Shopping for a new car can be an overwhelming task. A new vehicle purchase is considered the second
most expensive purchase for consumers after a home. It is important that consumers thoroughly research a
new car before making a purchase. Consumers can protect themselves from making hasty decisions and
being pressured by dealers by doing their homework and obtaining as much information as possible about
the vehicle before visiting the dealership.
The Invoice Price
The invoice price is the manufacturer's charge to the dealer. Dealers can sell cars at or below the invoice
price and still make a profit. Check publications at a library, at a bookstore, or on the Internet such as
www.edmunds.com or www.kelleybluebook.com to obtain the invoice price for specific models. If freight
is already included in the invoice price, make sure freight is not added again to the sales contract. The
invoice price should be your starting point from which you determine what to pay for the car.
Check for Rebates
It is important for new car purchasers to deduct from the invoice price all rebates that they are qualified to
receive. Check the newspaper or Internet sources such as www.kelleybluebook.com or
www.edmunds.com for current rebates. Some rebates may not be available if a consumer chooses a
manufacturer’s special financing rate. Additionally, special manufacturer financing may only be available
to consumers with good credit.
To determine if it is better to take a manufacturer’s rebate or special low financing, consumers should
compare the cost of purchasing a car reduced by the rebate and financed through an outside lender with
the cost of purchasing the vehicle without the rebates but with the manufacturer's special financing.
Calculators, available on the Internet at sites such as www.bankrate.com/brm/calculators/autos.asp can
help assist consumers in determining whether to choose a manufacturer's rebate or special financing.
The Monroney Sticker Price
Consumers should not purchase the