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Online pricing services cut the haggle out of buying cars

May 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Buying a new car can be a painful experience. Not everyone likes to negotiate prices with the dealer, and even if they do they don't know if they're getting the best price. Many automobile shoppers these days are getting great deals without having to haggle.

What's your experience like when you buy a new car?

"Haggling back and forth over like $300, $400 gets to be ridiculous and time-consuming, and for most people it's just not worth it," said Dr. Hootan Daneshmand. "They just give up."

Does that sound familiar? San Juan Capistrano resident Daneshmand says he no longer goes through the hassle of haggling. He says the Passat he's driving now was bought without ever going to the dealership. It was such a smooth deal, he says, because he did his shopping and buying online.

"I did everything through Internet, just email. In fact I never met my salesperson," said Daneshmand.

His website of choice was TrueCar.com, which states that it takes out the haggling over price, saving consumers a lot of agony and time while still getting them a good deal.

"The price that they quoted me on their website was much lower than I could negotiate with the dealer," said Daneshmand.

"If you go online and shop for a car, if you're shopping a Volkswagen Passat, we provide you with the price other people paid for Volkswagen Passats in the same area," said Larry Dominique, TrueCar.com's executive vice president.

As much as many consumers don't like the time-consuming aspect of haggling over price, believe it or not, some dealerships feel the same way and prefer buyers use an online buying site.

"The haggling traditionally is what takes most of the time. So you take that out of the picture, all of a sudden you get in and out of a dealership within an hour," said David Choi, McKenna Volkswagen's Internet director.

"When we get you online and get you connected with some dealers, the dealers provide you an upfront price on those cars. So you walk into the dealership knowing what you're going to pay for your car," said Dominique.

But all good shoppers should first go to the dealership to find the car they want, then shop the price online.

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