Car Buyer for Hire

I currently own a Toyota Corolla that I have had about 9 years and it has 208,000+ miles on it. I love this car. However, I realize that I am going to need to purchase a new one sometime soon. I dread the idea of car shopping but I know what I want. The credit union I belong to has a car buying program. You tell them what you want, as specific as possible and they find and negotiate it for you. Once that is done, you sign the paper and drive away in you new VW Eos (what I really want).

I am just wondering how you two feel about these programs. Do you think they are a good idea or is it best to get out there and do it myself?

Car buyer’s services can be an interesting complement to doing your own searching. I would not use them exclusively, however, without doing my own research. When looking for a car, I also look at:


I know you didn’t ask, but think again before buying a VW. Their reliability in the last 20 years or so has not been good. Can’t you find a more reliable convertible?

Toyota doesn’t make one I like…otherwise I would all over it.

I find that I always do better negotiating the deal myself. But if you just don’t like the process, use the service. Determine exactly what you want and compare it to the TMV on for the exact same car you want in your zip code. That will tell you how the buyers service compares to the average sale price near you.

I would feel extremely uncomfortable letting someone else find my car for me. More than once I’ve discovered upon test driving that a vehicle is different from the way I thought it would be, and $20,000 or more is just too large an amount for me to risk letting someone else make the decisiion. And there HAS to be a cost here somehow. No organization is gong to do this totally for free.

Here’s where talking to your friends, family members, and coworkers comes int REALLY handy.

I have at least 3 friends that LOVE, and I do mean LOVE, going to dealerships, and wheeling and dealing on cars for other people. They have a 100% success rate in getting a better deal than the original person could on their own.

Since its not their money on the line, and they have no emotional involvement in the purchase, that takes away all of the typical dealership strings. Then its all about the money.

All you have to do is walk in with them on one date, say that this is “Charlie, and they are helping me buy the car I want, at the best possible price”, and that’s it. You walk away. In fact, you don’t even have to do that much.

All they have to do is contact a dealer, state that my client wants to buy a Ford XXXXX, and we want your best price, right now. Then they contact the next place, and continue on. After they get 5 prices from 5 shops, they then walk into one of the dealers, show them all the numbers, and that shop gets first effort to beat everyone else.

I’m sure there’s someone in your circle that loves doing this.
Might even be worth finding that person.


Use autobytel. You tell them what they want, they direct you to a local-ish dealer. They usually have great “internet” price. No dealing, just a deal. You can do almost all the deal via email, then go and sign the papers and drive away.

I agree; I also feel it’s a mistake to decide upon a car ahead of time. You’ve locked yourself into one make/model which may not be a good deal. If you try out all makes and models yourself, and then give a list of acceptable models to a knowledgeable buyer, that might help. But, being a control freak, I’d rather seek advice and do it myself than leave the task to a disinterested third party. They don’t have to live with a bad deal, you do.

Car selection isn’t always jsut about value. Sometimes you just really like the way a car drives, or looks, and are willing to sacrifice mileage, reliability, or cost. Life is a series of trade-offs.

Now that I see realbinky’s suggestion, I want to offer a modification. Do some on-line shopping at local dealers for the car you want. The dealers should have an on line inventory of cars. Ask them for an internet quote and compare prices. This works best if there are several dealers for the Eos. In my major metro area, that’s easy. Maybe it is in your neck of the woods, too. You can even compare these prices to your program price, and pick the best one.

I have a neighbor who does just that.  He once had a job in that type of work.  I don't remember what it was, but those people who have used them when they bought a car have all been very happy with the final deal.

If you’ve already test drove the Eos and like it, but don’t want to haggle over the price, go ahead and use them. If you haven’t even been to the VW dealership and asked for a test drive, please consider doing so before you buy.

You could try doing what JT said about getting an internet quote and/or haggling over email instead of face to face, then compare it to the buyer’s price that they want.

If you haven’t been test driving, and decide to go, do it now while your car is running, not when it gives up the ghost. If you’re in need of a car that day, the salesman will usually sense that you’re needing one right away and will stick it to ya on the price.
Also, don’t let them give you the “so, what are you looking at for monthly payments?” line, go for the out the door price only. Nor should you tell them you’re trading your car in either, this will add another set of numbers for them to juggle around and confuse you with