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Car Buyers Being Tricked by Lower Sticker Prices

October 27, 2011

Automakers are starting to confuse car buyers by making it seem like their new vehicles are cheaper than last year's models.

In recent months, a number of cars have come with much lower base MSRP prices for 2012 compared to 2011, notes USA Today.

To create the lower prices, however, companies are removing standard features.

A prime example is the 2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. Down a whopping $1,850 compared to the 2011 base model. The catch? GPS Navigation is no longer a standard feature.

Chevrolet made a similar decision with the Volt, dropping the base price about a thousand dollars. To accomplish that, however, the company removed not only navigation from the standard equipment list, but also the Bose Stereo and other smaller items.

Automakers know that the vast majority of car buyers DO NOT buy the base model. In fact, it can sometimes be very difficult to even find bare-bone base models on dealer lots.

By removing standard features from the base model, car companies can advertise much lower starting prices, even though they're unrealistic for the vast majority of consumers.

Essentially, the idea is: When comparing prices between model years, be sure you're looking at equivalent equipment levels rather than just the price.


My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar, Edmunds, and 1-800 Car Show 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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Gregg Fidan

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.

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