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Buying Tips - How Do I Get the Best Deal?

I'm planning on purchasing a Matrix XR. Any buying or negotiating tips that you can share?
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Comments

  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    Don,
    I just bought a Vibe yesterday -- twin to the Matrix, as you probably know.
    So far, I'm impressed with the car. There is nothing out there that I'm aware of that gives you so much interior space for its outside size. Here are some of the good points, in a general way:
    Seating: Car is tall, and the space under the front seats is nicely hollow. I'm 6'1" and can sit comfortably in front, then get out and sit comfortably "behind myself", so to speak. Try THAT in a Protege (which is otherwise a fine car). There is a ton of space with the seats folded, and the folding is easy and painless. Cubbyholes everywhere. Wonderful stick shift -- this car is bound to be a dog with the 4sp auto -- real men drive sticks anyway. Couldn't believe the 205/55 tires. In a "Corolla"??? Good Lord, but sure corners well. 115V outlet, hidden 12V point for cell phone + charger, little things like that are great. Frt pass seat folds flat, so my 4-year old can see out the front. She likes. Glass hatch pops up separately. Pop the big hatch, and you have a dry spot for tailgating. Auto headlights means never use your headlight switch again. 3-spoke steering wheel is really nice.

    Here's some not-so-hot stuff:
    The speedo: Cleverly marked in 20/40/60/80 increments. For you in metric Canada, that's no big deal, but can you say STUPID???? Who came up with that idea? I'm getting used to it, but how about markers at 25 and 35, where the relevant speed limits are. Dumb dumb dumb dumb and unnecessary. Daytime running lights blind you when you're backing up and there's a big white garage door in front of you. No defeat switch, and leavin parking brake clicked don't help either. grrr.

    As far as negotiation etc. etc. don't sweat it. Find a car you like, figure invoice from Edmunds or kbb, add whatever is necessary -- check TMV, for instance, or just offer invoice from the get-go and see what they counter with... the deal is going to get done withing a few hundred bucks either way of invoice + $500 (in the U.S. anyway).
    Think about it: You're likely to lose more money by picking the wrong color than by giving the salesperson "$300 too much". Don't trip over dollars to get to the dimes.

    Personally, I like to use the web or the after-hours lot walk to find THE car, then stroll in, ask politely for a salesperson, do the test drive, have them write it up, and then put my initial offer on the buyer's order. After that, don't talk much, don't discuss how you got there or what fair profit is, or whatever. If you're not at a reasonable price within 15 minutes, you need a different dealer.

    Don't forget to check for incentives on the web, but with Toyota, your salesperson will KNOW what's up and you can only guess. So you need to be a little flexible.

    Finally, do the math and consider a base Vibe with he power package. By the time you add incentives (GM Card, maybe?), one may save you $500 over the other. I like the Vibe better, but thte Matrix will likely have better resale.

    Good luck,
    -Mathias

    EDIT: On the 'trix, the ABS is only $300. Get it. Special-order if necessary. In Canada (and MI) it's mandatory.
  • What he (Mathias) said.
    Here's the same approach, with a little different spin:
    "Hey guys, Bobst actually buys a car !!!" Oct 19, 2003 5:23pm

    Notice the emphases on staying out of chat mode and always remembering your option to walk? Here's why:
    http://www.edmunds.com/advice/buying/articles/42962/article.html?- - tid=edmunds.a.landing.buying..4.*

    Two things I'd add:
    Spend $12 on a Consumer Reports printout. Sometimes the pricing data is better than what you can get for free.
    If you wanna save some drive time, you can use the net to locate car and dealer.
  • Hey Prodigalsun,

    I couln't stop laughing! Nice tips! I'll take that into account... HAHA
  • Hi planetdon. I like your choice in cars. The Toyota Matrix is a good, reliable vehicle. Have you checked out the Pontiac Vibe yet? You may want to add it to your shopping list as well. I say this because much like the Toyota Corolla - Chevrolet Prizm of several years ago, the Matrix and Vibe are produced jointly by GM and Toyota. They are very similar vehicles, other than their styling and the fact that the Pontiac can often be purchased for less money.

    As far as shopping advice goes, Edmunds.com has a number of excellent articles on how to purchase a new vehicle. Definitely make sure to check out this one prior to going shopping: 10 Steps to Buying a New Car. This article will get you started, but please make sure to let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks.

