Why MSRP and Invoice Prices Can Sometimes be Wrong
This doesn't necessarily mean the dealers are lying. It's actually quite common to find prices that don't match up exactly. This can be a bit frustrating at times, but there's several reasons why this occurs.
First of all, car price information is distributed via 3rd party data providers. Sometimes they make mistakes and the prices you see on Edmunds.com may be a little different than what you find on Yahoo Autos.
Some manufacturers or distributors charge dealers a fee to cover advertising expenses, which they add to the Invoice price. These may not show up in the pricing data. There can also be port and prep fees if the vehicle is imported, and sometimes these fees are not included in the online prices.
A final reason why MSRP and Invoice prices may differ among various sources is because some manufacturers raise vehicle prices throughout the year. Depending on how long the car has been sitting on the lots, the price you see on the window sticker may be out-dated.
These price discrepancies are usually minimal and rarely exceed a few hundred dollars. To get the true price of any vehicle, you will need to see the actual MSRP window sticker and make sure you get a copy of the dealer's invoice.
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