There’s more than one way to buy a new car, and one method you may not have considered is through fleet sales. Buying a car through fleet sales is something that’s usually done by executives, business owners, and other high rollers, but fleet sales are open to everyone. There are some distinct advantages, too—starting with the fact that pricing is non-negotiable, which means the hassle usually associated with new car wheeling and dealing is pretty much absent from the process. Also, note that buying through fleet sales is essentially buying wholesale, so you can often find a really good deal this way.
The Basics of Buying a New Car
Of course, the first thing to do is simply cover all the usual new car bases—and that includes:
– Figuring out what kind of car you really need.
– Determining your budget.
– Doing online research on the cars you’re looking at.
From there, make sure you understand how the fleet sales process actually works. The final price of a fleet sales car is usually a little bit above the invoice price—anywhere from $250 to $1,000 higher. Your sales representative may discuss the vehicle pricing in this way; for example, if he or she tells you that the vehicle in question is “$500 over,” that means it’s $500 higher than the invoice price.
You’ll also want to check the sales price of the car you’re looking for—something most dealerships will happily provide you. Knowing the invoice price and the MSRP are the two pieces of information you’ll need in determining whether the car fits your budgetary needs. If it doesn’t, go back to the drawing board and look for a different vehicle that might be more affordable.
Additional Tips for Fleet Sales
Some further points to consider as you buy through fleet sales:
– When you contact the local dealership, you’ll want to ask the operator for a direct line to the fleet manager. Note that regular retail salesmen may try to divert you to their own departments, so be vigilant.
– You can tell the fleet manager that you’re looking to research a new car for your company, but don’t lie and tell them that the car you’re buying is for business use. Some fleet managers are truly prohibited from selling their vehicles to private buyers, and you don’t want to get anyone in trouble.
– Only go to the dealership if you get a specific invitation to meet with the fleet manager. If you just get a vague invitation to come to the dealership, you’re probably not going to get to meet with the fleet team.
– Ask about any available discounts; for example, some dealers will waive their dealer’s fee if you ask them to.
– Of course, you’ll want to thoroughly inspect the vehicle, just like you would any vehicle.
Fleet sales may represent a good way to get a good car without any hassle—so think about it, but also know that used cars will still offer the superior value.