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How to avoid salesmen when buying a car

  • Story Highlights
  • You can solicit best price quotes from car dealers over the Internet
  • You can shop the lowest price to other dealers to see if they will match or beat it
  • Individuals can also buy car from dealer's Fleet Department
By Michael Royce
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New Cars, Used Cars, Kelley Blue Book Values at AOL Autos

(AOL Autos) -- There are two good ways to buy your new car or truck at a reasonable low price and avoid all of the negotiating games and hassles:

1. Buy through the Internet

Buying your new or used car or truck through the Internet is the easiest and most hassle-free way to make the purchase.

All you have to do is choose the vehicle brand and model you wish to purchase as well as provide some basic contact information such as your name and e-mail address. In return, you'll receive - via e-mail - low bottom-line selling prices from dealerships in your area for the exact vehicle you want to buy.

Compare the various selling prices and find the lowest one. Then, simply go direct to that dealership's Internet Department, sign the papers and drive your new car home - no negotiating, no hassles.

To begin the process, get your free price quotes from AOL Autos. It only takes a few minutes. This service is totally free and you are under no obligation or pressure to buy. AOL, like CNN, is a unit of Time Warner.

Within 24 hours, you'll receive your bottom-line selling prices from dealerships in your area. Once you've compared the various prices and found the lowest one, you then have four good options:

• You can go to the dealership that gave you the lowest price, sign the papers and drive your new car home -- no hassles, no negotiating. AOL Autos: Best deals of the month

• You can try to negotiate the lowest price with the dealership in order to get the price even lower. There's nothing that says you can't. AOL Autos: Aggressive car buying tactics

• You can shop the lowest price around to other dealerships to see if any of them are willing to beat it. AOL Autos: Which dealers treat you best?

• You can do nothing. If you feel unsure or uncertain, then set it aside for a while. You are not obligated to buy anything you don't want.

By getting these low bottom-line selling prices via the Internet, you're avoiding the car salesman's entire negotiating game altogether. And you're buying your car at about the same price you would expect after lengthy negotiations. It's certainly the fastest and easiest way to beat the car salesman. AOL Autos: New rules to car buying

2. Buy through the dealership's Fleet Department

Almost every dealership has a division called the "Fleet Department." It usually consists of only a handful of salespeople who specialize in selling fleets of cars -- large orders of several vehicles direct to businesses. This department is authorized by the dealership to sell their cars at bottom-line non-negotiable prices. The prices they offer are about the same as you would expect from an online price quote or after lengthy negotiations.

A secret of the car business is that many dealerships' Fleet Departments also sell direct to the public. By the rules of the game, however, they can't advertise to the public since they don't want to compete with the dealership's retail sales team. So to buy from the Fleet Department, you have to specifically ask.

To buy your vehicle direct from the dealership's Fleet Department, simply call the dealership and ask to speak with the Fleet Manager. When you get him on the line, explain to him that you're ready to buy a car and you'd like to buy it from him. If he asks you what business you are associated with, tell him where you work. He'll probably be happy to set up an appointment with you.

When you arrive at the dealership, the Fleet Manager will show you the vehicle, allow you to test drive it, and then bring you to the office to discuss price. With absolutely no negotiations, he'll offer you a reasonable bottom-line non-negotiable selling price for the vehicle.

If the price he gives you falls within the pre-set limits of your buying goal and you're satisfied with the deal, then you can buy the car. No pressure, no games, no hassles.

If for some reason, you don't want to buy the vehicle, you are under no obligation. Simply thank the salesman for his time and leave on good terms. Then, if you'd like, you can visit (or call) the Fleet Departments of other dealerships to compare prices. The selling prices offered by the various Fleet Departments can vary depending upon their inventories. AOL Autos: Have a car shopping game plan

Michael Royce is a consumer advocate and former car salesman. For more car-buying tips and advice, visit his Beat the Car Salesman Web site.

© 2009 AOL, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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