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Discussion Starter #1
YAY! After 3 years of driving a clunker I paid cash for at the time, now we're ready to purchase something nicer for me. Well, 'ready' is a stretch- our plan was another 1-2 years down the line, but my current mini van is getting some frame rot, so replacing it now makes far more sense than fixing it. As is, it won't pass inspection this year in Sept, so time does count a bit.

Even though our plan's accelerated so we don't have quite as much as we'd like to, we can do fine if we're careful. Long story short, after much research and multiple conversations with a dealership 1.5 hours away, we went down to check out 'my' car, ready to pay with a bank check. As soon as they heard we were paying cash and not financing through them, they jacked the price up $1k, claiming we had to pay the price on the windshield instead of the advertised price. The 'best' they could do for us, including my clunker trade, was still more than $500 over the price listed on their website. The salesman snottily assured us this policy is clearly listed on their website, and it's not. It's not anywhere! I double and triple checked that when we got home.

We walked, needless to say, after wasting 4.5 hours of a day, 3 of them spent in the car, with 2 small kids. We're off to a different dealership tomorrow who assures us the price listed is the price for everyone, regardless of payment method. We're now a bit nervous they won't bargain on the price since we're paying cash. They've done nothing to make us feel that way, the first dealership has just made us incredibly leary of the whole thing.

Any advice to get the best deal 'despite' paying cash? Yes, we could have just taken the loan at the original dealership and just paid it off in full, but dang it, we worked hard to do this cash only, and I'll be buggered if I'll be bullied into a loan I don't want, even if temporarily. That first dealership was deceptive and hoped that they could 'penalize' us for paying cash instead of financing through them since they wouldn't make any money off a loan through us. Pretty low of them, and we're gun shy of the whole thing now to say the least. Any tips on how to get a decent deal while paying cash appreciated!
 

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The last 2 cars I bought were with cash at a dealership. I printed out info about 4 or 5 cars I was interested in (at different dealerships) and had a cashier's check made out to me. In the first dealership, I found the car I was interested in on the lot, and it had a much higher price on the windshield. When the salesman came out, I said I was interested in the car, but only at x price, including tax. (x price about $1500 less than the internet price, and way less than the windshield price). I made it clear really quickly and very politely that I "didn't want to waste HIS time" so if my offer wasn't possible, I needed to get going to look at the next car. After consulting with his "manager", he agreed to the price, then later they tried to add on the sales tax, but I had that cashier's check and claimed I didn't have any more to spend. (And I was ready to walk).
Also the deal included that I could get the car inspected. I had no trade. The second time, I was helping my daughter get a car and we used the same method, but she ended up putting in her old car into the offer as trade.Even so, I think she did okay.
In our experience, you should go at the end of the month (or year, even better), take print outs of cars for sale at other dealerships, don't take a trade in, and have a cashier's check made to yourself for a little less than you are willing to spend. Then you might tell them you could "scrape up a few more dollars" if they won't meet your offer. They want to sell you a car, and there are a lot of cars out there for sale, so be willing to walk away if they don't come down close to your price. Also, don't fall in love with a car (until after its yours) :wink:

It sounds to me like they were pretty sure you really wanted that car.
 

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When we bought ours we went and looked, test drove some models and never mentioned how we were going to pay until we were sitting down with the sales guy and ready to sign. It was at Carmax, and we really loved the no-pressure, no-gimmicks policy they have there. They do title and plates there too, so when we were ready to leave they took care of that and we just drove off and were done.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think it was more of a 'Oh, these folks have dough' move because it came up within 2 minutes of meeting him when he asked how we would pay for the vehicle, any the response was 'If we like it, we'll be paying cash' and then he dropped the news the price just went up $1,000. We should have turned around and walked out then, but he assured us that his manager would 'work something out'. Should have known that meant 'I'm going to push you hard to try to force you to finance this through us'. I didn't even go on the test drive, my husband did, and he's pretty poker faced. When it was time to wheel and deal, and the guy tried to stick us with the higher price again, my husband told him NO, go speak to your manager and make it the best you can do- we're not sitting here all day. When the price was dropped a whole $100 from the jack upped price, we didn't hesitate to walk out. It was a no brainer.

