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Success Story: Mike C.

April 9, 2021
Written by: Ray Shefska
Categories: Success Stories

We love hearing from our Your Auto Advocate members about their recent car deals. It’s always wonderful to see the ways they’ve used our solutions to negotiate and secure an excellent deal on their next car.

Today, we’ll take a look at a story from Mike C. about his recent car purchase. He used our solutions to expertly land a deal that he was extremely happy with. That’s what it’s all about. Let’s dive in!

Background:  A Thoroughly Researched Decision

Mike had a 2017 Buick Envision with a warranty that was about to expire. Not wanting to drive a car without a warranty, he started researching his options for buying a new car 8 months before he stepped foot on the lot at a dealership.

He discovered Your Auto Advocate on YouTube while researching car reviews. He was “instantly impressed” and began watching videos and taking notes. He even went through our Deal School.

After researching different options, Mike decided to pursue a new 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited. Mike’s initial plan was to wait until the end of March (per Ray’s advice), but after noticing that his bid from Carvana for his Buick increased, he decided it was time to act.

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Using our email templates, Mike reached out to eight dealerships in the area. Seven dealerships replied with out-the-door (OTD) prices. He then used the lowest of the eight OTD prices to negotiate with the other dealerships. Although he received a few excuses about why they couldn’t lower their price, he eventually heard back from one of the dealerships with a price that Mike considered to be fair.

According to Mike, “Your email templates were invaluable. They quickly identified the motivated dealers in the area.”

He printed off all of the documentation from us, along with his Carvana quote, and headed into the dealership.

At the Dealership:  Efficient and Effective

Mike had already negotiated the OTD price over email. When he arrived at the dealership, he verified all the numbers with the sales manager, and “Deal 1,” as Mike puts it, was done in minutes.

“Deal 2” was trading in Mike’s current vehicle, his Buick. Initially, the sales manager said he couldn’t even get close to the trade-in value that Mike wanted. Then, Mike showed them the Black Book numbers that we provided him in the Market Price Report, along with Carvana’s offer. With all of this evidence presented, the sales manager agreed to come up to $20,600, which was acceptable.

In the F&I Office: A Quick Decline

The “friendly but assertive” F&I manager struck out when he started to offer Mike different protection packages and vehicle service contracts. Mike simply said no. 

You don’t have to purchase a vehicle service contract at the dealership. See if a vehicle service contract is right for you.

He also verified that there was no early payment penalty on financing. The F&I manager said there was not a penalty, but that if he didn’t wait 90 days to pay off the loan, then it would result in a chargeback to the dealership.

Two hours after arriving, Mike and his wife drove away with a brand-new Hyundai Santa Fe.

An Easy, Yet Excellent Deal

Let’s evaluate Mike’s deal. He graciously provided us with all of the figures, which are:

  • MSRP was $40,395 + dealer add-ons (tint, nitro, wheel locks, pinstripe and more) at $1,767 for a total price of $42,162
  • Dealer sales price was $37,900, less $1,250 in Hyundai rebates
  • Doc fee of $150
  • TTL of $193
  • Sales tax of $1,084.82
  • Total OTD price was $38,077.82

Mike admits that there was probably room for improvement (and there always is), but he’s happy with the deal he received. He tells us that the deal he landed was as good as he could’ve hoped. Considering that the 2021 Santa Fe Limited had only been out for 2 months, Mike says he thinks that he got the best price possible.

We agree with Mike. It looks like he got a great deal. He used our tools to expertly find out all of the background information that he needed to negotiate. We especially like the way he utilized our email templates to get dealerships to negotiate against each other.

As Mike put it when reflecting on his transaction, “The power of knowledge cannot be denied. YAA access to days on lot, price history, and BlackBook values are info sources of immense importance. Your deal school is an awesome body of work and will help just about every auto consumer. Some of the content I already knew, but I learned so much more. Your email templates were invaluable. They quickly identified the motivated dealers in the area.”

“All considered, my wife and I are really, really happy. Thank you for the time and effort you saved us. The time spent watching your videos was well worth it, given the info and entertainment value. Thank you for the money saved. Thank you for making the whole buying process just about stress-free.”

Well done and congratulations, Mike! We hope you enjoy your brand-new Santa Fe Limited.

Have you learned something new about buying, selling, or trading in a car as a Your Auto Advocate member? Share your story with us!

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