View Full Version : First Time Car Purchase Tips

06-06-06, 07:21 PM
I'm looking to buy my first new car. Specifically, a red or black 2006 with ebony interior and the FG2 and EMT options. I also plan on financing--I'm not interested in leasing.

I am hoping that you guys could give me some ideas on how much I should expect to pay as well as recommend any effective bargaining/negotiating techniques.

Also, who do you suggest for financing? GMAC? Someone else?

Thanks for reading.

06-06-06, 07:46 PM
Do your homework. You need to find out the following:

1) Dealer invoice
2) Dealer holdback
3) Current Rebates
4) Search dealer inventory - try to find a dealer with multiple V's in stock


1) Do as much over the internet/phone as possible - some are more willing than others.
2) Narrow it down to two dealers and let THEM bid over you
3) ALWAYS be ready and willing to walk away - remember you don't HAVE to buy a car today. I especially like when the dealer calls me back.


1) Secure your own financing in advance. I found that credit unions with "deed record" loans are the best. I got 4.5% on one with a totally tax deductible interest.
2) If the dealer has a GMAC rebate for financing, ensure first that there's no penalty for early payoff. Let him get his "spiff" for using GMAC and then you just refinance with your credit union or other lender.

Extended Warranty:

1) You'll definitely want one if you plan to exceed your warranty. I drive about 25,000 miles per year and tend to trade every two to three years. I get a 5yr/100K mile bumper to bumper warranty. Negotiate this early on and tell them you want this at a discount as well.

Pretty basic stuff, but please don't ask me to research all the numbers for you. You've got to do that on your own. Here's a site that can help:


06-06-06, 07:57 PM

06-06-06, 09:46 PM
Great tips guys. I really appreciate it.

Right now, there's a $3000 dealer rebate. I also believe that dealer holdback for Cadillacs is 3% of MSRP (MSRP = 50675 > holdback ~ 1500).

Through both Edmunds and Costco, total invoice = 48589.93 (base + destination + EMT option + FG2 option).

GMS = 47090.

So there's an approximate $1500 difference between employee/GMS pricing and invoice pricing. Have any of you guys been able to get a car for less than invoice without without rebates or last year's GMS sale?

06-06-06, 09:56 PM
my advice, pick up a low miles used V. Can get a heck of a deal compared to new and just get extended warranty. Even original warranty provides long protection. Just worth considering in my opinion.

06-06-06, 10:50 PM
Been looking for months found a 06 SG/Beige 7900 miles GM program car for $38889.00 traded my '96 STSz(192k miles) for 3k and walked away for $35789. Oil had not been changed and the indicator said change oil got an additional $100 off. Watch for the deals they are out there.. Found this one on cars.com. Took a while longer wanted Stealth Gray...:thumbsup:

06-07-06, 07:16 AM
I agree very strongly with CVP33 that you should line up your own financing in advance. I talked to several different lenders (5, actually) before going in to the dealership, and had already arranged for financing through my bank. While I was there, the finance officer "offered" to check around and see if he could get me a better deal. Of course, I agreed to that. He ended up finding a deal that he said was better, and went ahead and prepared the papers with that lender. The deal that he came up with had an interest rate that was much higher, and a monthly payment that was some $200 higher. I really want to know how this guy defined "better". Probably better for him because of some kickback arrangement he had. I basically told him to rip that contract up and eat it. I suppose that I had not already done my finance homework, I would have signed that contract.

06-07-06, 11:26 PM
recommend any effective bargaining/negotiating techniques.

I used to run a new car department for a very large dealership...we sold about 150 new cars / month.

Manufacturers leverage new car dealers relative to their Customer Satisfaction Index or C.S.I. This is the silly survey you receive after purchasing or servicing your car.

CSI affects dealers with: the allocation of cars, ability to open new dealerships, etc. Bottom line...bad CSI hits dealer owners right in their wallet.

When negotiating...be sure to assure the sales person / sales manager that you intend to give them "Completely Satisfied" rankings on the survey if they are fair and reasonable. Keep in mind they are always on their guard relative to this topic. Reassuring them you will give perfect scores will go along way in getting what you want.

- - - -

The long version for those who want to know more about CSI...

The way these surveys are scored is incredibly slanted. For instance, the survey may have 20 questions. Only 4 of those questions are actually scored. If on one of those 4 questions, the respondent answers below the highest ranking, that question receives a "0." So the reported score to the dealer would be 75%. Again, if the questions are scored on a 1-5 scale, 1-4 = 0.

