To get the lowest price on a commodity, you need to have the sellers compete with each other. This is basic economics 101.
Since car dealers are selling a commodity, you need to contact as many of them as you can in order to get the lowest price. You should aim to negotiate with at least 10 dealerships.
You'd be surprised how many car buyers fail to do this basic task - essentially leaving thousands of dollars in savings on the table.
Most car shoppers only visit the one or two dealers that happen to be closest to them. This is a huge mistake!
Some of the best deals will be offered by dealers who are out of your normal geographic area.
If you're willing to travel up to 100 miles or more, you expand considerably the number of dealers who can compete to offer you the lowest price.
If you live in a big city, sometimes the best deals are from dealers that are located about 30 to 50 miles outside the city where rent and overhead are much lower.
Every car dealership has monthly sales goals they try hard to meet. Some of these goals are very important financially, and can result in lots of extra cash to the dealer from the manufacturer.
I'm not talking about chump change either - meeting these sales goals can result in tens of thousands of extra dollars in the dealer's pocket.
If you time your purchase near the end of the month, you can take advantage of a dealer who just needs to sell one or two more vehicles to meet their quotas.
In some cases, dealers have been known to sell cars at below cost.
Whenever you're dealing with a salesman, whether it's a test drive or discussing pricing, never let them know you really want the car.
Dealers are trained to push your emotional buttons and if they know you really want the car, they'll be less willing to negotiate.
Just take the attitude: If I get the car I want at the price I want, that's great, but if not, no worries - I can wait.
Your most powerful weapon is your ability to walk away.