as well.

I've been browsing the local dealers' sites, and only find two blue Volts premier trim, being ~50 miles away. So do I just drive ~50miles and take a look? My instinct tells me it would be a bad choice, since I could be well wasting my time when I get there and told that that specific car is gone and caught un-prepared with alternative choices.

What should I do before going to the dealer in this scenario? Pick up a few alternatives as well? Do I have choice to go to my closest dealer and ask them to get a blue color from the network, assuming the car drives the same with same trim/optional packages, I don't necessarily need to test-drive the car I end up paying, do I? Sorry about the amateur questions, but I'm a little bit nervous about getting ripped off at first try.

Okay Mr.Nobody, go to the GM car of your choice. then it's Sop - Click- Drive, get a quote from the dealer and then check your quoted price of the vehicle on True Car .com.
It can't be any simpler...Good Luck
 

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Here is an idea. Find a Facebook friend to shop with you who has bought a bunch of cars. If I lived closer I would go with you. There is no way to anticipate every question you are going to run into.
 

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A business expert friend used the following technique in this area where there are multiple local dealers. He would decide how much he is willing to pay (homework required) and ask the dealer if he would do the deal. If not, he walked away. (a key to this technique) He never failed to find a hungry dealer who would accept the deal, especially at the end of a sales month, or "sale" when the dealer needed added volume in order to collect undisclosed money from the factory. Good luck. You will love the car.
 

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As others have said, the two keys are putting in the work to know what a good deal is and having the patience to wait for a dealer to agree to your price.

"I wanna" is a powerful force that drives many people to spend more to get it N-O-W!!!
 

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What I do:
  1. I email all of the dealers I might be interested in buying from with a description of the model and options I want and tell them to email me back a quote and that I'll be comparing offers from multiple dealers. I usually put them all in the "bcc:" field and myself in the "To:" so they don't see who all I'm corresponding with nor will they accidentally "reply-all." I do not put my phone number in that email because I don't want to take calls, I want everything in email. I also use a different email account so that I can avoid spamming up my personal email (a throw-away GMail account works great for this)
  2. After a few days, from the ones that took time to email an actual quote, I'll start individually replying to negotiate down. Eventually, I find one of them that has both the best price and seems to be the most honest sounding and I'll schedule a test drive. Having the negotiations done through email makes the dealer visit very mechanical and greatly reduces the chance of them haggling in person.
  3. If financing the car, I always go get pre-approved at my credit union, not only do they usually have the best rates, it really lets me focus on the price of the car and not monthly payments while doing the negotiations. Also, getting pre-approved can really tell you what you can afford without the emotional tug of that new car sitting right outside waiting for you. (Even better, save up and buy the car for cash)
  4. If leasing, I make sure I get all of the info from them in emails: cap cost, residual, interest rate/money factor, term, miles, end of lease fees and car condition requirements (ie: how much tire tread is required), etc. I plug all these into a spreadsheet or online lease calculator ( http://www.edmunds.com/calculators/car-lease.html ) and if the numbers don't match what the dealer is telling me, I question the on it. I also do not pay anything down on a lease; it's a rental, why would I pre-pay it? (Remember that leasing almost never makes financial sense; I've done it with plugin cars where the IRS tax credit usually gets lumped into the residual and because the battery tech is changing so fast, but I don't recommend it otherwise.)
  5. Finally, I never pay for any of the dealer add-ons - if it's not on the manufacturer's sticker, it doesn't matter to me. The only after-market thing I get is window tint and if the dealer won't comp' that, I'll go get it done elsewhere.
Oh, if you're counting on the IRS EV rebate, make sure you qualify (you have to have at least that much in taxes due after deductions to get it) if not, I'd look at a used one.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you so much for all the tips, guys. Here are a few follow up questions I need your help too:

1. when email local dealers, which email address should I look for? Is it the internet sales email address from individual dealer or the "request quote" at GM volt site? I tried the GM site, but only got one reply from my nearest dealer who did not have too many volts to begin with.

2. when I ask for quote, how specific should I be? Like I said, the only must-have I can see now is the leather seats and I really want to have a blue color. The rest of the bellls and whistles like the driver confidences packages, it's good to have if I'm only paying 1k more compared to an LT+leather. Do I need to tell them exactly that, say I need a blue+leather, tell me what you can do. They may well throw some other configuration at higher price, since I don't think LT+leather is that often seen. I don't want to lose my bargain power by limiting my flexiblities and let the dealer see that as well. What is the good comprise of specificity?

3. I have a bad habit of using discount% to evaluate the quality of deal, it works for me at other smaller purchases, but probably not for cars I suppose. For example, if I see a fully loaded MSRP 40k premier and dealer adversitise at 32k, it would be more intriguing for me if its a MSRP 33k cheaper trim, but advertise at 30k price. What might be a good bar to evaluate if I'm getting a good price?

Much appreciate it.
 

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Thank you so much for all the tips, guys. Here are a few follow up questions I need your help too:

1. when email local dealers, which email address should I look for? Is it the internet sales email address from individual dealer or the "request quote" at GM volt site? I tried the GM site, but only got one reply from my nearest dealer who did not have too many volts to begin with.

2. when I ask for quote, how specific should I be? Like I said, the only must-have I can see now is the leather seats and I really want to have a blue color. The rest of the bellls and whistles like the driver confidences packages, it's good to have if I'm only paying 1k more compared to an LT+leather. Do I need to tell them exactly that, say I need a blue+leather, tell me what you can do. They may well throw some other configuration at higher price, since I don't think LT+leather is that often seen. I don't want to lose my bargain power by limiting my flexiblities and let the dealer see that as well. What is the good comprise of specificity?

