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2013 and earlier Nissan Altima Prices Paid and Buying Experience

volcano2volcano2 Posts: 20
edited January 2014 in Nissan
Sorry for being redundant here if you've read this on other boards - just trying to find out what I can ASAP - I'm hot for this car!

Hi - 1st time on. I've learned a lot just by reading - and some are quite humorous! Need all the help I can get on my 1st purchase if anyone would be so kind; my '89 Mit.Galant just gave up. Narrowed it down to Altima S 4 cyl. automatic basic - nice! Lots of ?, biggest is what's the lowest $ anyone's gotten and how do I get there?

Co-worker said dad paid a chunk of cash & got $3,000 off MSRP - way below invoice (shoulda asked on what!), stick to my guns. Standard fare on the Altima seems to be $500 over invoice ($250 @ best). Got bolder w. last couple of dealers & told them I had a friend in the bus. & knew dealers actually pay 10-15% under invoice + holdback, I want to pay $750 under invoice (or options) - already quoted $500 under. Also, would put down $10,000 cash. I was told to take the deal! Guess it's not going to happen w. a car so new & hot/cost a lot to redesign & market (TMV is $150 below MSRP). Still, I was told to try - gotta try right? Best dealer finan. was 5.5%, home eq. 4.75/1yr. then prime.

Can anyone tell me what's lowest/fair and any tips? Above includes destination & advertising - anything else to expect besides tax/tags, what's the doc. fee & how much? Also any dealers - I'm in No. NJ/tri-state area, willing to travel a bit. Boss suggested try before Christmas/New Years, they'll want to get their #'s up then - just what I need - more stress.

I'd greatly appreciate anyone's help. :)


  • I'm picking up my 3.5SE tomorrow. I did all the research on the all the expert advice. I shopped every dealer within a 200 mile radius of north Louisiana. What I found was that the Altima is such a hot ticket right now that a lot of the standard bargaining strategies just don't apply to this car. I paid $700 over invoice at a small-town Arkansas dealer. It's the same deal the employees get. After shopping around, I was glad to get the deal. I assume you've checked Edmunds TMV for your prospective car? Good luck shopping!
  • By the way, the price I paid was about 3% over invoice with the options I purchased. I would be interested to know where the 10-15% under invoice plus holdback figure came from. I've never seen that on any of the advice/research pages on here. Again, happy shopping!
  • ...which might not be worth much... :)

    Dealers are adapting to us "net savy" people who know what they paid and think a "$250 over invoice" deal is a good bargain...

    The Result: They now include "Dealer Advertising" fees, and a bunch of other stuff in the invoice, so now when you go there and say "I will only pay $250 more than Invoice!" they are more than happy to say "OK!".
  • Paid 27,012 for a 2002 Altima SE with everything except the Xenon headlights, leather and winter package. That was sticker price, but i got 11,824 for my 1999 Camry LE V6 5-speed in trade. True trade in value would have been about 10,300. SO a $1500 discount off sticker price.

    It was a locate so we'll see if they actually deliver. This is the second contract i've signed in 2 weeks. the first was for a Maxima... that a different dealer couldn't locate for me...

    I'm getting the silver with black interior... can't wait!
  • After looking in two states, WA & OR, finally found the one we've been looking for - Sheer Silver 3.5 SE, 5 spd. This car has leather, heated seats & outside mirrors, ABS & side airbags, sunroof, spoiler, floor mats & splash guards. Interestingly, the car came from Canada so they had to retrofit the speedo and put the spoiler on. The car still has daytime running lights and a engine block heater hookup.

