Mini dealerships and msrp

We are looking for a second car for our family. We wanted something with AWD, good mpg and under 30 grand. We were very impressed by the mini countryman. I am not very good with negotiations, but did my research. Kelley blue book doesnt have 2012 fair purchase price’ but the 2011 fair purchase price is $800 below msrp. I thought coming inthe last week of the year I would be able to get about 1 grand below msrp. I was surprised when the dealer said they dont go below msrp. This is the only mini dealer within150 miles. I know mini is a popular brand now and they allow a lot of personalization, but is it true they do not do negotiation (like the old Saturns)?
Also anyone hear of any problems with the 2012 Mini Countryman?

Looks like the dealer knows that they are the only game in town and are pricing their cars accordingly.

There is no reason you can’t call a dealer 200 miles away and buy there. Note: Once you buy the car, you don’t need to return to that same dealer, nor may that closer dealer refuse to honor the warranty or repairs.

BTW my wife has a Mini and is very happy with it. I would consider one myself if I need a new car some day.

Make the dealer an offer of your best price in writing. Prove you have the money to make the purchase. Leave you name and contact info with the sales rep and or manager and walk out the door. Walking away shifts the power from them to you. Meanwhile shop other dealers for the same make and shop other brands of cars too. If they want the deal, they’ll call you.

Go to an “on-line” web site,, or ebay and see what prices you can get online. Most dealers have online pricing and perhaps the dealer you are talking to has an online site and pricing.

go to the Mini web site ( Enter your zip code in the search box in the upper right corner and press enter. You will get a map with mini dealers on it. Check with all the dealers and see what they want for the car.

I found to be a useful site for dealer and pricing info. I also like Edmunds. If you do enough research, you will know whether or not the price is right for you.

One thing to remember is that the warranty is supplied by the manufacturer not the dealer. Don’t be afraid of offending a dealer etc. The manufacturer is the final authority.

Good luck.

The more popular a vehicle is the more inclined a dealer is to refuse to negotiate one penny of the MSRP. That doesn’t mean the dealer is a weasel for refusing to negotiate; it’s capitalism pure and simple and there’s nothing wrong with that.

KBB and other publications are not the final authority as to what a dealer can charge. You should note these publications are guidelines and only provide a general estimate.

The real MSRP can sometimes be a near mythical thing to find due to the smoke and mirrors involved.
Note that every few years niche cars appear, become wildly popular, and the MSRP is not only thrown out the door, it’s raised way above the roof due to demand.
When the new Dodge Challengers came out a few years ago dealers were adding 10 to 20 grand onto the MSRP and people were paying it because they hadda have it. Same thing with the VW New Beetles, Mazda Miatas, and so on.

I got to see one of those early numbered Challenger SRT8s on our local Dodge lot. Someone told me the guy paid over $60k for it. The owner traded it in a year later and they were reselling it for maybe a grand less than new.

The first new Challenger off of the assembly line was sold at the Barrett Jackson auction for 400 grand.
That’s sheer insanity IMHO and not worth the gamble that the car will double in value.
The local Dodge dealer was asking around 45 grand for the base models when they first came out and the SRT’s were also in the 50 to 60 grand range. No doubt some of those people are still eyebrow deep in debt over plowing into something like that.

Last year while watching some of the BJ auctions I noted someone bought a '66 Chevelle (like new and original survivor) for 40 something grand in the spring auction. Some few months later this car was taken to the Las Vegas auction where they were apparently trying to flip it for a profit. It sold for 20 something grand. Ouch; talk about taking a financial bath. They even have to cough up a seller’s fee on top of that half price deal along with auction listing fees, transportation for both car and owner, hotels, meals, etc. being part of the debit side of their ledger.

I did the ‘leave my phone number and walk out’ routine, and it worked great. In Anchorage, trying to buy the new Cherokee when it first came out, dealer wanted $1600 over list. Said no, the dealer in Kenai would sell for list, call me if you want a deal. I wasn’t really going to drive down there if I could help it, and I didn’t have to, the phone rang 5 minutes after I got home, and he met my price.

Always be willing to walk out, and do it.