New Car Buying Tips – Models and Dealer Inventory

honda-crv-pic ford-escape-pic

In my previous post, “New Car Buying Tips – Pick Specific Models and Features,” I discussed the importance of knowing exactly which features were available and which were requirements for you. In that post, I identified three models that met my requirements:

Honda CR-V EX-L AWD $29,950
Ford Escape SE 4WD (+options) $30,295
Ford Escape Titanium $31,255

On the face of it, we would proceed forward looking to negotiate on Honda CR-V EX-L and Ford Escape SE models, adding the features we want.

However, it isn’t quite that simple. If you visit a dealership in your area, what are the chances you will find each of these models? Can you find exactly the models you want with the options you want? If not, then the dealer is going to want you to pay for the options that are included that you may not want.

It is easy to imagine as scenario like this. You go to a Ford dealership near you and tell them you are looking for a Ford Escape SE 4WD, but it has to have leather seats.  They have several Ford Escape SEs, but all the ones on the lot also have the foot-activated lift gate – a very popular feature – and the SE Chrome package, which together adds $2000 to the price.

So, doing a bit of searching in my local area inventory, this is what I found.

Honda CR-V EX-L AWD says there are 108 base vehicles of this model with no additional options in my area.
Ford Escape SE 4WD (+options) None in my area with just the options I want. 15 with fewer options. 12 with the options I want, but also have power lift gate and other additional options.
Ford Escape Titanium Found 11 in my area with just the base options I want (and a bunch more that had a lot of added options!)

So, what is the takeaway? Don’t set yourself up for failure by defining a set of options you won’t be able to find.

With that in mind, in my subsequent posts, I’ll be looking at the Honda CR-V EX-L AWD and the Ford Escape Titanium for comparisons, since it looks like I would be able to actually find the base models in inventory at the dealership.

Watch for my next post on this topic where I will share my tips for negotiating the MSRP we identified above down to save you thousands of dollars.

Best regards ~ @securityjones