Buying a Car from a Local Dealer Vs Somewhere Else for a Better Price?

Hi Guy,

Looking at getting a new car and the local dealer has given the RRP price. No room for haggle. Waiting period for car is 2months.

I ended up calling another dealer which is around 10km away and got the same pricing. Did some Google search to realise most of the metropolitan dealers of this brand is owned by same company.

Anyways, today called a dealer that is a family owned business and is around 50km away from where I live. Excellent customer service over the phone and are happy to work on a price as well.

My question is - is there a reason why I should only buy local?

Or does it matter if I buy from the dealer who wants to work with me on the price.

I still plan on taking the car for the service at the local dealer. Will this be an issue?

Keen to hear your comments.


  • Buy from the dealer that offers you the most competitive price. Just double check it's the spec you want and are comparing like-for-like. You can service it at any dealer even if didn't buy from them.

  • I know someone in Perth that couldn’t get any movement from the one and only Audi dealership in Perth at the time.

    Called a Melbourne dealer and they arranged a delivery to Perth for a far better price.

    Gets it serviced locally. No issues.

    • Wow!

      What happens if there is a warranty issue? Will the local dealer fix it?

      • Yes the warranty is provided and paid for by the manufacturer. They don't really need to know the details of why or where you originally purchased the car.

        If asked tell them you recently moved into to the area ?

  • …and are happy to work on a price as well.

    What does that mean? If it's only $100 or some token amount off the RRP that the local dealers are offering, there's probably no point driving the extra 50km and back. And you might have to do that more than once.

    Dealers don't often discount much, if anything at all, on high demand vehicles. There's no need to discount if they're selling like hotcakes.

    • Valid points. I am working on the numbers with them now.

      Their straight off price was $800 less for the actual car in comparison to the local dealer.

      I am adding some accessories and see what the total prices comes to.

  • +2 votes

    It's only 50km away.

    Go support them if they offer you good service.

    I'm sure they will deliver the car to your house at no cost.

    Service it locally. No issue.

    Is it a Subaru?

    • I reckon it's Subaru. Captive audience in metropolitan Melbourne at least.

    • You got it - yes Subaru.

      • +5 votes

        Thought so…

        FYI, I helped purchase a Subaru from a country dealership about 120km away.

        Arranged everything over the phone and placed a deposit via credit card.

        They delivered the car to home and it was the first time I met the salesperson (in person).

        Saved $1,500 as the Inchcape (Subaru) dealers wouldn't negotiate. It was a brand new model at the time.

        • Thanks man! This is so reassuring! Literally every Subaru dealer I called in Melbourne kind of sang the same words! That triggered me to do some research ad figure out they are all owned by the same company. So similar sales pitch… even some of the words they used. Haha.

          This particular dealer who is willing to work in the price is from Lilydale.

  • We faced a similar problem last year when looking at metropolitan dealerships here in Perth.

    Ended up buying through a regional dealership via phone/email contact. Car was delivered to our door cheaper than we could get it locally.

    Servicing has not been an issue so far.

  • We bought cars from interstate dealer several times. We arranged permits to drive the cars back to our states for registration, etc. No issue at all.

  • go for the 50 km away dealer if they give a better price

  • are happy to work on a price as well.

    Sounds like that's their way to try to get you to come out to them

  • is there a reason why I should only buy local?

    No. I bought my car interstate as price was less.
    Just don’t buy a service package so that you will be free to choose you own mechanic for service

    • Thanks.

      I am curious about service package.

      They are offering 3 year service package with additional price.

      Is it okay to get the cat serviced from a local mechanic? Just worried about warranty claims.

      • Is it okay to get the cat serviced from a local mechanic?

        WTF? I dont think kitty would go for that…

      • Is it okay to get the car serviced from a local mechanic? Just worried about warranty claims.

        It is, but you might be better off under the capped price servicing from Subaru for the first 5 years. Certainly from a warranty perspective it is easier to just go to the dealership while under manufacturer's warranty. I know you can go to any mechanic and keep your warranty, but it can be a bit annoying later. Since it's capped price servicing there is little risk of going to Subaru themselves.

        Just make sure to only get the logbook service (which is included under the capped price) and not other stuff that might be needed. E.g. tyres, wiper blades, etc., get that done elsewhere or DIY. The dealer will probably try and upsell you on the capped price service to service extra sh*t that isn't needed or could be done much cheaper elsewhere.

        Once the warranty is up I'd suggest just going to a good independent mechanic that specialises in Subaru (if you can find one).

  • Support country dealers if you have the option

  • You may find quite often rural dealers do quite appealing competitive prices.. well worth a phone call and drive.

  • If you are dealing with the dealership remotely, make sure if the contract outlines what you discussed.

    I once had similar experience to buy a stock item. Interestingly, the dealership intentionally left out the vin number of the car on the form. When I questioned about it, they just told me it was a mistake. After a week or two, they told me that they were originally swapping the car they had with other car(that I wanted) that another dealership had, but this deal with other dealership failed. Then, they tried to sell me another car they had in stock. As it was their fault, I was able to get my deposit back, but it wasn't easy. Let's just say it took them almost two months to refund the deposit.

