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Best Practices Car Purchase Vehicle Value

## Warning: Don’t Trust Bargain Car Prices You See Online

Online car prices are a bit like a juggling routine and the prices are being raised and lowered to reel you in.
Online car prices are a bit like a juggling routine and the prices are being raised and lowered to reel you in.

Word of the Day: tregetour – juggler, trickster, deceiver

So many times, people see good looking online car prices that make them want to click that little “buy now” button on their screen and make a deal.

Companies that sell cars online know that and will do anything to attract your attention with the hope they will hook you on their line and lure you in. So they purposefully advertise the lowest car prices they possibly can.

### Buyer Beware! Those Low Car Prices Are Often Click Bait

If you’re not careful, you could end up spending thousands of dollars more than you should.

I wish we could be full time advocates for buyers at no charge, but we’re too busy working for buyers.

However, as someone who is a consumer advocate FIRST and a buyer’s agent SECOND, I really feel strongly about how much we don’t know about what we don’t know when it comes to the true price of vehicles found online.

Many folks come to us with an online car price quote that looks quite good, but there are a lot of hidden gotchas!

For example, have you every seen a low airfare quoted, bought a ticket for a flight and then realized that the price of checking your bags is almost as much as the ticket itself?

The same thing is true of online car prices.

When I see low online car prices, what IS the REAL price of the vehicle I’m looking at?

Prospective clients often ask this question, “What do you think would be a fair price for ‘X’ new or used vehicle?”

Even though we have 15+ years of business experience and because the current market is so outrageously inflated, It’s nothing more than a wild guess to give an answer without an hour or more of focused research and phone calls.

This current 2021 market requires nothing less than having our individual team members aggressively shop, search, negotiate and the only promise we can make is that we will maximize our clients’ dollar spend (whatever the budget is) and for used cars get highest year and lowest miles (or in some cases, the specific year or years requested with the lowest miles possible).

For new cars sometimes it is just an achievement to find a given vehicle at all because there is a real scarcity.

To give a precise answer, alas, takes hours of time.

Why You Can’t Trust Online Car Prices

Online postings don’t answer questions like

  • What are the conditions of the tires? You could need new tires even if the vehicle is only a year or two old and then suddenly you have an additional $800 outlay as soon as 3-6 months after purchase)
  • What are the dealer add-ons going to cost? These can add thousands of dollars.
  • What are the taxes, title and insurance going to cost?
  • There are myriad of other concerns when buying a large ticket item such as a new or used car.

While we are often told that we make magic happen here at Car Pal, we strive to provide realistic expectations at the gate, especially now with the search engines like True Car showing one price online and then the consumer finding out it’s 5K more when it’s time to sign the paperwork.

Here’s An Example

Here is a screenshot a customer recently sent us for a 2021 Honda Accord at a great looking price:

Too Good To Be True Prices Online Price
Wow! Look at that low price!

And here is the actual price the dealer gave us via text message:

Too Good To Be True Prices Actual Price

That’s $4,540 more than the online car price! And notice the unnecessary, unasked for add-ons. Because online car prices never reflect the true price of a vehicle, we only take them as a starting point to begin the dealer negotiation process with the many dealers we work with around the country.

What a Car Buying Service Like Car Pal Does for You

Let’s just say with 25+ years in the business, Car Pal has seen ALL the possible price tricks. And we understand the overall condition of the market and thoroughly examine every deal and transaction. We are obsessive about the details because the details are where car dealers hide price increases.

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