TrueCar: How to save so much money on a new car nobody will believe it

So I am a self-diagnosed car guy and I buy a lot of cars. I also love buying new cars. Having a car that you know no one has ever done anything funky…like put windshield wiper fluid in the oil … or decided to replace the head gasket with their five year old helping and – oops! the kid dropped some snacks into the engine while dad wasn’t looking. Not to mention the warranty and peace of mind that comes with buying new.  And oh that new car smell.  Taking a big whiff of whatever chemical concoction is in the new car smell is just about the best thing ever.

Elephant also likes the new car smell

Even this elephant just can’t get enough of that new car smell…

But how can I afford this? I thought new cars dropped eleventy billion dollars as soon as they drive off the lot?

I’ll tell you a secret. If you get your cars for a good enough deal you can easily break even or even make money selling it used later.

For example, I bought my 2011 Nissan Titan in 2012.  Fully loaded with every single option this suburban-cowboy-mobile came out to around a $55k MSRP.  I got it for just over $30k.  I’m only now, two years later, starting to get to the point where used car values are a little less than what I paid.

“Tell me more!” You say.

The main part of the secret is This site lets you see what actual people are paying, in your area, for cars.  Not only can you see the best prices, you can get a range of what people are paying so that tells you how much negotiation will be necessary.  And its completely free to use!  This is incredibly useful, it means you can:

  • Research beforehand what make and model you can get the best deal on.  Not only MSRP, but after incentives and negotiation.
  • See how much negotiation you’re going to need
  • See if your local dealer is going to give you the best price, or if driving 10 or 20 miles away will save you thousands.

Then the best part, is that you can just print out a savings certificate and be guaranteed to get an ultra low price beating out most of the most awesome negotiators.  Or if you’re a most awesome negotiator then you can use that as a baseline and possibly get even more off and be one of the lines all the way to the left on the TrueCar graph.

TrueCar ScreenShot

So here are my tips to get a crazy deal on a new car:

  1. Do your research.  Use  If you’re not set on an exact make or model, then compare different ones.  Sometimes a killer incentive will be available on one, but not another.
  2. Target buying last year’s model when the new model comes out or a little later.  Last year’s model is usually your best bet because incentives make it easier.  December-February are usually the absolute best times to buy a car, but sometimes special sales can change this.  But, this isn’t always a big deal, sometimes you can get a great deal on a current model, and we all know sometimes you just can’t wait.
  3. Make sure to click “View Incentives” (see picture above) and click any incentives you’re eligible for.
  4. Click Next to Print out a “Guaranteed Savings Certificate” when you’re ready to start going to dealers.  This is totally free!  It’s great just to keep track of the price, but when it’s really useful is when you go to the dealer you can brandish it in their face and show that you’re serious about saving money.  The certificate will guarantee you an awesome price even without any negotiation at all.
  5. (Optional) Negotiate even further.  See if they can even beat the price.
  6. Enjoy your shiny new car!





Disclosure: Like some of the other links on this site I get compensated if you actually use TrueCar to print out a certificate. However, this does not in any way affect my recommendations, this site is built on integrity and we only recommend the things that we truly feel are worth recommending.