I’m sure it’s not a shock for you to read I’m a little snobby about my cars. I like something that drives well and feels luxurious inside. As far as brands go, I have no loyalty there. I started with a Jeep Grand Cherokee, then hit BMW, Lexus, Audi, and now Mercedes. At the time of purchase or lease contract signing, I loved them all. And I had to go through hell and high water to get them all. But you know what…it was worth it!
I’m not going to bore you with how I secured each car. What I will share is what I’ve learned:
1. Call in the favor.
You know people in the car industry and they know a lot more than you do. Figure out EXACTLY what car you want and then call in a favor to get it for a steal. Be respectful and know exactly what you want before you make the call.
Other people who are helpful: loyalists. If you have a friend who consistently buys the brand you want, take them with you to the dealership. The salesman values that persona and you will get better treatment.
2. Use a broker.
For three of my cars, I’ve used a broker to get the best deal possible and even get rid of a lease. On this Mercedes, Fadi was able to get $9200 off the MSRP and the monthly payment I was looking for (cheap!). Plus, he delivered the car to my house! On my Lexus, I had to give it up when I moved to NYC. My broker convinced the dealership to take it back without any penalty.
3. Figure out what you can live without.
I’m a “fully loaded” girl, but I’ve always had to make compromises. On this Mercedes, I have a huge sunroof, but no back-up camera, a feature I loved on my Audi.
4. Ask about custom orders.
Often dealers are waiting on custom ordered cars then their buyer declines it. It has been my experience these cars are loaded, yet the dealers want to move the cars ASAP. So ask if anything is on its way.
CASE AND POINT: STORY OF MY AUDI
Many of you continue to ask about how I ended up with my Audi. I had no idea you were so interested!
Long story short: Through a broker, I leased a basic A4 because it was less expensive than the Lexus I wanted and was a popular car amongst consumers. My car turned out to be lemon. I turned it into the Audi in Houston where my long-time friend is the GM. He had a fully loaded custom order A4 Quatro that a customer didn’t want. He made a sweet deal and I leased the bigger and better car.
One last point I need to make: if you’re going to get an Audi, don’t get the base models. It’s a big boy car and you need a bigger budget to really be able to appreciate an Audi.