    The dealer wanted $28,790 - I offered $25,700. He countered with $26,890 and I came back with a final offer of $26,000 with no other fees - just tax & license. And he accepted. The total time to make the deal and sign papers was just a little over an hour. What do you think?
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    I think this came up in another thread, but the reason you were able to get such a good price on your Altima is that is came from Canada, where the pricing is much lower than it is here. I think a loaded 3.5SE comes in at something like 21-22k in American dollars. Congrats on getting a great deal!
  • I paid $500 over invoice on my Altima SL. I checked Edmunds' price (dealer vs MSRP) based on the car I was considering. I still feel "used" -- didn't challenge the doc fee, so they pretty much got that money back.
    Shoulda, woulda, coulda...
    I still love my ride, though!
  • kcb2kcb2 Posts: 22
    On a 3.5 SE V6 Altima, the dealer showed me his "invoice" of $21,046 that matched the Edmunds invoice, but he added a "MA" fee of $400 which he said Nissan charges the dealership. It is for advertising in the Atlanta area. So he said invoice price was $21,046 plus the $400. This really throws off my figures. He offered to take off the $609 holdback, but then he wanted to add another $289 to the drive-out fee "to pay the people upstairs in the office." I didn't argue, but I didn't write a check either. What's negotiable? (I've read, but this MA fee is not mentioned.)
  • kcb2, Be aware! I live in "south" Metro Atlanta and we checked out several Nissan dealers. Each one told us a different story about fees.

    One dealer is having a $1 over invoice sale and even showed us his "invoice"..funny thing is, it was still $500 more expensive than the dealer we ended up buying from.

    Someone once told me that a car can have several "invoices" so which one was he showing you??

    We bought the Velvet Beige with ABS Brakes/Side airbag. The dealer ordered it from out of state but it was here the next morning.

    We figured we saved $2500 overall with the automatic trans, ABS, sunroof, foglights, splash guards, wind deflector, microfilter and floor mats.
  • kcb2kcb2 Posts: 22
    Hi Squirrel11,
    We are in the south metro Atl area also. Where did you end up buying? Do you know exactly what you paid, ie., invoice + destination charge + advertising fee + profit?) Would you recommend the dealer?

    You did well to find ABS. Seems like no one is carrying it in the Southeast. One dealer located a car in Florida with ABS for me. I have been debating about whether to insist on ABS. On shopping for a good price, I may try faxing to several dealerships to see what kind of offers I get. I would be interested to know exactly what you paid. $2500 under MSRP is hard to figure since I am working up from the invoice pricing. If you would rather email me directly, my email is Thanks, kcb2
  • Some one wanted to know what we paid ($25k) and how.

    Read "Don't Get Taken Every Time", by Remar Sutton. It describes the whole dog-fight you go through when you walk in the door of the dealer, and shows you how to get past every single line they'll throw at you. Your library should have a copy.And it actually became fun, turning the tables and taking control of a deal.

    We started out defining the kind of car we wanted. We decided a four-door sedan, with "medium" car size and some luxuries was what we wanted, looked at 2002 Altima Camry, two Mazdas, the Accord and Civic. Our second limit was what kind of payment we were comfortable with, and for how long. We sat down and figured out what 3, 4, and 5 years of payments would buy us, and that gave us a ballpark for how much we would borrow. Then, we put what down payment we could afford on top of that and that gave us our ceiling for the car's price. We almost forgot the sales tax, which would have been a near-$1500 surprise, but when figuring that in, we knew what we wanted, and what we could afford. Doing the money plan up front gave us a tremendous advantage. Next, we went to the web, Kelly, Edmunds, and Consumer Report. At CR, we bought the New Car Price Report ($12 I think) , which listed the bottom line price, what the dealer would get in kickbacks, any rebates and holdbacks, and stuff that they'd try to stick us with. This saved us the most money, and separated the real dealers from the fleecers.

    You mentioned the Advertising Fee. It's $400. You can ignore it, if you know how. Same with the $1000 "acid-rain" overcoat, and the $400 undercoating, and all the other stuff on the sticker price. How? CR report lists the basic price of the car, and the price of every package, both the dealer's Invoice Price, and the MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, which
    is 15% to 25% higher than the IP). We put together a handwritten list, with the base price and dealer holdback, the shipping charge ($540 - tough to bargain away), and the Invoice Price of every package we wanted, and the total. That page (we made a copy for ourselves, in case the original "vanished" at the manager's desk)was whatwe handed the salesman. It was Our Offer. There was no Ad Fee or other fluff on it.