The nightmares...

School Techers and Professors, typically believe...Nobody is perfect. They will answer 4s all the way across. This means = Survey Fried

You have a busy executive-type. He answers the phone, gets 10 questions into it and gets another call. If he hangs up, the remainder of the survey is given zeros. This means = Survey Fried.

If a guy and his wife insist on looking at 10 different color choices, want to drive a 4 cyl and then a 6 cyl, etc, etc. They will probably be there all day. When the survey company calls and asks if the transaction was completed in a timely manner - very often they answer no, and the sales guy gets another... Fried Survey.

I have dozens of other examples...deaf grandma answers the phone, relatives who can't speak English, Dad (who wasn't there) but pays for the car, Wife who finds out hubby bought car for mistress - I've seen it all.

If our dealership score dipped below about 94% satisfied (we were judged against our peers, makes it really interesting if other dealers cheat the system)...I would take a 20% pay cut for the month and was no longer eligible for any bonuses.

So...if I encountered Mr. Rude in my store...he was usually shown a deal I knew another store could beat...problem solved.

06-08-06, 08:05 AM
Excellent information. Maybe you should contribute stories to the news letter. I love hearing the tactics of the salesman.

06-08-06, 08:29 AM
Excellent information. Maybe you should contribute stories to the news letter. I love hearing the tactics of the salesman.

I guess I really don't believe cars sales has any "tactics" that actually work. Most buyers are very educated and the BS you read in most articles is 20-20 stuff. It may have worked in 1977, but not any more.

Car advertising and marketing does appeal to all the emotions / buying motivators of the buyer. Visiting a dealer should be nothing less. If a female SUV buyer wants to be safe...well it is the Acura MDX salespersons job to discuss safety, pull up NHTSA.org, etc. Marriott pumps Jasmine scent into their lobby - Disney plays Cruise Vacations with Mickey and Minnie on every Sat Morning Cartoon - The jewlery sales guy makes sure your wife has a big old rock on her hand the minute she walks in the store.

That being said - I would be happy to contribute with in depth knowledge on leasing, incentives and generally how to get a great deal and be friends with your dealer.

06-08-06, 11:26 AM
Yea, tactics is probably not the best word but good information. Sorry to threadjack.

06-08-06, 12:06 PM
My thoughts (some in agreement with items already mentioned):

Definitely have your financing pre-arranged and completely and immediately avoid the "how much do you want your payment to be?" BS. Pre-arranged financing means you are paying cash as far as they are concerned. Give them/GMAC a chance to beat it if you want, but do that after you have closed a deal on a price you are happy with.

ALWAYS be willing and ABLE to walk away, multiple times if necessary. There are deals out there, you may have to go farther to find them, but you have to go out and find 'em.

Check gmbuypower for leftover 2005's? Besides getting the vastly superior LS-6 engine :hide: , you may find a killer deal. Take a cross section of zipcodes to search around, and be sure to look for more rural dealerships, too. V's are probably more likely to sell in major metropolitan areas, therefore they may not be as willing to deal as much. I got my '04 after the '05's were out, and a gmbuypower dealer I had contacted 1-2 months prior decided they needed to move their 2 leftover CTS-V's. He emailed me with $11,000 off sticker, and we went on from there. :bouncy:

06-08-06, 06:54 PM
I saw the dealer referred by Costco. The invoice price quoted by Costco for a 2006 CTSV with EMT and FG2 options is 49770. The dealer offered to give me the dealer holdback of 1574 for a total cost of 48196. In comparison, the invoice price given by Edmunds is 48589 (this doesn't include dealer holdback). This all compares to MSRP of 53205.

Is 48196 a decent deal, or should I negotiate more. If so, how much should offer to pay for the car?

Thanks again.

06-08-06, 08:58 PM
Many of us early adopters paid sticker or darn close to it. Wish mine had only been $48k. :( But then again, two years of V fun makes up for a lot. :)

These new low V prices just make our one to 2.5 year old Vs death spiral even more on the exponentially decaying depreciation curve. Once they get down to $20k, I'm going to have a fleet of these things...

06-11-06, 10:16 AM
My very long winded buying story.



06-11-06, 10:33 AM
Thanks to everyone for your advice. I bought one two days ago.

06-11-06, 10:04 PM
Thanks to everyone for your advice. I bought one two days ago.