    Car_man
    Host
    Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    1) Decide what kind of car you want to buy.

    2) Try to figure out how much it will cost. The info on this website will help.

    3) Go to the dealer and make an offer.

    That's about it.
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    that it took 15 posts for someone to mention the Prizm. :^)
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    He said "excellent interior". That the Prizm does not have. -m
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    Sorry, my post didn't convey the sarcasm intended. I just find it somewhat humorous that in any discussion about buying a used car, the vaunted Prizm always makes its way in there. Maybe it's just me. :^)
  • It's our rainman response. Yeah...Prism...Definitely get a prism...Yeah...Definitely Uh oh, time for Bimmer!
  • Like planetdon, I'm also looking for a Matrix in Canada. Right now, the level of incentives for Corolla/Matrix here is laughable: 5.9% financing. Does anyone know whether Toyota (or most automakers) will raise their incentive levels for the holiday season?

    Interesting side note: I was watching product showcase (glorified infomercial) on SPEED channel and they referred to the Matrix as the Corolla Matrix. I've read that insurance companies have been using that name but this is the first time I've seen it used in Toyota's marketing efforts.
  • Here it is, the definitive list of what you should do. ordinarily you would have had to hang out on the edmunds smart shopper board for 2.3 years to get the level of knowledge I am about to impart to you in one post. The following strategies will guarantee the lowest price and the best possible experience.

    1. Do not research the vehicle at all, it's best to unfetter your powers of intuition by keeping the clutter of "facts" and "figures" to a minimum. When you’re asked by the salesman how you arrived at your figures, just say “I cannot reveal my sources, nor will I upon pain of death”.

    2. Understand that the car salesman is there to rip you off, take you for a ride, lead you down the primrose path, and then drop you like a bad habbit. Little known fact, Most car salesman are directly descended from south sea island cannibals. If you see shrunken heads dangling from the rear view mirrors of the service loaners, RUN! How do you best combat these godless fiends? Regardless of what ever spell they try to cast when they open their mouth, shout repeatedly "I'm only paying 4K under invoice!!!"

    3. Pack a lunch, and while negotiating repeatedly offer bites to the salesman, while making wet smacking noises with your lips.

    4. Remember, the Car Salesman will lie to you worse than Ann Coulter on peppermint schnapps, so the only way to combat this is to lie about everything. If your name is Rob, tell them it's Steve. If you want a sports car, tell them you want an SUV, and if you're married, single. You get the idea. If you're a payment buyer, tell them you'll be paying in cash.

    5. Don't bathe for a week prior to shopping.

    6. To ensure best service, Walk into the middle of showroom floor, spread your arms wide to the heavens, and bellow at the top of your lungs: "WHO WANTS TO SELL A CAR TODAY?!?!?" This will result in all salesmen who want to sell a car today to converge on you like hobos on a meat sandwich. Of course, you may see older members of the dealership heading in the opposite direction. This merely means that they probably want to sell a car tomorrow, not today.

    7. Start giggling like a giddy school girl every time the salesman says the words "Trade Allowance", "Parsippany" or "the".

    8. Present your offer in the form of a quadratic equation.

    9 One of the standard tactics of the car dealer is to make you sit and stew while they “present” your offer to the sales manager. Don’t let this throw you. To counteract this insidious approach, bring some novelty glasses with pictures of naked people on the lenses. When the salesman gets up to take your offer, whip them out and announce “Take your time, I’ll just be using my X-Ray vision goggles while your gone.” Put them on and begin leering at other patrons and dealer employees, while whistling appreciatively.

    10: Ignore the previous 9 tips. hang out and listen to the good people here, read the voluminous guides on this site, and then go and make the best deal you can.

    Well, there you have it, your 10 steps to success. Knock yourself out
  • dbgindydbgindy Posts: 351
    I preferred the previous #10 more. :-)

    Duncan
  • tknighttknight Posts: 1
    Some dealer web sites list documentation/processing fees in the $500-$600 range on top of price and delivery fees. Are these legit or just add'l profit? What fees should I expect to pay in addition to the price I negotiate for the car? I appreciate the help. Thanks.
  • cticti Posts: 134
    *** What fees should I expect to pay in addition to the price I negotiate for the car? ***

    This is your problem. You should INCLUDE these fees in whatever price you negotiate. Or more precisely, ignore the fees and deal in an Out-the-Door price. Let the dealership handle itemizing all the charges.

