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Never bought a new car - advice please!!!


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I've just moved out here (Kalamazoo Mi) from England, and have decided on a new Legacy GT wagon.

I'm after the cloth interior, the manual 5spd box, the compass mirror, and the short throw shifter.


I've already been to the local Subaru dealer, and had a chat about spec and price.

I'll be buying it over three or five years (have to spend my most money on a house!) and putting around $2k down - maybe 45k depending what happens with the house...


The price he quoted was the exact same price as on the subaru website, plus the tax. The interest was 2.9% (for five years).


So, here I am, in a country I've lived in for 3 weeks, and i've no idea what kind of deal i'm getting. I'm guessing i don't have a lot of 'bargaining chips' available when buying on finance - but then again, I don't have a clue!


What would you folks suggest? I've got three subaru dealers in a 45 mile radius (one is less than a mile from where i'm currently staying) - so I guess I've got a few bagaining points there...


Thanks, in advance!

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Search for some of the threads that show how much other people pay (this one has some good info I think: http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5816) - I've got basically the same setup that you have minus the short throw (I put in a Kartboy aftermarket for like 110 bucks or something, real nice) and I paid 25,500 - which is just a few hundred over invoice. I guess the main thing is to work from the invoice up, so make the salesperson show you the invoice and don't go too much over that. I think if you search you'll see that some people have even paid below invoice for their cars. Remember that even selling a car at invoice to you they are making money on the deal, so be a hardass and don't let him/her push you around!
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wow i wudnt leave england ever....i love that country...ok wait lemme re-phrase...i just like london.

-As mentioned elsewhere on this board, you should check out sites like http://www.kbb.com and http://www.edmunds.com and establish the invoice price(base+your selected options).

What u see on the Subaru site is MSRP and you dont want to pay that. That price is for suckers LOL


-Then keep into account the dealer holdback.


-Come up with a fair price (below invoice considering its December and sales are low)


-Start calling/e-mailing the 3 dealers and speak with their internet sales manager and start getting their best-prices and use the old (and very famous british trick) 'divide-and-conquer' !!!!

-Also find out what Tax Title costs are in your county/city in MI


How did you come up with the 2.9% APR. If they just quoted that to you then dont hold your breath, because if you are new on this side of the pond the\at APR rate may actually be higher since you may not have what is called 'an established credit history'


once again ur bargaining chips are

1. invoice prices from the sites mentioned above

2. other threads on this forum about prices

3.then the 3 dealers near you and a phone/e-mail account


Good luck

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Cheers guys - The prices that are being quoted on this site - are they the actual 'out of the door' price, or plus local tax? Forgive my naivety - but the sooner i get rid of this Pontiac Grand pree renter, and behind the wheel of a GT the better; I wan't to make sure I know the real facts...
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The prices are before tax, title. Don’t be in too much of a rush to get the car, keep in mind its cheaper to rent a car for one more day than to pay too much at purchase time. Also are you familiar with our Insurance practices? You will need this before they let you drive the car off the lot.


Good luck getting use to cold beer ;)

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Negotiating 101:


1) Do the research. Your desired car prices out as follows: (Read left to right)


Dealer Cost / MSRP / Model Code and Description

$24,825 / $26,995 / 5BE - 2005 Legacy GT Wagon 5MT

$221 / $273 ------- / T5A - Short Throw Shifter M/T - STI

$119 / $183 ------- / K4E - Auto-Dimming Mirror/Compass

$25,165 / $27,451

(+)$575 / (+)$575 (Add $575 for Dest/Del) - Dealer has to pay this

$25,740 / $28,026

-$1,128 (Subtract $1,128 Dealer Holdback)

$24,612 Dealer cost on Invoice


Ask the dealer to show you the car's invoice - this post will help you know what to look for on the invoice itself... http://legacygt.com/forums/showpost.php?p=80263&postcount=56


2) Don't talk Finance/Insurance until you are sure that you have the deal in hand that YOU want, not what the sales person wants you to have


3) When you're sure you've got the deal you want, then consider the financing insurance options that you want. Beware of the little "add-ons", e.g., car paint/interior protectant, window VIN etching, undercoating, etc. which are HUGE profit margins for the dealership


4) Make sure you understand what the money is costing you and whether it's fixed, variable or has other "charges" included.


5) Talk to the others on this board and compare prices with what others are getting in the area, particularly from the dealership that you are dealing with and even the salesperson you're working with. Look for their recommendations and who/where to avoid.


Good luck - I'm sure you'll do well. Just remember that invoice or below is where you're aiming for your deal. Oh, and if the dealer makes a big deal about them selling all the Subarus they can get their hands on due to the bad weather, tell them not to take a short-sighted view and sell you one at a good price. ;) It's all about the numbers.



- Pro amore Dei et patriam et populum -
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gr8 reply subie


Hey turbo dave,

you could just arrange for an air-ticket and accomodations at Hyatt in MI and subietonic will be happy to come by and work it out with the dealers, for you!!!


hey subie...how about a short vacation in the mid-west ??? LOL

i'm guessing NOT...i wouldnt leave San Diego if I were you either LOL

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Thanks Twisted.


I'm more of a 'lead when it's needed' but 'coach from behind' the rest of the time, guy. It's more than the simple mechanics of doing the deal, it's really feeling assured and comfortable and that comes from research and practicing your skills.


I have to laugh when I see the TV commercial where the husband and wife are setting at their kitchen table talking about the "deal" they're working on. They both agree to keep their game face on and not to be reeled in by the first offer. Then they walk into a Circuit City and their resolve collapses immediately.


The other part of this is being genuine and gently taking control of the conversation so that you are in control until you're ready to release it in order to get the information that you want and make your deal. This does not have to be confrontational or raise ire, you're keeping things at an even keep because YOU want them that way.


Anyone can do this. When you're with the sales rep, write down everything he/she says so you can keep track. You already know what your working from, just make sure that it's consistent with where you want to go/be when the dialogue is over.


Bottom line - do your research, know your own mind, practice and execute.


Simple right? :)



- Pro amore Dei et patriam et populum -
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Cheers for the great answers guys!


Twisted - I asked the sales guy to confirm the 2.9%; he said "not a problem"... Seemed too easy an answer, so I told him to confirm it as I wouldn't sign anything until I knew the full story... As it is, he came back and said "can't do 2.9, but come in for a chat and we'll work something out" Yeah right!

As it is, I'll be getting finance from the consumer credit union affiliated to my company (this seems to be the best option as they are able to work around my zero credit, taking assurances from my company as to my credibility...)


However - I've decided to get my house purchased (settled on the one today) and the pole barn built and all the monthly payments established before shelling for a new Legacy (got the sensible head on).

Hopefully sometime in April / May I'll be ready - certainly I'll need a towcar by the time the dragstrips are properly open, so it WILL happen!



I'll stay skulking around here if that's ok - picking up on more tips and keeping my eye on power upgrades - and what goes wrong!

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