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December 29, 2011
Note: This post contains affiliate links to free car price websites that pay me a small referral fee. Using these links does not cost you anything and allows me to continue offering free advice on this website.
Do you live in a small city with only one car dealer? If so, you may be wondering how can you get a fair car price? If there’s only one dealer in town, he might think he doesn’t have to negotiate.
When buying a new car, start by getting car prices online from several car dealers. But what if there’s only one dealership in your town? Or none?
How can you get car prices from multiple car dealers if you live in a small city? Let’s look at how to get around this common problem.
How can you make car dealers give you a fair price when they have no local competition?
I’m asked this all the time and it’s easy to address.
The answer is simple. You drive. When there’s no competition, car dealers have no reason to give you a deal. So expand your search to nearby cities and add some competition to make local dealers play fair.
How about $3000 or more? Heck, to save just a couple hundred bucks I’d drive a few hours in a heartbeat. Consider driving to a larger city with more car dealerships to save big on your car purchase. Alternatively, you could have the car shipped to you.
A man from Austin, TX asked me how he could get a good deal when there was no local competition. In Austin there’s pretty much one car dealership per manufacturer. So I suggested expanding his search to Houston and Dallas to get competitive car prices. Each city is about a 3 hour drive, but has a wide variety of dealerships. By expanding his search he could easily find 5-10 dealerships for just about every manufacturer.
To make the drive more fun, you could even indulge yourself with a mini-vacation. Get a hotel room and treat yourself to a night out with a portion of your savings.
If there’s only one dealer in town, you can still test drive a car locally without buying. Once you’ve settled on a make and model you can start your search for more dealers.
Some car price services allow you to enter how far you will drive: “within 50 miles” or “within 100 miles”. For those that do not, find out zip codes of nearby cities. For example, if you live in Austin, do a quick Google search for “Houston zip codes” and “Dallas zip codes”. Then use those zip codes when getting car prices. Most sites will allow you to submit multiple searches using new zip codes each time.
You can even expand your search to neighboring states to reach even more dealers. Read how to buy a car out of state.
For extra savings, try a CarsDirect low instant quote. It may put you in touch with the same local dealer you already visited, but provide a better price that they must honor.
Once you get car prices from dealerships in another city, give your local dealer a chance to beat them. Just be prepared to follow through and use your big city quotes. Many local dealers may not believe you are serious about making the drive, but that’s their loss.
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