Why Buying a New Car is Such a Hassle
Many consumers wonder why we can't simply buy a new car online through the manufacturer. In reality, car makers would like it if this were possible - it would get rid of the middle man - the car dealerships.
But the fact is, we can't buy new cars online due to strict dealership franchise laws going back decades. Back then, car manufacturers needed independent dealers spread out across the country whose job it was to sell and service customers within a specific geographic area.
Car buyers didn't comparison shop - it was simply too difficult to gather all the information needed. If they wanted to buy a new car, they would just go to their nearest dealership and hope for the best.
Now that we have the internet, all the price information we need is at our fingertips. However, dealer franchise laws make it so that the only legal way we can buy a new car is through a franchised car dealership. These laws are very difficult to change because car dealers have banded together and tend to have strong political clout.
So what about those car buying services like CarsDirect or TrueCar that seem to let you buy a new car online? These too have to abide by dealer franchise laws. Every car sold through these services are sold through a car dealership, not through the manufacturer or some sort of "buying club". At the end of the day, no matter how you obtain your new car, it will always be through a dealership.
Why Dealers Love the System
Of course, dealerships love this situation. It forces consumers to deal with them for every new car purchase. The typical consumer buys a new car only once every six to seven years. During this same period, a typical car dealerships will sell over 5,000 cars. Think about how much more experience they have selling cars compared to the typical shopper buying a car.
Dealers have an unfair advantage when it comes to negotiation. On top of this, there's a lot of confusing aspects to car shopping. Should you buy new or used? Should you lease a car instead of buying? What about your trade-in? What about financing and insurance? There's a lot of things like this where dealers can take advantage of buyers who don't have a clue to what's going on.
As if this weren't bad enough, dealers know that if they can wear you out, you'll eventually give up and buy a car on their terms. It's not unusual for a new car purchase to take up to 8 hours.
When it's all said and done, the worst part is: You still have no idea if you really got a fair deal or not.
How to Make Car Buying Easy
The good news is there is a way to make car buying more pleasant - you simply have to be an informed consumer.
The fact that you're reading this right now shows you're serious about getting a good deal on a new car without having to deal with all the hassles. All the information you need is on this site and if you ever have any specific questions that aren't answered, please feel free to ask below and I'll do my best to answer them.
My Recommendation for Car ShoppersTrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise and Ryde Shopper are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
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About: Gregg Fidan
Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.