How To Save $800 On Your Next Car

March 11, 2012 by staff 

How To Save $800 On Your Next Car, Man, he doesn’t even know what a great deal he just gave me. Sick of car salesmen feeding you deals you don’t quite believe? According to a new study from the University of California, you can save an average of $800 on a new car by doing just four easy things-and $121 by doing just one.

So what are they, and how will they save you cash and a headache? We asked Jeff Ostroff, CEO of, to break them down.

#1 Find Out What The Dealer Pays
Finding out what they pay is number one for finding out what you should pay. You can find out for free at But if you want a more accurate number-that includes rebates and secret factory to dealer incentives that buyers are kept in the dark about-sign up for It costs $39.95 for the first car and $15 for each additional car, and you’ll have access to intel like what your car has sold for in the past month and the average length of time it sits on a lot, says Ostroff.

Once you have that number, download a buyer’s offer spreadsheet like this one. It’ll strip out wasted fees, determine the dealer’s true cost, and spit you out an appropriate offer, usually 3 to 5 percent above their cost, Ostroff says.

#2 Visit Two (or More) Dealerships
According to the study, if you shop at two dealerships instead of one, you can save about $109. If you shop at seven, you can save $600. We’re not telling you to spend your weekend fighting with seven salesmen-can you say torture? Instead, make them fight for you.

“Unless you need to test drive the car you don’t really need to go in,” says Ostroff. Instead, blast an email to the managers of local dealerships detailing the exact car you want. “Fleet managers will know about factory to dealer incentives that salespeople may not know about,” Ostroff says. Many email addresses are listed on the dealership’s website.

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