How much should a new car cost? While there’s no single answer to this question, dealers should be able to sell you a new car for 1-2% over the invoice price and still make a fair and acceptable profit.

There are quite a few websites you can visit to find out what the invoice price of a car should be:

  • Our personal favorite here at AccurateAutoAdvice.com is Edmunds.com, but you can also find out invoice price on
  • Cars.com
  • KBB.com
  • Yahoo! Autos

Believe it or not, a lot of the manufacturers are starting to put this information on their websites too.

Finding the Best Price

Once you have the invoice price in your hand, you can try a few different things to get the best price:

  1. Request a few quotes from different websites before you approach a dealer. You never know, you might hit upon a special offer when you do that and end up with a price that’s even less than invoice.
  2. Check out pricing on TrueCar
  3. Email individual dealers thru their websites, asking for a quote
  4. Check with your credit union or local bank to see if they recommend a buying service
  5. If you’re a member of your local Sam’s Club or Costco, they may also have a recommended buying service.

However, when it’s all said and done, most new cars are going to cost 1-2% over invoice. If you want to save yourself a lot of hassle, just find the car you want at the local dealer, offer them $100 or $200 over invoice, and see what they counter with. If you’re in that 1-2% over invoice range, feel free to make the deal.

What Happens If You Can’t Buy at 1-2% Over Invoice?

What happens when a dealer doesn’t want to sell you a car for 1-2% over invoice? Sometimes when a new vehicle is in high demand, it’s almost impossible to get a discount. If you’re not willing to pay full price, then your best strategy is to wait for demand to die down.

There are times when a dealership refuses to budge on price because of “principle.” They don’t want to discount their car because it’s a luxury vehicle, because they say it’s scarce, or because they know they’re the only dealer in the area with that particular car.

When a dealer refuses to budge on price, there are a few things you can try:

  • Get back online, but widen your search to different states and metropolitan areas. For instance, you might be able to go to a different city or state and save a couple thousand dollars. If you’re saving that much money, it would make sense to fly or drive there to pick up your car. The really cool part is that a lot of big dealers in large cities are willing to deliver the car to you, even if you’re out of state.
  • Buy on the last day of the month. Dealers always have quotas that they have to meet, or contests that they’re taking part in, or they have incentives to sell a certain amount of cars, etc. These all stop at the end of the month, and if selling you a car will help the dealer meet their sales goal, they might stretch quite a bit to get your business.
  • Try calling the dealership in the middle of a storm. Dealers are expected to sell a certain amount of cars every day, regardless of the weather. If you make them an offer in the middle of a storm, you might be pleasantly surprised. The only catch is, you have to be willing to go to the dealership during the storm to pick up your new car! 🙂

As always, take your time when buying a new car. Do your research, get multiple financing quotes, and feel free to contact us with your questions.

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