Thrifty Car Trick

>> 2.17.2010

I'd love to be able to say that my natural thrifty instincts always lead me to the best possible deals... but the truth is that I'm always getting a little help along the way. When I can, I take note of other great thrifty ideas and file them away (in my brain's file cabinet) for the future. This weekend, while celebrating the marathon over a slice of The Cake, a friend of mine let me in on a little car buying tip I thought was worth sharing on the blog...

During a recession, buy your new car from a dealership in a hard hit area.

My friend Katie actually saved thousands by buying her car from a dealership in the NE and having it shipped down to Texas. From what I understand, the other dealership was able to knock almost $10,000 off of the local prices on the car that Katie wanted. She was able to do all the research and test driving in Texas and make purchase via phone and internet. The shipping costs aren't cheap at over $1,000, but the savings easily covered those costs.

Katie's dad got in on the savings act by actually flying out to Chicago to pick up his thrifty car purchase and making a fun road trip out of driving the car back home. That reminded me of when my grandfather scored a free trip to Sweden and nice little discount on his Volvo by doing this.

Interesting idea, right? Have you ever gone the distance for a car or other big purchase?


Danielle and Clint February 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM  

Boy, I would look into the dealerships in Michigan! We are hit very hard here :-/

change is a good thing February 17, 2010 at 10:11 AM  

This is a great tip and one I will have to remember. Since the DH lives in California part time for work and we all know the financial state California is in, this could really work to our advantage. Thanks for sharing!

How are the legs feeling today? Ready to do another marathon? :)

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog February 17, 2010 at 11:11 AM  

@change is a good thing~ I don't know if I'm ready to do another one... but I am ready to walk up and down stairs. That's a big improvement!

Kate February 17, 2010 at 11:57 AM  

I have heard that this can be tricky tax-wise...

LizzieBeth February 17, 2010 at 12:03 PM  

JEGs and I are looking to purchase another car. He would like to swap his gas-guzzling SUV for a more fuel efficent Honda.

We will definatly take this into consideration.. thanks for the tip!


Kate February 17, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

Like the other Kate (we Kates are so smart!) I wonder about the tax implications of this. Can they add your state's tax if you buy a car that far away? I know in VA/DC/MD they can do it, but I don't know about a CA vs. MA (for example) difference. Very interesting though! Saving $10k would definitely make the tax and travel issues worthwhile.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog February 17, 2010 at 12:35 PM  

@Kate/Kate~ It's true, I wouldn't tell someone to blindly purchase a car without doing their research on ALL of the costs. I wish I had details on my own experience to share, but after a quick Google search it looks like you pay the taxes in your home state. I think it would be worth researching through a dealership.

Heather @ McKinney Living February 17, 2010 at 1:15 PM  

What an awesome tip that I NEVER would have thought of! Thanks!!

Meg February 17, 2010 at 2:54 PM  

My Uncle Steve is the guru of every deal you could ever think of and is especially good with cars. His daughter Meghan and her husband Ryan actually just did this a few weeks ago and also made a road trip out of picking up the car they purchased. Since they have two very little ones, it was a great getaway for them and they sent me fun postcards along the way.

jeff February 17, 2010 at 9:07 PM  

If there is that much difference in price then it is worth it.

Jeannine @ Small and Chic February 18, 2010 at 7:05 AM  

There's a funny billboard outside my city that says "Like eggs, cars are cheaper in the country."

If you don't want to go to another state, just go to a more rural area of your own state. I'm car shopping right now and have found that dealers in Richmond, VA (our capital) are quoting prices that are as much as $2,000 more than dealers in small cities just an hour or two away.

I'm doing all my research online and it's amazing how the prices drop when you don't reply to price quotes. :)

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