Car Buying Services

If you don't have time to negotiate a car yourself, there are “full-service” car buying services that will do it for you. I recommend From Car to Finish, an independent car buying service that will line up a pre-negotiated deal for you with a lowest price guarantee. Their price guarantee is not just against local car dealers but even against other car buying services like credit unions, USAA, and Costco.

They use an approach similar to the advice I provide on this site, but they do everything on your behalf for a small fee. So if you don't have the time or desire to email and negotiate with car dealers, this can be a good option to get a discounted price with no effort. Their company has over 22 years of professional experience successfully negotiating over 7700 new vehicles nationally.

As a favor to me, if you decide to use From Car to Finish, they will ask on their sign-up page where you heard about them. Please be sure to mention you learned about the service from

How a car buying service works

You choose the basic make, model, and style of new vehicle you wish to purchase, and place your order. From Car to Finish takes your vehicle information and contacts a minimum of the 4 nearest dealers to the zip code you specify. They will commit each dealer to a specific profit margin and any other mandatory fees/add-ons for a period of 2-4 weeks. You’ll receive a report outlining each dealer’s commitment, and a worksheet that will allow you to calculate the bottom line for your new vehicle from each dealer.

You remain completely anonymous to dealers until you choose to contact them yourself.

Why do dealers offer discounts to a car buying service

There are several reasons why most dealers will work with a car buying service, and why From Car to Finish can make a lowest car price guarantee:

  • The service is quick and free to dealers with little effort required.
  • It’s fair to dealers (no other dealer sees their quote), so it’s a level playing field.
  • Dealers know there is a serious customer who is ready to buy, and would rather give a lower quote to someone in that situation.
  • Dealers know they’re giving a quote for just one customer at a time, so can afford to give a better price than if they provide an open cookie cutter quote like the major shopping services make them do.
  • Dealers know there are at least 3 other dealers involved in the bidding process and they only have one shot at getting the customer’s business so they have to put their best foot forward.
  • The service deals only with managers, who are compensated not based on how much they sell a vehicle for (i.e. commission), but instead, on how many vehicles they sell in a given period (i.e. per month or year). They have a lower bottom line.
  • Once they have gotten free referrals, they’ll want to keep getting them, encouraging them to repeat the process of giving competitive quotes.