    Jason
  • "Wonderful stick shift -- this car is bound to be a dog with the 4sp auto -- real men drive sticks anyway. "

    Right........

    Actually wrong.

    Real men KNOW HOW to drive a manual transmission but we don't burn up clutches drivving a 33 mile stop n go route evey day!
  • asafonovasafonov Posts: 373
    Real men KNOW HOW to drive a manual transmission but we don't burn up clutches drivving a 33 mile stop n go route evey day!

    Real men (or women) have better things to do than commute 33 miles in traffic every day.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    Let's stick to conversation that relates to the discussion title, please.

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,257
    kristie....are you saying prodigalson's post was "off-topic"? I was planning to use some of thsoe techniques.

    We have a Vibe in the family. These aren't speedy by any stretch. Ours is an automatic. While it shifts smoothly, you aren't going to win any stoplight wars with them.

    On the other hand, the Vibe/Matrix does return 35 MPG on the highway and is capable of hauling lawn equipment, mulch and all the "half-stockings" Grandma can put into it.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,257
    kristie....are you saying prodigalson's post was "off-topic"? I was planning to use some of thsoe techniques.

    We have a Vibe in the family. These aren't speedy by any stretch. Ours is an automatic. While it shifts smoothly, you aren't going to win any stoplight wars with them.

    On the other hand, the Vibe/Matrix does return 35 MPG on the highway and is capable of hauling lawn equipment, mulch and all the "half-stockings" Grandma can put into it. Plus, there's about $1,500 from GM to use as incentive money on it.

    Aside from exterior differences, the drivetrain and interiors are identical to the MAtrix.
  • I'm in the market for a used (2002-2003) pickup, and am looking chiefly at the Toyota Tacoma, but also at the Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier.

    I live in New England, where we are currently coming to the end of one of the worst winters in recent years. I assume this is the reason that there are hardly any such trucks available at dealerships.

    Also, the few slightly used pickups that are around have inflated pricing. Some of the 2002-2003 Tacomas I've looked at were selling for more than the MSRP of a new Tacoma! Even after bargaining with the dealers, they would not come down more than $500 or so. Demand must be high.

    Does anyone know a good time to buy trucks in the northeast? Will prices get more sensible as we get closer to summer? Any advice is appreciated.
  • asafonovasafonov Posts: 373
    No, I think I was off-topic. Mea culpa...
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Here's tips on car buying from a local dealer here in Detroit that has a weekly Auto Advice radio show. Comments?

    http://www.carguyshow.com/Tips%20for%20buying%20a%20New%20Car.htm
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Another interesting article from the same guy about trade-ins:

    http://www.carguyshow.com/taxcode.htm
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ......... Bud, how many times are you going to post this.? ....... besides, kick the caps .......................

    Terry.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,139
    ***...how many times are you going to post this. ?***

    Eight, so far, according to the search function...
  • fsfrickfsfrick Posts: 1
    We recently acquired a Pontiac Vibe. We cannot. however, find the 12 volt accessory outlet. Can you tell us where it is?
    FSF
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    You'll get a better response from other owners in our Pontiac Vibe discussion.

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  • A good afternoon everyone:

    Objective - Know as much about the supply/demand situation of a vehicle before negotiations

    Subject - Is there a place consumers can get info on the inventory levels of a particular model? I presume the higher the # of days of inventory = the more intersted the dealer will be to negotiate.

    Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Kindest Regards From NascarQueen24
  • What kind of leverage can I expect to gain if I can walk into a Mercedes Benz (C240, C320/350, or E320/350) or Volvo (S40 T) dealership with cash/check in hand? I should be in this position with no need to finance within the next 3-6 months. I still have heartburn over buying brand new vs. buying slightly used because of depreciation, but I will have the option of buying new or used. Any thoughts would be appreciated. :shades:
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    From what I have heard, the price will be higher if you pay cash. If you finance the car through the dealer, they will make a good deal of money from the interest charges, so they could sell the car for a slightly lower price.

    We have been paying cash for our cars since 1976 because that is the way we like to do it. I guess we pay more doing it like that, but it makes ti simpler, and that is what we like.
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