Paying "list price" for a car

Whenever my father needed to get a new car, he’d go to the dealer, ask one of the salesmen what they have in his price range, how much he can get for a trade-in. Then he’d pay whatever the guy told him. In cash. No bargaining, nothing. He just paid the sticker price and drove the new car home.

The first time I bought a car, I did exactly the same thing. Nobody ever told me otherwise. By the time I bought my second car, I was somewhat wiser.

Does anyone else ever pay “list price” for a car?

I have access to A-plan (Ford) so if I buy on plan I pay a set price.

In my family we don’t pay list but we rarely haggle either. We ask for their best price and either take that or head elsewhere. My Dad had bought cars from the same dealership (every 4 years about) for about 30 years. Came time for a new one and he wanted a Tempo with “features x and g”. He asked for their best price, didn’t like it and got a much better price at another dealership, bought it there. The owner of his usual dealership saw him driving a car from his competitor and asked what was up and Dad explained basically in the same terms I used here. Owner said “You should have called us back - we could have probably done better”.

My Dad told him “After all these years you should have known I’m not changing how I do things”. Next time around, he called them and got a good price - and went back there.

What’s A-plan? Employee cost?

Hank Hill always paid list price.

I think he’s hinting that he either works for or has a relative who works for Ford (or one of their financial divisions). Employees of car companies usually get access to plans that let them buy through the dealership at cost and Plan-A sound’s like Ford’s.
Of course, hypothetically, that wouldn’t stop SOME dealers from bringing the salesperson into the backroom and saying,

“Heh. Now Look you! You take this silly SOB for every extra this contract has! Warranties, undercoating, every insurance we sell, radio upgrades, alarm systems, Lojack… Everything! If you can get Submarine & Jackalope Detectors added in,
I Want To See Them! Don’t worry about “typos”… we’ll slip 24% in where 2.4% goes. I’ll get it signed off. Nobody gets a car out of My dealership without Paying Me My Price! Nobody…!”

…or maybe that’s just in Jersey.

Maybe he just means that he has “a” plan, as opposed to “no plan.” :stuck_out_tongue:

Never. It’s why I won’t go back to Honda.

No, I wouldn’t pay list price for a car. Just because you’re spending tens of thousands of dollars, why pay hundreds or thousands more than you have to? Paying list price for a car would be like paying $500 for a pair of Levis when the store across the street has the same pair for $50. $450 dollars matters on jeans, why doesn’t it matter on a car?

The human mind seems to have a flaw when dealing with large numbers, people just tend to round things off. When dealing with large projects negotiations are done in units of millions of dollars, they aren’t worried about thousands or hundreds. Well as a taxpayer I am. I realize there is a point of diminishing returns, but don’t throw around millions of taxpayer dollars like it’s nothing. Even rounding off to the nearest million could potentially cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands extra.

Car prices are entirely negotiable, and even the fabled dealer “invoice” price isn’t the bottom line for the dealer, often there are dealer incentives and quotas that still allow them to profit when selling at or below invoice price. People feel bad for trying to get the best price, but believe me, a dealer will not sell you a car if they’re not benefiting from the transaction. You worry about yourself, let them worry about them.

During my first go-round selling cars, a woman came in with her family at about ten minutes before closing to buy one of our most expensive trucks for her son. The woman was very cheerful; her son was less so. She paid cash without haggling, and I was feeling pretty good until I found out why. She was paying for the truck with a fraction of the settlement she’d gotten from a pharmaceutical company whose medicine was killing her; she had about three months to live, but was determined to go out with a smile and to spread the wealth among her children. :frowning:

Sorta similar story when I was selling RVs: A woman came in and was looking at the Winnebago View with the Mercedes diesel. Didn’t seem to care what the price was. Then I found out that she divorced her cheating husband, and he volunteered to buy her whatever motorhome she wanted as a payoff. Why she didn’t go for a big-assed Class A, I’ll never know. When he came in to pay for it, he also bought a $250K Class A (and wrote a check for both!). :eek: But the fucker went to the owner for the deal, and no sales people saw a nickel of commission on the big rig. I managed to get half the commission for the smaller one. :mad:

That owner sucked. At either of the dealerships I worked at, if a well-heeled person went to the owner or GM directly for a deal, they always handed it off to a salesperson. Anything else was bad for morale.

I’m no good at haggling, but I’ve usually paid less than list. One exception was when we bought our Saturns; Saturn did not haggle: you paid the list price or didn’t get the car (there was some leeway for your trade-in). I actually liked that, since I didn’t have to worry about it, and the price was reasonable for a car that size.

Yeah, he was a dick. At one point in my short tenure there, the salesmen staged a sick-out one Saturday in protest of company policy. Nothing management could do about it, since we only worked on commission. He couldn’t very well fire everyone, as some of them were his top sales people.

I paid list price for my last car. I needed a car PDQ, and for that car (a Skoda Yeti) at that time it was a seller’s market. I could pay full whack or wait 3 months.

Highly recommend going to Maybe you can do better than their prices, but if you’re not into haggling, this is the way to go these days.

Got a cite for that? that’s the second thread you said that in. I don’t doubt you, I’ve just not heard that about anyone but Saturn (or Tesla?), or specific models like Priuses before they became commonplace and you had to waitlist. Or specific retailers (does Costco haggle?). All I can find on Google is specific Honda dealers using it as a gimmick.

My parents paid nearly list price for a 2009 Civic, but that’s what they were going for at the time. It’s a good car, was quite popular, and still a good price.

There’s nothing wrong with paying list price, if that’s truly what the car is going for in the current market, and you want the car. It’s just that in many cases, it’s not what the car is really going for.

When I tried truecar (just to see some numbers for various vehicles) I opened myself up to an onslaught of phone calls and a blizzard of emails from dealers. Never doing that again!