How can I get EXACTLY the options I want on a new car?


For a quick background, my wife and I (dual military couple) are both deployed right now. We have one car between us back home, and it’s not a great one, so we’re both going to get new cars with some of the money we earned over here.

We decided on getting two hyundais (Accent and Elentra), but I was wondering how I can make sure I get EXACTLY the options I want. Do I have to go to a dealer and tell him to order exactly what I want and wait till it comes in? And also, does that mean I have to pay MSRP or can that still be negotiated? Thank you.



Do I have to go to a dealer and tell him to order exactly what I want and wait till it comes in?

That’s the way I do it. Sometimes you have to keep telling them that you really mean it. They like to sell what they have and not wait to sell you what you want, but if they know you are serous they will do it.

And also, does that mean I have to pay MSRP or can that still be negotiated?

You can still and should negotiate. I find pitting one dealer against other dealers is the best way. I offer two or more dealers the exact same deal. I tell them exactly what I want and tell them I will do exactly the same thing with other dealers and I want their one and only best price. The best deal wins. Every dealer gets only one bid and no dealer gets to know what any other dealer bid. If they don’t like to play my game they loose.


Ordering a new car used to be the customary way of purchase, at least when I lived in NYC and dealers had small lots. Now that I live in the sticks, all the dealerships here have huge lots and a hundred cars to choose from. You can also use the internet to find a nearby dealer who has a better match. It’s nice to be able to buy immediately.

Anyway, your assumptions are correct. Speak to any salesman and he will know what to do. Designate your options and color, leave a deposit, then wait your 6-8 weeks. The price is negotiable as always, and advertised discounts apply.


Note that if the dealer has a large inventory you MIGHT get a better deal on an in-stock car than on an ordered-to-spec car. The savings – in cost or in delivery time – might be worth the compromise on some feature of lesser importance.

Tell the salesperson what you want, but be willing to listen to a counter-offer (as long as everybody stays friendly).


Yes, you should go to the dealer and order a car. They MIGHT have what you want, or be able to find one at a nearby dealer, or you might have to wait, but if you want a certain option package, and will not settle for anything else, that’s what you have to do. You may be able to do this online, and you should shop dealers against each other.

Make sure anything you sign states plainly that you WILL NOT accept any other options, because the dealer may try to get a car that’s CLOSE ENOUGH, gambling that you won’t want to wait any longer. When I sold cars we did this all the time. If you are firm, and are willing to wait, you can get the car of your dreams.

Prices of cars are ALWAYS negotiable, unless you are buying a Ferrari or some other exotic. We’re talking about a Hyundai, after all, and there are LOTS of Hyundais for sale.

As the end of the model year approaches, and the supply of cars for sale diminishes, it may be harder to find exactly what you want. In that case, order an '08.


Prices are negotiable but you must shop around.

If you buy a car made in a factory in the US and I know for sure that you can with Ford, GM Chrysler cars, you can have it custom made for you. That may not be possible with a Korean manufactured car.


Call the dealership and ask for the fleet manager. Tell him what you want. FM’s generally don’t like to dicker around with haggling, so they tend to give you a decent price straight off.


You can order what you want and the dealer should try to obtain it.
You can negotiate a price, but you cannot negotiate the “real” MSRP price. Everyone will pay that at a minimum no matter what kind of car it is.

The trick is keeping the smoke and mirrors away from the true, as delivered from the factory MSRP with any factory option package discounts, rebates, etc.
I know the TV ads all claim two grand off the MSRP or whatever, but that’s BS, just like the 0% financing bit.


I think you need to look at your definition of “EXACTLY the options I want”. The Japanese and Koreans tend to sell packages based on the model designation, like DX, LX etc. There is a limited exterior color selection and even more limited interior color selection. With these manufacturers, You may designate certain options that you must have, but be ready to accept options you don’t much care for as they are part of the package. For example, you may want a sun roof, but to get it, you have to buy the model that also comes with a leather interior and alloy wheels.

One advantage to this for you if you accept this is that you are more likely to find a car on the dealers lot that has the “required” options and then you are in a better position to negotiate.

Even with American manufacturers, you may have to accept things that you don’t care about in order to get the options you want. The package deals are cheaper than the individual items bought separately.

I think you should keep an open mind about other manufacturers too. When my daughter was car shopping, she got a Toyota Corolla with everything she wanted for less than a similarly equipped Hyundai or Kia. The Toyota dealer was in a dealing mode, the other dealers weren’t.

The Toyota dealer was making me a real tempting deal too, but the Saturn dealer beat it by a mile. Same thing happened when I bought my truck. I could barely get the Mazda and Toyota dealers to budge, to them a couple of hundred was the best I could do, ended up saving over 4 grand at the Nissan dealer.

Keep an open mind and don’t rule anything out. You may get something you end up liking a whole lot better for less than you thought. Good luck


Keith gave you the BEST advise…With a Hyundai, you are NOT going to get EXACTLY what you want. They don’t custom build their cars. Your local dealer will do an area search for you and TRY to get close to your exact wishes. Stay flexible about brand and models and you can save a LOT of money. Once they see you have sold yourself, they won’t dicker much…


They might not make one with the exact options that you want, and if you are trying to leave some options off, you may affect the resale value. Don’t leave anything useful off if you can help it. Sometimes, you just have to get the power steering and power brakes with a rear window defroster. Or something like that. I’m sure they will tell you if something isn’t possible. I know that you will find out. Chevrolet used to let you order anything you wanted in the sixties and only weeks later would they notify you of problems. They had to stop that in order to be profitable. Sorry, but I just imagined a Miata with a bench seat and a hatchback.


Thank you for all the replies. The options I chose, I chose off the “” website. Just basic option “packages” is really what I want specific (option package 1, 2, etc). My wife wants her car very specific. Color and everything. However I am a little more flexible. I hopefully will be able to use this at the dealer. And as said, hopefully they’ll be willing to give me a better price on a better car that they have IN STOCK rather than having to go order what I want.

But like some of you said, hopefully they’ll be willing to give me a bit of a break on a car they have on the lot that may have the option package I wanted, but not the color I wanted just cause it’s on the lot and they can get rid of it. And I really like that idea of just being straightforward and going to four dealers and obtaining a “bottom line” price. I don’t like to be manipulative, nor do I like to be manipulated. So that sounds like a great idea! I appreciate it.



The problem with getting EXACTLY what you want and not compromising…is that you leave little room for negotiating. I’m NOT saying you can’t get what you want…just that it may cost you more…especially if you want an option that is rare or a rare color.


Chevrolet used to let you order anything you wanted in the sixties and only weeks later would they notify you of problems. They had to stop that in order to be profitable.

I wish they would go back to that with every model out there. I was on Nissan’s site once and wanted maybe 2 option packages for the truck(offroad and side airbag(airbags, VDC and brake assist) packages, but selecting one package forced me to buy $5k worth of options I did NOT want(DVD navigation, rear DVD entertainment system). If I want some things from package 2 and 3, but not all of them, I should be able to order the exact options I want from those “packages” and leave off the unwanted items.