    So, if something is fishy on the contract, or some part are missing, don't sign and pay the deposit.

    • Ok that’s scary.

      Thanks for the heads up and I’ll keep an eye out.

      Honestly my experience with the dealers have not been very good in the past.

      Most recent one was when I purchased my suv from Honda (few years back)

      I was told I’ll get 7 years Honda warranty and 7 years roadside assist.

      When the time came for roadside assist, I got told they I am not registered for roadside assistance.

      Called dealer and they forgot to register their data base. On top of that, I got told… there is only 5 years warranty from Honda and 5 years roadside assist. After that it will be the dealer’s after market warranty and roadside for two years!!
      Should have read my contract TBH, it was so dodgyly written I would have never caught that.


  • Buy from the cheapest stealership - if you can find one that has the car you want actually in stock, that is always a winner.

    Service it wherever you please (by legit mechanic).

    Enjoy new car.

    What car are we talking about?

    EDIT - have you thought about using a broker?

    • Thanks!

      Subaru XV - S

      No, haven’t contacted a broker yet.

      • Being ignorant, is that the 2.0i-S ? series G5X? and what MY? and what colour do you want? and what state? and what price would you buy at?

        • Yes 2.0i S Gx5.
          Cool grey
          Have been offered $40500 (with front parking sensors installed). This price is a fleet price as I am able to give employer letter.

          Looking at 39k with front sensors installed.

          • @BuddhaBoy:

            Looking at 39k with front sensors installed.

            Yeah, good luck with a further $1500 off in this economic climate.

            Why are you looking at less? Budget? Friend bought for that? Guessing how much margin in the new car?

            • @spackbace: Actually at the moment I haven’t received any discounts. Yes it’s a fleet price but that’s the set price.

              I understand there is a massive COVID Tax but hey, any money saved is good money I guess.

              Reason is - Budget. I have already stretched it. I like we like the car so maybe will look into good offers if there are any. Right now, not even getting a single $ off. The dealer wants me to pay for mats too and no full tank while delivery.

  • There is ZERO reason to buy the car locally other than if:
    a) the car is either the same price or cheaper there; or,
    b) the extra amount you're going to spend is worth more than the hassle of driving to a dealership further away.

    We bought out brand new car from a dealership in Essendon and going there for service after purchase gave us ZERO benefits or consideration. We moved house and went to a dealership more locally for service, and they were actually the one's who went above and beyond to get an item replaced under warranty (when our car was outside the warranty).

    My recommendation: go where it's cheapest.

    Also consider that many people will drive 80kms to get $50 off a $200 item. But when it comes to cars, those same people will spend $500 more to buy it from a local dealership. Focus on the dollar value savings, not the proportionate saving.

  • Also, if your work offers Notated Leasing, consider getting a quote from them and then going around trying to beat it. They usually have deals with certain dealerships to get decent pricing (albeit not the best you could find).

  • Bear in mind that you might not seem "serious" enough to warrant "serious" negotiation.

    Once a salesperson knows you are very serious and realises that you are prepared to sign a contract & put a nonref deposit, deals can happen.

    • Def not in melbourne. Was there sitting on the table to put deposit but nope. No discount at all. Asked for RRP. Full price for front sensor as accessory and also no Mats… gotta pay for that too. So I was like… maybe I should try somewhere else at least once!

  • Cars are commodities - just like fridges. Would you buy a fridge from a "local" dealer out of fear it wasn't going to be serviced properly in the event of issues? No.

    Also for servicing you are not bound to the manufacturers agents. Any authorised service agent can do book services on the car. This implied stranglehold on you, the consumer, is the reason so many dealerships can be soooo shonky.

    For years I bought cars from a dealership in Ipswich - I live in Brisbane - and they would drive a loaner to my home, take my car for a service, and return my car serviced and cleaned. The inner city dealerships by contrast were a**eholes.

    Hope you enjoy your new car!

  • I'd clarify exactly what you're buying, and ask for the VIN number before turning up.
    I drove an hour to save some money buying a new car, but got the sales run around when I got there. "Oh for that price you can have this demo".

    But there is absolutely no advantage to buying local. Just try to get any post-sales service from a dealer. You can't even do a deal with servicing in the purchase. They run sales and service as separate companies.
    We bought our most recent car locally, they smashed the windscreen on 1st service, refused to admit fault ("must have already been cracked"), so we drive 90 minutes to get it serviced elsewhere.

  • My brother has this great strategy of calling the manufacturer of whatever large item he is buying, asks who sells the most of what he is after. Checks that store, perhaps in Perth or Brisbane…) for a price and in this case delivery, and then use that for price matching. Sometimes he will just tell the local dealer that he happens to be going there for work in any case and will buy it there, even saving the delivery fees and having a fun drive home! It works a treat in getting a great price, even if they don't match it completely.

  • You don't owe them any favours. If you can obtain vehicle elsewhere much cheaper, then do it.
    However, if vehicle under a warranty, your local dealer is handy nearby.

  • Living in FNQ used cars are expensive, past 25 years we buy in Brisbane off Dealers and even with shipping cheaper we've found. Last buy 2 years ago 2014 Mercedes W204 Coupe, just 58K's, one owner, logs and mechanical inspection, like new was $23K delivered.