Paying cash for a car - or maybe I shouldn't


Seconded. Actually it sounds like my mom, who insists that dealerships prefer it when you pay cash, and will discount the car just to get their hands on the cash.

She also thinks Discover loves her because she pays her account in full every month and never accrues any interest. Sometimes I really wonder where she gets some of these notions. :wink:


I know people do go in with cash, my dad used to, but he also had a concealed carry permit and carried. But I still would bet the percentage of cash carrying customers at a new car sale is pretty low. Unless you include those with a pre-approved loan to cover the entire cost.


I think a dealership would prefer that someone did not buy a new car with cash. Any cash transaction over 10000.00 has to have a federal form filed now.


Lay away plan? Multiple payments of less than $10k. :thinking:


I’ve never had a car loan and paid cash for all my cars, new included. I have never gotten a discount due to cash, in fact, if it is revealed too early in the process, my experience is that it can have a negative effect on price. The dealer gets kick backs from their financing house. If they are self-funded, they are losing a huge amount of future revenue. They can afford to give borrowers more money off the car purchase which helps sell the car and then they patiently wait to collect a lot more money over the long haul…I suppose if they are cash strapped, they might drool over your stack but most of the places I have bought were disappointed when I revealed I would pay in cash, Many tried to revise the negotiated price…


In 2014 we bought a new Nissan Frontier SV. We were going to pay for it in full ( and no I rarely have more than 60.00 on me at a time ) . The general manager said if we took the zero percent offer we could get another 500.00 off the price and his dealership would also receive a monetary reward. All that they requested was that we do not payoff the loan until 4 payments were made so they would not lose their reward.


That situation, which is likely the tip of an iceberg of outrageous financial scams that occur in all kinds of deals these days, has become so commonplace that it is looked on as NORMAL.

And I have never bought a new car with cash but have paid cash for used cars at new car dealerships with cash and felt quite certain that I benefited in the deal.


The post said a new vehicle which could mean a brand new car or it could mean, as stated on

  • (of physical or moral qualities) different and better: The vacation made a new man of him.
  • other than the former or the old: a new era; in the New World.
  • being the later or latest of two or more things of the same kind
    So, my advice would apply to one of the latter definitions.
    In fact you stated that you “needed a new vehicle”. I didn’t think you needed a brand new vehicle.
    In other words, excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me


Oh my gosh. That is silly. If that 78 Chevy truck down the street for $800 would be a new vehicle, then maybe we need a “new” term for that $60,000 2018 Chevy truck that hasn’t ever been sold before. Back to “depends on what the definition of is is”.


That sentence about sums it up. New at dealer.


That about sums it up, brand new.


Doesn’t matter what says. There are specific laws on the matter. They were defined decades because manufacturers were selling cars that were 2-3 years old as NEW.


Using the online dictionary to explain that you don’t know what you are talking about is a new tactic.


Just a couple of thoughts. CarMaxx was mentioned above. The advantage for using them (I’ve used them twice) is you’ll get a firm offer that is good for 7 days. The offer is typically lower than what you’d get if you sold it yourself but higher than the trade in offer the dealer will give you.

The other thing is when you use sites such as True Car you’ll get an “average” price that is lower than the MSRP (for my Jeep it was about $4,000.00 lower). With that, many dealers are associated with True Car and will, by the terms of their relationship with True Car, sell you the car you want at the True Car price. In my case, that ended any haggling.

So considering both items above you can get a decent price for your current car plus a decent price on a new car, all without any haggling at all. Good hunting!


I guess that depends what your definition of ‘new’ is.


I’ll reiterate, which by definition is to repeat something already stated.

don’t really need any alternate definition of new.


Another option is to nail down roughly what car you want. Call all dealers within driving distance and tell them that you’re buying a car at 5pm Tuesday, and that you’re asking this of 10 other dealers. Tell them to call you with their best price, lowest price wins.
Also, consider buying a 2 or 3 year old car- you’ll get better value for your dollar after the depreciation curve has flattened out. Try to get a returned lease, as they are typically babied.


If you can get a zero percent APR financing or even a measly 1-2 percent APR promo, then go finance the purchase.

I just don’t get the notion of “Cash is King”.

At times, you can save money by financing than paying cash. Same can be true on paying cash against financing.


I am not sure if that is really the case . Some people will just do the minimum care because they plan on turning the vehicle in at lease end.


But there are usually penalties for turning the car in when it is in anything less than tip top shape.