T Nation

Buying a Car


To all you car sales pros out there: I am about to purchase a truck (2003 Chevy 2500HD 4x4 Duramax Diesel) and was curious as to what you would consider to be a good deal. The sales guy has offered at invoice + $500 (MSRP is about $46k, invoice is about $41.5k, so the price he is offering is about $42k). I think I can get him to invoice, but was wondering how much further I should try to go. On the one hand it is a 2003. On the other, there aren't many available (he needs to get this from another dealership). Thanks in advance.


The best way to find out is to post that you've bought the truck, then you'll get a ton of people telling you that they could have gotten you a better deal.


LOL. It is kind of like some of the max posts -- if one person can bench 450, there are 5 others that can bench 451. Thanks.


If they are telling you "true invoice" price, then $250-500 over invoice is a fair deal for all parties.

I have only once had the luck of purchasing a new car for less than invoice. It was awesome, and a once-in-a-lifetime deal. Too bad greenlight.com isn't still around (they were bought out by carsdirect.com and they don't offer the prices that greenlight had). Damn, I should have never sold my Type R.


Nate - Thanks. I did a little analysis on Edmunds.com, and the invoice number the dealer is giving me is consistent with the invoice amt shown by Edmunds. Whether or not either is the "true" invoice amount, only a pro would know.

Separately, I may be in G-ville in mid September for a recruiting event. I am in the process of rehabbing my shoulder (had it scoped on Friday), so I probably can't do much, but I was wondering where you are lifting these days (the old Powerhouse?).


That's not a bad price, all depending on supply.

The HD's with duramax (like all heavier rated light duty trucks) are a semi precious commodity. They don't go up on the resale market nearly as much, aren't sold initially in anything close to the same quantities, and always have a demand, thus you can't get them at the cut rate pricing which you may snag a model end year regular truck or car.

Since it sounds like you have to buy it through a dealer exchange, I seriously doubt you will get much more off the price. You may be able to snag more freebies with it, but that is entirely up to how much that dealership wants your return business.

BTW, those "invoice" prices you see are a price that a dealer is happy to sell any car not in huge demand at. They include a 3-7% profit margin in there, plus any number of ancillary bonuses to the dealer for the sale. The thing is many dealers run their sales commission scales off the price above said invoice. So if salesmen doesn't get above that invoice, they really don't make much from their work. At least that is how it works mostly in my area.

BTW i'm jealous.. I would really love to buy one of those diesel 3/4 tons. Couldn't find a decent one in my price range used though, and I couldn't stomach spending that much yet.

On another note, with the recent tax package passed you do realize that if you are a small business you can write off the complete cost of that vehicle since it qualifies... So you no longer have to depreciate it over several years, you can just take the whole thing in one big chunk at full value.

I'm hoping that recent tax change will result in a better resale market of those beasts since some people will be buying new ones just to take advantage of the law.


go to kelly blue book's website and put in all the features, and it will give you a price that's worthy of the price. I believe it is www.kellybluebook.com, but it may be kelley.


Smart move going to Edmunds.com, Maverick.

I've actually walked into a dealership with a printout of that "TMV" sheet and watched the smile disappear from the salesman's face. Pretty funny.

And, the guy ended up being straight-forward and up-front, knowing I had done my research.


Antiliberal - Thanks. I am aware of the tax bennies and appreciate your insights on pricing.


JW & MM - Thanks!