    Sometimes, the salesman would just laugh and pull a number out of his hat and write it down as a counter-offer. Our total came to about $22,250. One guy said he'd go "$1000 over invoice" and wrote "$24,000" as the "invoice" price. We
    walked. Another guy brought over a bad copy of a "Dealer Invoice", which had the package prices right, but the base price was out in left field, and wound up being $500 over our best offer. We walked.

    At the dealer we bought from, we got a counter-offer with a matching base price, but the MSRP on all the packages. We argued a little, but it was our best offer so far, and we told them so. We also told them we had another dealer
    to see, and left. They probably expected to never see us again. We took their offer and tried to bargain against another dealer, who was having a "$1 over invoice" sale. He had the car we wanted, but the wrong price, and something didn't feel right, so we left. We went back to the other dealer that day, instead of waiting until the next morning, and started to put the deal together.

    The dealer had thought we wanted a diff color which had been sold by the time we got back. He did find our color, but a couple of extra features that he wanted MSRP price for. Not a lot of money, but we knew our choices and timeframe were getting slim.

    No trade-in. Financed with credit union which had simple-interest loans, which saved about $2000 in interest, versus APR at the same rate. So the deal was pretty simple, and we didn't lose money on shell-games. We did pay a $500 "Transfer Fee",
    which we saw for $400 at another Nissan dealer, so you might want to try to negotiate that, and we did get "nickel-and-dimed" a little, paying MSRP for the packages, but all in all, we saved about $2500 on their advertised sticker price, and even beat the "$1 over invoice" price. Taxes and everything worked out to be a little over $25k.

    One week and I love it! First long trip tomorrow!!
  • I picked up my new Altima 2.5S on Saturday, and yes you can get this car for under invoice. The invoice price on my car was $22,213, MSRP 24,389 I paid $21850 plus tax, registration, and documentary fee, total price 23,347
    The car has the following:
    ABS & Side Airbag Pkge
    Power Sunroof
    Wind deflector
    Convience Pkge
    Fog Lights
    Splash Guards
    Floor Mats
    Micro Filter
    Bose Stero
    Electrochromic Mirror w/Compass
  • jebsdaddyjebsdaddy Posts: 52
    I just helped my parents find a good price on the Altima. This is a 2.5S auto. trans, with conv. pck.,sunroof,deflector,microfilter,bose stereo,chromic mirror/compass,splash guards,mats,fog lights,sheer silver

    The cost including delivery was $21,300 + $169 admin. fee.

    Hope this helps, Robert
  • kcb2kcb2 Posts: 22
    Just thought I would post here after buying a Maxima GXE instead of the Altima. We went for the Max instead of the Altima because we wanted ABS and that was hard to find on the Altima although there are few out there. Price was $21,333 plus $489 "fee". Drive-out with a 6% tax was $23,212. We are very happy. Great interior compared to the Altima. Getting 28-29 mpg highway. Cloth, 8 way power driver's side, autodim rearview mirror, Xenon headlights, ABS & four wheel discs all standard. Great car and I actually like the looks better than the new Altima. Rebate $1000 & factory to dealer incentive $500 made it price competitive to the loaded Altima V6.
  • bonjoe1bonjoe1 Posts: 14
    With reference to Nissanconvert's message (Message No. 8). We recently purchased a 2002 Altima 2.5S. We told the salesman that we wanted the manager's bottom line price, and that we didn't feel like playing games anymore..we had been to three dealers before, and we were getting sick and tired of the games they play.
    So the manager came back with the TMV price...we asked if that was his bottom line and he said yes..I did get $200.00 more than he originally wanted to give me for my trade-in. My husband loved the it was a deal. Now, I keep was too easy. Maybe I should have said I wanted more off the price of the car!! It's just funny...with the other two dealers, I had to negotiate to get to the TMV price..but when this dealer said okay..I'll give you the TMV price right away, then we later thought it was too easy and that we might have been able to get the price even lower... Oh's all water over the dam now! We'll just enjoy the car!
  • Today I bought the Altima 2.5S Automatic w/ ABS Package and Convenience Package. Paid $20,400. I called on the phone 5 dealers in the Dallas area and asked for the best price they could give me. I told them upfront to start from the Invoice price and not to add any fees. One dealer wanted me to pay for Advertising Fee of $340 ( I said no way). The dealer where I bought the car from added Market Value Adjustment of $2,000 ( I told him you are crazy...have someone else pay for it) and added a "Protection" Package (rust, acid rain, etc.) told him to take it off. The TMV on Edmunds came to $20,806...I paid $20,400. I was upfront with the dealer. I told him I did my research and would not give him much room to play...and also it's the last day of the month...I guess they need to meet the quota. Paolo
  • blazerbblazerb Posts: 2
    Has anyone purchased a 2.5sl in the Boston area, and what did you pay for it?
  • thagirrlzthagirrlz Posts: 3
    I just bought mine this weekend. I paid 22,400.
    I love it! Especially the stereo controls on the steering wheel.
  • thagirrlz: was the 2.5SL that you bought fully loaded? The dealer I went to has shown me a fully loaded 2.5SL with MSRP: $24,642 and invoice price of $22,716.
  • cj30cj30 Posts: 1
    I got mine to drive off the lot for $19,626 (including tax, tag and title). Auto transmission, splash guards, in-cabin microfilter, and floor mats. Try to find a dealership with a lot of Altimas. They will want to move them off the lot and be more willing to part with them for less money.
  • thagirrlzthagirrlz Posts: 3
    Has leather, sunroof, bose audio, sunroof wind deflector,...the only thing I didn't get were the fog lights. Other than's fully loaded to me!
  • pham2001pham2001 Posts: 15
    To thagirrlz: was the 2.5SL that you bought has these options too (beside leather, sunroof, bose &snroof wind deflector)?.

