Warning: Use free car quote services at your own risk

When you use a car price quote service like Edmunds or MotorTrend, over 75% of the initial email replies will be incomplete, misleading, or simply be a salesman’s contact information.  Car dealerships sign up for these services as a means to bring in new leads.  They’re just looking for a way to get you to the dealership to give you the hard sell.  But they can still be valuable if you know what to do with them.
Here is a recent example from a car dealer responding to a price request for a 2010 GMC Acadia SL.

second car dealer response

As you can see, this email contains a lot of information, but none relevant to our request.  All we wanted is the price for 2010 GMC Acadia SL.
This is typical, so don’t let these types of responses bother you. You should simply view these services as a way to get contact information for the Internet Salesman at several dealerships. Those are the people you should negotiate with and make compete with one another.
Once you know who to contact, you can send a follow-up email asking for specific information about the type of car you want to buy. You will have a much better success rate in response to your follow-up email.

Here’s an email template for your follow-up email to a car dealer  (this should get you an actual quote for a specific model)

If the Internet Salesman doesn’t respond to this email or is still vague, then move on.  Using 2 or 3 of the best car price services online, you should easily get enough contacts to begin negotiations for a new car.
Once you’ve gotten acceptable responses from at least 4 or 5 dealerships, then you can begin negotiating.  Using an Email Price Reduction strategy, rank your quotes from most expensive to least expensive.  Send an email to the dealer who gave you the most expensive quote and ask him to beat your best price.  Work your way down the line asking each dealer to beat your current best price until you end up with a great price on a new car.