I recently purchased a new Rav4 for my wife. Here is a summary that I posted on a different forum. I test drove Kia, Honda, Mazda, and Toyota before we purchased.
Basically after talking to about 6 different dealers, the price came down significantly from both the True Car price and the prices that I was quoted while inside the dealers. I talked them down to where the price drops were to the point where they were non existent. A few dealers told me that they could not sell me a car for that price. One local dealer said they could only match it but they didn’t have the preference color. I negotiated over the phone then drove 110 miles to the dealer. We were in and out in about 1.5 hours included the final test drive, getting the car gassed up and washed and for the paperwork to get processed.
All prices were out the door cash pricing including junk fees and taxes. Note that registration taxes are separate in my state and I will get to avoid the normal taxes as I will register this through the Indian tribe. So my TTL will only be about $100.
Dealers do not want to you walk off their lot without a purchase. You must stay strong and say no. The Kia dealer was the worst in my experience as far as high pressure sales. Don’t fall for the gimmicks that this price is so low we are loosing money. That is false. The invoice is a joke of a price. I purchased my car that was about $5K below the fake invoice. The invoice is just that… FAKE. don’t fall for the gimmick. It is really about like a BOGO pricing. The dealer buys a few from the manufacture at the “invoice” price and then they get one free. So think of it like this. The Dealer buys 5 cars from the manufacture for $20K each but they get one free. They essentially get 6 cars for $16.6K each but the "invoice will show $20K for the one that they try and sell you.
Watch out for the junk fees. These can be substantial and are complete ripoffs. Part of selling a car is filling out the paperwork. When you get quotes from dealers you need to get the out the door price because the junk fees will vary by dealer.
Make sure if you need financing that you do your homework in advance. Go get qualified at your bank or credit union. If the rates the dealer offers are better than you can take those. What you want to avoid is getting caught up in the thrill of buying a new car and finding out your credit may not be as good as you thought and you end up signing at some crazy high interest rate.
Watch out for the extended warranties. These are very expensive ($1200-$2000). Most dealer will offer you extended warranties before your factory warranty is up. The price they offer you later is often 50% less than the time when you buy the car. Also you will avoid paying interest on this inflated warranty for a couple of years if you choose to buy it.
In person offers were $23.7-24.4
truecar/edmund offers were $23.9-27.1
my final price was $22.9