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So I think I'll be headed out this week to start the process of getting an '09 Malibu. I was originally planning on a lightly used '08, but pickings are slim in my area. I was going to get a 1LT, but saw that Chevy added Stabilitrak to all '09 models, so I'm looking at an LS. I'm not too keen on all the toys, options and features, lol.

So the ones I'm looking at are $22,325 MSRP. I'm bascially just looking for any advice on how to go about this, since I've never bought a new car before. Is there generally a "target" price below MSRP that I should be shooting for? I'm thinking after tax, fees, etc. the cost would be $25k. I'm looking to get out of there no higher than $20k after taxes, fees, etc. Am I nuts or is that reasonable? I see a lot of variance after browsing the "how much did you pay" thread.

I currently drive a '99 Cavalier, but that will be headed to my g/f, not as a trade-in. She has an old junker that might get $500 if we're lucky. Do they still offer the loyalty incentive for current Chevy owners? All I see right now are the 0% APR for qualified buyers or $1000 cash back. I doubt I qualify for the financing deal, so should I just go with the cash back and be happy? Any other deals/rebates that I should know about? I don't have a GM card and don't know anyone to get an employee discount/pricing.

Lot of questions here, I know, but I will admit I'm a bit nervous going into it, lol. How do I get started with the salesman?

Any advice or help is appreciated. Thanks in advance...
 

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You should be getting supplier pricing, plus $2000 in factory rebates off that sticker price. You should also be able to negotiate about $1000-$2000 further (seriously) beyond that right now.

I think for an LS $17,500 or $18,000 is totally doable before taxes.

DO NOT tell them this is your first purchase, haggle with them, be firm, and don't let them push you in to anything.

A car that's been there a couple months will be there tomorrow. Be firm in your dealing and walk away for a day until they counter-offer.

Good luck!

EDITED TO ADD - Look in to that "cash for clunkers" deal as well. May save you more money.
 

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Be sure to walk away. Even if you think you are getting a good price because the next day youll get a phone call with an even better price if you prove you are a serious buyer.

If you can get 0% financing do that. It works out to a cheaper price in the end.

Seriously, you should get it for at least invoice. Click here for invoice prices If you dont get them down to invoice dont worry. Just dont pay ANY dealer documentation fees or registration fees that are higher than it actually costs to register the car.
 

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I think $18,000 for an LS is doable assuming you take the rebates and not the 0%. Find the car you want and then tell the salesman that you are ready to buy today for $18,000. The salesman will go get the sales manager and he will say they can't go that low. Stick to your price. If the sales manager knows that you are serious about buying it that day I bet he will eventually sell it to you at that price. If not drive away and find another dealer. Where I live the GM dealerships are dead, I went to a large Chevy dealership last Saturday and for the 1/2 hour I was there I was their only customer. These dealerships need to sell cars and right now the customer has the advantage. Good luck!
 

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Don't deal with those flat foot Vultures on the sales floor, get ahold of the Internet Sales Mgr of that dealer and do all your haggling over the net, bought my LTZ this way and it was a piece of cake. ;)
 

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The 0% financing is only available in lieu of any rebates or special discount offers. You cannot get $2000 or $3000 off the sticker price and then expect 0% financing too.
Decide how much you can afford for a monthly car payment, how many years you can finance for, and how low you need the price to go to achieve those figures.
I was up front with the salesman and told him what I wanted my monthly payments to be. He went through the whole dog and pony show all afternoon. At one point he came back and the payments were going to be $40 more a month than what I told him I wanted. He went back to his manager a couple more times and I eventually got the car payment I was looking for.
I guess the moral is, let them know you're ready to buy, tell them what you want to pay, and let them do the work to satisfy you. But be prepared to walk away at any time. Don't be eager to buy the first car you see. Make sure it is what you want for the price you want.

For some reason, I feel like if you keep looking at your watch during the negotiations, the salesman gets the feeling he's running out of time and you're about to leave at any moment. :D
 

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I hate to say this but DO NOT let them know how much you can pay in payments. That is TOTALLY the wrong way to do it. Just hear me out.

So you can only afford $350 a month. They then extend the loan out to 7 years to lower the payment but dont lower the price at all. All they did was add an extra year of finance charges to your car payment while "lowering" your car payment. Always strive for the TOTAL price of the car. Not the payment. That is making the salesmen job VERY VERY VERY easy.