3. I have a bad habit of using discount% to evaluate the quality of deal, it works for me at other smaller purchases, but probably not for cars I suppose. For example, if I see a fully loaded MSRP 40k premier and dealer adversitise at 32k, it would be more intriguing for me if its a MSRP 33k cheaper trim, but advertise at 30k price. What might be a good bar to evaluate if I'm getting a good price?

Much appreciate it.
1) Always deal with the internet manager. Ask for them.

2) You have this all wrong. You don't ask for a quote. You tell them what you will pay. This requires a lot of work on your part as you must know what a good deal is, and at what price you are willing to purchase.

Also, only buy what you want. Decide on that. You don't want buyer's remorse.

3) On number three, refer to #2. You must know what a good deal is; otherwise, you are wasting your time and theirs.

Decide on everything. Then, "I will buy for X amount of dollars"
 

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Lots of good advice here. Several things to add.
  • The car is a commodity. While this variant you want may be rare today, the factory is cranking out others that you can get tomorrow, or next week. Be patient.
  • Get the $1,000 private offer (see the 98 page thread on this) before you go in and do not disclose you have it until you have agreed on the final price. That's $1,000 right there.
  • See what Costco deals and TrueCar deals are available to get an idea what you can do without negotiation. Use these as a fall back. Costco is often one of the best deals around.
  • Figure out if you can take full advantage of the federal tax credit. You need to be making $65,000 to $70,000 minimum to get the full credit. If not, then consider used. A 2016 will likely have not yet needed it's first oil change yet.
Best of luck. You are already on the right track by asking questions.
 

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1) Always deal with the internet manager. Ask for them.

2) You have this all wrong. You don't ask for a quote. You tell them what you will pay. This requires a lot of work on your part as you must know what a good deal is, and at what price you are willing to purchase.

Also, only buy what you want. Decide on that. You don't want buyer's remorse.

3) On number three, refer to #2. You must know what a good deal is; otherwise, you are wasting your time and theirs.

Decide on everything. Then, "I will buy for X amount of dollars"
Don't do this! Don't offer any price, because that sets a "floor" on what the dealer knows you will pay, and then he can negotiate up from there. The other poster who mentioned emails is on the right track. Pit the dealers against each other to smoke out the best price - never name your own price. I used FightingChance.com for this (very similar to the other poster's email approach).

Don't feel like you have to buy an extended warranty, even if you want one. You can always buy that later, from ANY dealer, and because it's about 50% profit for the dealers, you can shop around to get the best deal there, too.
 

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Don't do this! Don't offer any price, because that sets a "floor" on what the dealer knows you will pay, and then he can negotiate up from there. The other poster who mentioned emails is on the right track. Pit the dealers against each other to smoke out the best price - never name your own price. I used FightingChance.com for this (very similar to the other poster's email approach).

Don't feel like you have to buy an extended warranty, even if you want one. You can always buy that later, from ANY dealer, and because it's about 50% profit for the dealers, you can shop around to get the best deal there, too.
Apply each person's advice for what's its worth. If you want to pit dealers against each other, go ahead, but that is very much like Direct TV's "The Settlers". I prefer to negotiate with only myself. I would rather know what a great deal is, and get it, then to allow a dealer to dictate a negotiation. Once you know what a great deal is and what you are willing to pay, purchasing a new car is really very easy. But you must know what a great deal is first.
 

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A few other points:

1. I also wanted leather, but someone made a good point that you can always get that installed after market, and thus enhance your negotiating position when buying the car.

2. I prefer to avoid dealer financing. I got financing through my credit union (CUs rock!), so that the dealer couldn't play games with me there.

3. When buying the car, don't say ANYTHING about having a trade in. Maybe you do, maybe you don't, you "haven't decided on that" yet, kapiche? As others have said, the dealer will use that to game the price you negotiate. Personally, I think you should take your trade-in to CarMax first and get a free quote for them to buy. It will almost always be higher than what a dealer will give you.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You must know what a good deal is; otherwise, you are wasting your time and theirs.

Decide on everything. Then, "I will buy for X amount of dollars"
How exactly can I find out what a good deal price is? Can you please share a few resources/sites to help me learn that? I suppose xx% off MSRP is not a good indication then?
 

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Apply each person's advice for what's its worth. If you want to pit dealers against each other, go ahead, but that is very much like Direct TV's "The Settlers". I prefer to negotiate with only myself. I would rather know what a great deal is, and get it, then to allow a dealer to dictate a negotiation. Once you know what a great deal is and what you are willing to pay, purchasing a new car is really very easy. But you must know what a great deal is first.
That's the point. You have NO idea what a great deal is, because dealer bonuses and goals differ for each location for each month, and they are secret (I'm not talking incentives, here). You never know when a dealer is ONE car away from that bonus, and is willing to sell you a car for $3k under invoice, to secure that six-figure volume bonus. The dealer who would give you the car at $3k under invoice this month, may not budge at all next month, based on where they are for those targets. If you arbitrarily set your own "great deal", you pass up that opportunity (unless maybe you are seriously low-balling, like $10k under invoice).
 

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How exactly can I find out what a good deal price is? Can you please share a few resources/sites to help me learn that? I suppose xx% off MSRP is not a good indication then?
As another member and I have suggested, the only way to actually get "the best deal", is to poll a large number of dealers, a la the FightingChance method (and no, I don't represent them or get any money from them). That is basically the same as calling and emailing a bunch of dealers, although the guys at FightingChance lay out a script for you and do some great research to help set you up, plus they are happy to talk to you on the phone directly to answer questions and give advice.
 
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