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12 Steps to Getting the Best Deal on a New Car

Step 5: Determine the bottom-line price.

(General Motors Corporation)

(General Motors Corporation)

Once you’ve winnowed down your choices, check online or printed price guides to determine a given make and model’s MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price– also known as its “sticker” price), and also the dealer’s so-called invoice price for the version of the car or truck you’re considering, plus any options. Essentially a few percent above the dealer’s actual cost should be your “target” price. The final transaction price will wind up somewhere between the MSRP and invoice prices, and it’s a uniquely moving target that’s determined largely by the law of supply and demand. Generally, less popular and overstocked models will tend to be offered with the deepest discounts, while the hottest-selling rides may still command at or close to sticker price.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]