I told our salesman that I want the car at XXXXX and to make it happen or we are walking. Gave me the story that they cant go that low and so on. We started to walk and they said, no problem, we can do it.

Another thing they do is when they know your bottom line, they will only go that far and that is it because they know youll be happy with it.
 

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I hate to say this but DO NOT let them know how much you can pay in payments. That is TOTALLY the wrong way to do it. Just hear me out.

So you can only afford $350 a month. They then extend the loan out to 7 years to lower the payment but dont lower the price at all. All they did was add an extra year of finance charges to your car payment while "lowering" your car payment. Always strive for the TOTAL price of the car. Not the payment. That is making the salesmen job VERY VERY VERY easy.

I told our salesman that I want the car at XXXXX and to make it happen or we are walking. Gave me the story that they cant go that low and so on. We started to walk and they said, no problem, we can do it.

Another thing they do is when they know your bottom line, they will only go that far and that is it because they know youll be happy with it.
Good advice right here...Especially because all of the dealerships I went to for my Malibu asked me what my budget was a month. Straight up tell them you want to know the lowest price for the car and if it's not within your budget, walk out and try somewhere else. Someone is guaranteed to get you the deal you are looking for. Took me about 5-10 different dealer trips until I finally got what I wanted.
 

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The 0% financing is only available in lieu of any rebates or special discount offers. You cannot get $2000 or $3000 off the sticker price and then expect 0% financing too.
Decide how much you can afford for a monthly car payment, how many years you can finance for, and how low you need the price to go to achieve those figures.
I was up front with the salesman and told him what I wanted my monthly payments to be. He went through the whole dog and pony show all afternoon. At one point he came back and the payments were going to be $40 more a month than what I told him I wanted. He went back to his manager a couple more times and I eventually got the car payment I was looking for.
I guess the moral is, let them know you're ready to buy, tell them what you want to pay, and let them do the work to satisfy you. But be prepared to walk away at any time. Don't be eager to buy the first car you see. Make sure it is what you want for the price you want.

For some reason, I feel like if you keep looking at your watch during the negotiations, the salesman gets the feeling he's running out of time and you're about to leave at any moment. :D
Totally what you do not want to do. NEVER EVER tell them what you want your monthly payments to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the tips guys. They really helped me out when I went over to the dealership last night. I think it went well.

As soon as we started to discuss the '09 Malibu, he told me about the invoice pricing plus $2000 cash back, so that brough the starting price down to $19.5k right off the bat. I played it like I was just kinda looking around and not sure what I wanted or even if I wanted it. He said he could probably get me out the door under $20k, including tax (8% in my area), title, fees, etc.

So, let's say the car price drops from $19.5k to $18k (discount of $1500 for the combo of haggling plus trade-in). Tax, title, fees brings it back up to $19.5k. Does that sound reasonable for an LS, considering it includes tax, title, etc.?

Like I said above, the trade-in is a piece of junk '95 Maxima with 180k miles, rust, damage, bad rear brakes, bad suspension, etc., so the $1500 discount seems like a good deal.

Thoughts?
 

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Thats not bad at all for a LS. Truthfully, try to step it up into at least a 1LT. The extra 400-600 is really worth it. Especially for the seats. I really wish we had the microfiber seats instead of the leather.

However, the LS is still the same Malibu under the skin.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I just picked up my new '09 Imperial Blue Metallic LS today. Didn't get it down quite as low as I would have liked, but honestly, I was happy with the treatment at the dealership and didn't want to fight back and forth much longer. I just wanted the car, lol.

I got it for $19.7k (after rebates and including tax, title, fees, trade-in, etc.) out the door. Tax in NY is 8%, so it's more than most states. The $1500 they quoted for the trade (which is obviously the most arbitrary part) was way over the actual value, so I can't complain about that. For whatever reason, they agreed to the deal before even seeing the trade-in and you could tell they were a little pissed when we finally brought it in.

Like I said, certainly not the best deal you'll see on this site, but I'm already in love with the car, lol. Thanks for all the help guys.
 

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Congratulations! I have one too, and it's a pretty good car. Great color!

Put the pricing out of your mind now, completely. What's done is done and no matter what you paid, someone will always be on the internet to tell you they got theirs for thousands less.
 

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Congratulations fella now enjoy that car. :)
 
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