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Know Your Car's Price Before Going to the Dealer or Shopping Online Car Loans

Apr 21, 2008
Even with the wealth of data at their fingertips, too many people are uninformed shoppers. They walk onto a car lot or shop for online car loans with nothing more than a vague idea of what they want. Without knowing the price range of the vehicles they are looking at, they might as well wear a sign that says, "Rip me off!"

It's easy to find out how much a car is worth. Not only does that help you with the dealer but with the information you can get online, car loans are easier and cheaper to get. Most shoppers use one of three sources: Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Fighting Chance.

Kelley Blue Book-The Old Reliable

Almost everyone has heard of the "blue book value". Kelley has been providing information on car prices since the 1918 publication of Blue Book of Motor Car Values. It has been the standard reference that every car buyer used for decades.

While Kelley is still a solid reference and certainly better than going in blind, it doesn't show actual dealer costs. Lots often get secret rebates from manufacturers. They talk to you about invoice price, which is what you find in Kelley, but often they paid less.

Edmunds-Dealer Price not Invoice Price

Nearly a half-century after Kelley, Edmunds was founded with the goal of becoming "America's most influential and authoritative source of automotive information".

In addition to invoice information, Edmunds lists factory to consumer rebates that you can use to figure out what a car will actually cost you. More importantly, they lists factory to dealer rebates that most shoppers and even most car salesmen don't know about.

If a dealer claims the invoice price is $20,000 but you know there is a factory to dealer incentive of $2,000 then the price the dealer paid was $18,000. You can use that information when negotiating.

Fighting Chance-A Little Money Goes a Long Way

This service was started in the early 1990s in an effort to tell shoppers how car dealers do business today, not how they did it fifty years ago.

Fighting Chance offers not only invoice information like Kelley and rebate information like Edmunds, but much more. They give information on how much consumers are actually paying for a make and model, a more important figure than invoices. They have informational articles on negotiating techniques like the "fax attack".

What is the downside? Unlike the other two services, this one is not free. Some people hesitate at the idea of paying for information but a $40 report could save you hundreds or thousands off the purchase price of your next car.

Any of these services are good sources of information that will give you power when negotiating the purchase and looking for online car loans. Don't be an uninformed shopper. Take a few minutes to educate yourself and save hundreds on your next car.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on Online
Car Loans
, visit http://www.usacarcash.com.
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