    -ABS & Airbag Package, Cold Package
    -Splash Guards, Floor Matts & In-Cabin Microfilter.

    I want to know because I got a quote of invoice price with all options above $23,531 plus tax &
    license fees.
  • kimster1kimster1 Posts: 2
    I want a 2.5 SL with ABS/Airbags, Flor mats, Power Sunroof, Side Sill and Rear Splash Guards, and sunroof wind deflector. (i'm assuming leather and sunroof) comes standard.

    How much should I pay? Any dealers in the area that you would recommend?

  • thagirrlzthagirrlz Posts: 3
    2.5 SL

    Mine has everything you listed except the cold package.
  • dirtcheapdirtcheap Posts: 1
    I test drove a 2.5S with a manual, but later found a 3.5SE on the same lot that was pretty much bare-bone with filter, mats, and splash guards. The MSRP was 23,126 plus another 400 for the add-on spoiler (Altima SE's do not automatically come with this, go figure). I purchased the car for $22,500, which I figure isn't too bad for a car with the best V6 ever made (go VQ!). Plus, the three other Nissan dealerships in the St. Louis area were all adding market adjustment. Whatever.

  • rosalynn2rosalynn2 Posts: 1
    I live in MO. Recently I went to 2 dealers to test drive and negotitate a price on the Altima. At the first dealership(close to home), the salesman told me that they do upfront pricing and that he was not going to negotiate on the sticker price of the vehicle. The car is priced at 21,995. With my trade-in the price is 19,995. This is a fully load Altima(no leather seats) Then I went to another dealer. The sticker price was 20,000 (the same vehicle) I negotiated for 18,667. They said no problem )This was without my trade. I'm tempted to go back to the first dealer and see if they will bunge. The TMV is 17,795. Is upfront pricing becoming the norm?
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    If the first dealer's idea of "up front pricing" is MSRP, I would shop elsewhere. There is no need to pay sticker on an Altima.
  • airsalesairsales Posts: 1
    I am also in St Louis and looking at the Altima. It sounds like you got a good deal on your 3.5. Could you save me some time and advise me on which dealer you got that from? I was looking at the 2.5 SL but at that price the 3.5 may be in the budget.
  • cfocfocfocfo Posts: 147
    I too am considering the 2.5SL, I want the leather. Does the 3.5 have leather or is it an option ?
  • uralural Posts: 2
    I am looking for a Canadian invoice price of
    2002 Altima 3.5 SE w/manual and no options (ideally), as well as how much anyone paid for it.
    MSRP vs. actual price before taxes (GST)
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