It was a long morning and a waste of time, but we went in there comfortable with walking away if we wanted to. It's not a rare car, and there are other dealerships in the sea. Maybe they hoped we'd feel 'stuck' with it because we did haul all the way down there. Joke's on him- we live in a rural area, and EVERY dealership is a good hour, at least, away. Traveling an hour to do something we don't do often isn't new to us.
 

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Any tips on how to get a decent deal while paying cash appreciated!
Do your research FIRST............and/or take Iphone/Ipad and be ready to do it at dealership......if able. Check the inventory on-line can save you some time and give an opportunity for e-price.........try NOT to give out your phone number or you will have them calling you and bugging you.

Don't know if this will help.....but the more info you have the better.........

Hassle-free car-buying experience from a nationwide network of certified dealers. - TrueCar

How to Buy a New or Used Car and Get the Best Deal Every Time - RealCarTips.com

And with all the floods and hurricanes that have happened.............BE VERY CAREFUL BUYING USED that you aren't getting a car that was in a prior flood.

Don't rely on Carfax............there is supposed to be another out there that is better but forget the name of it right now.......(??autocheck??)

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/10/carfax_facts.html ----this is pretty long article but might shed some light on Carfax reporting.

GOOD LUCK...............I hate car shopping.................would rather have a ROOT CANAL than go car shopping!!!
 

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As you quickly learned, seal the deal on the price BEFORE you tell them how you're going to pay.

Frankly, I think you lucked out. Seems to me if all the dealership is interested in is financing the purchase, you're probably not getting a great car. Around here we have dealerships that advertise cars for really, really cheap as though that is the sale price. Nope, that is just the down payment and they lure you in with that price. People get emotional, buy the car anyway, and take the "easy financing". That's when they find out that the second their payment is not on time - even sometimes when it is - the "dealership" repossesses the car. It is bad, bad news.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all. We had a much better experience today and ended up purchasing the same model car/similar mileage/same color, dealer certified, 'document' fees included, for about the same price the other dealership tried to force us into, and they knew we were paying cash upfront. There was no push at all to have us finance, so it was a nice change to be sure! Excited about my 'new' car, and paying cash for a three year old SUV made me quite proud of the work we've been doing with our finances. It was nice to find a dealership that valued us as customers regardless of how we would pay for the vehicle.
 

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We had a much better experience today

'document' fees included, for about the same price .
And those doc. fees can be a killer............as I have recently learned. My state charges $150 (the limit) but have been shopping 'across state lines' and some states have no limit..........YEOW!!! One state was $600............whew.....that, on top of our killer sales tax (which I pay when I get back home!!) makes you choke at the price!
 

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Listen, my dh is Service manager at the local dealership.

Sales work off commission. That guy was setting the price for his commission. Don't be afraid to ask to speak to someone else even if it is the used car sales manager. The worst that can happen is you leave without car.

Also, you do know you can pick your own finance company. When we buy at our dealership we get a quote from several places.
 

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I shopped around at a lot of dealerships before I bought my last car which I paid cash for...The one that I took was a year old and had only 10th miles..They dropped the price by $3,000 when they learned that I was paying cash for it..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update- we did find just what we were looking for, at a price we found agreeable without a lot of haggling back and forth. I've had my 2010 Rav4 for 2 months now and I LOVE it. The only 'surprise' in the whole business...we couldn't just go withdraw cash from the bank. Even with 2 open banks in the area, between the two of them they did not have enough cash on hand for us to withdraw (and we're talking a 2010 Rav4, not a Porsche here). We had no trouble getting a certified bank check instead, but we had to wait at the dealership a few more HOURS as they had to run my credit to even accept a bank check from me. It was the last day of the month and quite busy, so we had to wait our turn to speak with him and present payment. A ploy for the finance manager to try to talk us into an extended warranty? Probably. Imagine his frustration when we had no interest whatsoever. While we were waiting, we chatted with another couple purchasing their car with cash as well, which is their habit. Neat to meet some like minded folks!

Next time we'll just arrange to bring cash on hand so we can wheel and deal, pay, and go.
 
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