New car buying services can simplify the shopping process and may help save money. Many of these services are known to offer: 1) more honest and objective consultations; 2) greater efficiency in locating the exact vehicle desired; 3) a new-car sales price and trade-in value that are often better than the shopper could obtain on their own.
Most buying services are not only knowledgeable about the new-car sales process, but they are often kept abreast of special dealer incentives, inventory conditions, and other factors that may affect the retail price. Because many of these services are staffed by veterans of the automotive retail trade, they can cut through much of the usual chatter and more quickly settle upon favorable terms for the buyer.
Nonetheless, shoppers must be on the lookout for less-reputable practices. For example, some buying services receive payment only from certain dealerships (in essence, a “finder’s fee”); although they may advertise “free” services, they may not obtain the lowest possible price. Additionally, some services actually buy the new vehicles themselves and provide lease-only terms to the shopper; such terms may offer a comfortable monthly payment, but they may not represent the best overall deal.
As with any aspect of a new-car purchase, shoppers are advised to thoroughly research these buying services to understand what each offers. To find reputable buying services, a good place to start is on the Better Business Bureau website.