Beware of "Dealer Stickers"
MSRP stands for "Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price" and it includes information about the vehicle including standard equipment, factory installed options, and the suggested retail price including destination charge. It also displays the vehicle's fuel economy ratings.
Only suckers pay MSRP, but that doesn't stop some dealers from trying to charge even MORE than MSRP.
They do this by displaying a "dealer sticker" next to the official MSRP sticker. The dealer sticker will look official, but its only purpose is to fool buyers into paying more for the vehicle.
The dealer sticker will include options that were installed AFTER the car arrived from the manufacturer. They're usually worthless and some aren't even options at all, but simply made-up charges.
For example, you might see things like "Special Value Package" which includes fabric protection, or charges labeled ADP or ADM. Those stand for "Additional Dealer Profit" and "Additional Dealer Markup". They are completely worthless!
But a lot of consumers don't realize the dealer is trying to pull a fast one on them. They think these additional markups and options are just part of the vehicle.
If you notice one of these dealer stickers on a new car, your best bet is to avoid doing business with that dealer. They are likely to be high-pressure dealerships and not even worth negotiating with, especially in this day and age when most dealers have stopped trying to use this scam.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid