How to Buy a Brand New Car? - Advice Please

In the next few months, we will start car shopping.

I've got my sights set on the RAV4 Hybrid (website says $42k), and because its a 2019 feature, I won't be able to find any models less than 2019, hence, brand new purchase.

Never bought a brand new car though, I read about the 'great deals' people seem to snag from the dealers.

Could someone enlighten me:

  • what qualifies as a great deal? - I be aiming for a % off MSRP? or freebies?

  • What kind of inclusions should should I expect as a minimum?

  • What time of the year is best?

  • Should we trade in? or just sell our car privately?

  • Can you negotiate price if you finance? — I'm hoping for a 1% finance promotion that ive seen in the past.

  • alternatives?

Thanks to everyone who helps!


  • +2

    come on. do just a little research at least, dont be lazy.

    • +1

      I feel like the only way to get better at it would be to walk into the actual dealer ship.

      I figured some other people had helpful advice.

      Thanks for replying though.

      • have you read through forum posts?

    • -1

      naah…pls spoon feed me….i m lazy…

      • -1

        Alright, lol. Take it easy there.

        Feeling a bit angry today?

  • -1


  • +7

    Incredibly popular car that demand outstrips supply. You are getting basically 0% off.

    • You're right. I never seem to see offers selling this car.

      I read somewhere that the 1% finance deals are to get rid of their slower moving cars.

      • Yes 1% is to get suckers in, normally only applies to rrp anyway, they won't discount. If you want it, you'll be paying full rrp I'd say.

        • A 1% rate is honestly low enough that savvy customers could arbitrage that with a decent savings a/c or term deposit.

          • +1

            @HighAndDry: You are assuming that it is savvy consumers buying at 1% interest. I assume it's people who see the 1% ad on tv, get themselves a new car, and don't realise they have a 50% balloon at the end.

            • +1

              @brendanm: Yeah. Someone's gotta pay for that arbitrage opportunity… kind of like the interest-free period on credit cards. Only exists because some blithely go through that and pay the 20+% interest.

  • +1

    There is a discussion thread for RAV4 2019 here

    A good starting point for your research

    • Thanks!

  • +2

    Checkout John Cadogan's site

    On his YouTube channel there amongst the fluff, rants, and sale pitch to buy via AutoExpert, there are some priceless gems about how to get a better deal. You know, tips like (paraphrased) "state your price, give them your number, and walk away".

    The counter-intuitive chest-nut "don't shop for a new car with your partner" (by all means discuss it with them, but don't take them — it takes away your bargaining power if they're easily reachable).

    Hidden in John's entertaining banter in the videos, are some really good tips.

    This blog post probably sums up many of them…

    • +5

      Take whatever he says and disregard 80% or more. He wants you to buy a car through his business, a car broker, or his side business YouTube revenue.

      He is also highly opinionated and often exaggerates to try and make a point.

      I’ve watched a few and refuse to watch any more - and warn others not to.

      • +2

        Cadogan is a Hyundai shill, no coincidence he always recommends the Korean cars

        “Hyundai has a history of using unconventional methods in its dealings with the press. It uses the editor of enthusiast website Car Advice, John Cadogan, as a public relations consultant“

        • +1

          He sounds like a mechanic who thinks he is a retired automotive engineer with extensive materials engineering knowledge.

          He does have basic mechanical knowledge, there's no denying that but many of his posts are only true if viewed in isolation, especially his opinion on how a car could have avoided certain problems or be improved.

      • +6

        He presents as a douchbag but I find him generally correct and concise on technical matters, and his purchasing opinions sound very reasonable. If he dropped the slurs he'd probably have a large following; personally they are the only reason for not being a regular viewer.

    • +2

      The only thing that goose is an expert on, is touching himself. Noone is going to discount a car that has more buyers than they have cars. Op can make whatever offer he likes on a hybrid RAV4 and walk out, and the dealer will laugh and selling to the next guy. Another example is the Suzuki Jimny, Mustangs in the past etc

  • +3

    Forgot the all important… 'Buy at the end of the month'…

    • +2

      Only works if you actually take delivery by the end of the month. Dealer targets are delivered targets, not sold. If your finances are ready to go and the car is in stock, you're in a better position.

      Going in on the last day to order a car that's 3 months away has no power

    • Actually good! Thought it was just going to be some retard

  • +22

    Forgot the above 2 comments, absolute rubbish when it comes to a car that's a 6 month wait to get.

    There's not much to these cars in terms of buying. Discounts are minimal ($1000-$1500 if the dealer even wants to negotiate anything off it). Trade-in figure is pointless as it will need to be re-valued in 6 months time. Get a finance quote from bank, and 1 from dealer, and compare the 2.


    Ugh neg votes really? When a car is a factory order and not sitting around gathering dust, your negotiation power disappears. Do people not like hearing that?

    You can negotiate more on old stock or stock that's not selling, but is that really what you want to buy? Or would you rather buy the most popular car?

    • +2

      Thanks man, reality check.

      Good points, makes sense though.

    • +9

      I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I usually jump into these posts to read your insights. A lot of them will help me in the future, so thank you.

      • +2

        Aww thanks

  • +3

    I neglected to give you some specific answers to your Q's, so here are a few quickies (from my personal experience):

    -Great deal -> I aimed for and got $10k off a $50k car recently.

    -Inclusions -> get no inclusions. Bargain for whatever spec level model you want (entry level, mid, or top). You can ask for one extra inclusion like floor-mats or tint, then disregard later in your neogitating, preferring to get the car for a bargain price instead. Counter-intuitive, but that's one of the tricks. Don't get suckered in by extras. They end up costing you if you get through the dealer.

    -End of the month is generally best. January / June are good times, but all months are desperate months for car sales currently the media proclaims. If you don't do your deal this month, wait until the end of next month. The dealers are always in a "rush" to sell you a "deal" that expires. But if you tell them you're in no rush, you can wait until they the end of the month, when they haven't reached their sales targets.

    -Don't trade in. Sell privately. Do nothing else with the dealer.

    -Organize your finance separate, not through the dealer. Tell them you have your finances sorted (when they ask you), but in what form is none of their business (be nice though).

    -Go from dealer to dealer. If Dealer X offers you $42,000, go to Dealer Y and ask for even less. Make sure Dealer X and Y have your name & number, and when they follow-up, stick to a good realistic price, and don't budge…

    Hope that helps.

    • +3

      Great deal -> I aimed for and got $10k off a $50k car recently.

      What car? Helps for context, rather than just a blanket point

      • +4

        Probably a Holden Arcadia lol.

  • +3

    Asking for a %discount ball park is pointless because all car makes, models, and dealers differ. Unfortunately for you, the RAV4 is new and there's a waiting list on the hybrid. Which means no discounting when others are willing to pay full price. Dealer might offer you free mats just to get your deposit today, though.

    • Yes, you won't get a deal on a RAV4 Hybrid. Not this year anyway.

    • Full price meaning drive away price listed on the Toyota website?

      As that price includes dealer delivery which should provide some room to move.

      • +1

        Normally, yes. But if there are plenty of other customers willing to pay those added dealer fees to secure an order, then no wiggle room.

  • +1

    Anyone purchasing the new Supra?

    • +3

      Only corolla buyers here sadly

      • +2

        What's faster, 60km/h in a Corolla or 60km/h in a Supra?

        • +4

          Depends which has a more accurate speedo.

        • +3

          That's what all boring people say

  • +1

    i have a similar experience as i just bought a 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 2wd GXL in crystal pearl 1.5 months ago.
    i paid the full website sticker price of 43K

    i could not get any discounts on this car (went to 2 dealerships and used John Cadogen as its selling like Hot cakes, there is currently a 3-4 month waiting list.

    finance was about 6% even with best credit ratings, but i ask them to match the Green car special finance deal of 4.29% They were able to do it for about 4.6% from memory.

    • +1

      I got 4wd GXL in graphite for 43.5K with free Mat in June. Interest rate is 4.99% with st George bank with excellent cr rating. Their asking price was 46k.
      I think I didn’t negotiate hard enough!

      • Hybrid? If yes then thats a good deal

        • Yes. My friend paid the same as you for Gx 2wd and white

  • What about the new Kia seltos?

    • Thats a small suv(raised up hatchback)

  • I think it's a good time to buy a new car… Sales for the month are down 1/3 I'm sure you can squeeze them
    A Toyota dealer I know told me they average 120 cars a month now there down to 80

  • Its just like going shoping.
    Just go to a few dealerships and find the best deal

  • Have you considered a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV? Maybe a 2 year old model. A 2018 with <10,000km will be around the same price as the RAV4 after negotiation.

  • Good deal - you got a price better than you thought you could.

    Bad deal - you got a price worse than you hope you'd get.

    Great deal - you found a forum of people posting prices paid and you're the new lowest.

  • How does it work if you want a car that is not in waiting-list territory but that is not actually in stock?

    Say the dealer has a manual silver hatch, but you want the red auto sedan.

    Do you automatically lose some of your bargaining power because the pressure to sell an actual car costing money every day is more than the pressure to sell a hypothetical car?

    • Any factory order loses bargaining power over an in-stock vehicle, though we are still negotiable. Just not as much incentive to sell it for a small margin

      Plus the car you want might be at another dealer and still could be sourced soon

      • What's the best way to show you are serious about buying?

        Saying you have $1000 cash with you and willing to put it down today?

        • +1

          Signing an offer to purchase. This becomes a contract if the dealer signs off on it as well, so it shows commitment from your end.

          Phrases like "what's your best price" or "would you do it for XX" don't have leverage unless you're prepared to sign on the bottom line.

  • +1

    Bit of a funny story…

    I helped mum find a new car a few years ago. She decided on the Subaru XV. A bit under-powered in my opinion. Could do with a turbo to help in the higher rev range, but otherwise a good car.

    We arranged to take it for a drive. She was sold on it so we went back to sort out the paperwork. One of the reasons that sealed the deal was their runout sale on 2012 stock.

    Went over the trim levels and colours. She chose that really bright, almost radioactive, green. Doesn't look too bad at all really. Everyone signed the paperwork and she left a deposit.

    We got home and later that day the dealer called and said that the colour she chose was only available on the 2013 models. Uncharacteristically she stood her ground and calmly explained that all the paperwork was signed and the deposit paid so she was going to stick with that.

    They said they'd look into it a bit more and call back.

    The next day they called and said they could honor what was on the paperwork, but it would take 6-7 months for delivery.
    She called them on their bluff and said that would be fine.

    A week later they called and said they had some good news; they could deliver in the next 3-4 weeks (I think).

    By that time I'd gone back home interstate so I had a friend go with her to make sure everything was ok, which it was.

    So that's the story of how my mum got a 2013 car at a 2012 runout price haha

  • We found shopping to get a great deal difficult and time consuming for the same reason, we didn't know what qualified as a great deal. The problem is dealers don't want to reveal their best price unless you're there to sign on the spot. We ended up going through They approached multiple dealers and shopped our old car as a trade in for us. We just put down what we wanted included in the deal which saved us all the drama and guessing.

  • How to Buy a Brand New Car?


    *Unless you're buying a speciality purchase, like a sports car or a high-end European luxury, you don't need a brand new car. They're marked up like crazy and since they're worth more it just means you're losing more value everyday. Even the latest models can usually be found for second hand from private sellers. Buy it from someone who has already paid for its depreciation, not someone who will pass the depreciation onto you.

    • Even the latest models can usually be found for second hand from private sellers.

      Umm no:

      I've got my sights set on the RAV4 Hybrid

      It's been out since May, and has had a wait list since.

  • Currently looking for a Subaru Impreza 2.0i-L. Went to a dealership on the weekend and the salesperson indicated 1-2k off RDP was possible. Ideally would prefer more off, how to proceed from here?

    • Maybe off them over RRP by 2k and negotiate from there?

Login or Join to leave a comment