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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This post is long, so I apologize but I think it's informative for those who want to buy an Altima and how to get out of the dealers tricks. Be aware and good luck, here is my story:

The wife and I went out today to look at cars without much intent to buy anything. We went to Honda and checked out the Civic (too small), the Accord (wasn't comfortable), and the CR-V (back seat too small). Then we headed to the Nissan dealer. Couldn't find the one we were looking for so we went to a local one. Took a look around, they had tons of 2.5S models. Tried the Altima on for size, wonderful amount of room, very comfortable. Salesman said we have tons of cars, some at our additional lot not far from here. He asks if we want a price on one. We say sure (we planned on purchasing in about 2-3 weeks but we said what the hell, get a price). Now budget being a concern but still wanting the V6 motor, my wife and I were willing to sacrifice the leather, moon roof, bose, and spoiler. So we have the guy price out a base Black 3.5 SE Automatic with ABS / Airbag package, traction control, floor mats, and in cabin microfilter. Pretty basic but still more car than either one of us currently own. The salesman asks what it would take to get us to put a deposit on this car (by the way he has this car in stock). I say $300 above invoice, he says how about $500 above, I stick to my guns and he sees the manager. He comes back and shows me an official cut sheet on the car complete with the price he wants to charge me, looks great to me, and I notice that it includes the destination charge (this is important for later). Here is the breakdown (all prices included destination charge and are for the car described above):

Sticker = $24,865
Invoice = $22,594 (confirmed on the net)
Dealer offer = $22,894 ($300 over invoice, as requested)

So I say ok, I want to see the car on his other lot before I give him a credit card deposit. He drives a Ruby 3.5SE to the other lot and we look at our black SE. It was beautiful, even without all the extras it was still a fantastic car. He started it up and turned on the radio. Now for a stock system it sounded fantastic, better than the bose in my mother-in-laws Pathfinder. When we were done I got to drive the Ruby 3.5 back to the dealers original lot. Great car, doesn't drive as big as it looks in the show room. I found the turning radius quite good. Nice and fast, snapped the dealers head back a few times on the way. Lots of fun to drive or to just cruise around. Fairly smooth ride with pretty much the same thud noise you get in the Pathfinder but a pleasant ride all the same. So we get back to the dealership and we start the paper work. He writes up a buyers agreement with all the details and tax. He gives it to me to sign and as I'm looking it over I notice the numbers are now a little higher. I read the detail of extra charges hmmmm dealer prep charge $349, I say hey isn't that a little excessive?? He says I'll remove that for you, swipe that cost is gone (didn't even blink). He redoes his math, and I look at it again. HMMMM the price you quoted me $22,894 included the destination charge and here it is again on the buyers agreement. I don't think you can charge me that twice? I show the salesman where it was double charged and he sits there speechless like I wasn't supposed to catch that? Then he hands me a pen like I'm supposed to sign (at this point he's got my credit card in his hand) I say I am not signing anything until that second destination charge of $540 is removed, then I ask for my credit card back and he didn't want to give it to me but did. Then he went back to the manager and came back with the charge removed. Now that was a total of $889 in additional charges that they wanted to charge me. I squashed that plan and was again happy. Left there with the buyers agreement for the following:

Super Black / Charcoal cloth - Altima 3.5 SE Automatic, ABS / Airbag package, Traction control, floor mats, in cabin microfilter
$22,894.00 -- purchase price
+$1,945.99 -- tax
+$35.00 -- dealer fees
= $24,874.99 -- out the door

MSRP out the door should have been $27,013.53 including tax. So basically I saved $1,971 off sticker, and $2,138.54 out the door including taxes. Needless to say after leaving there and saving $1,971 off sticker I felt pretty damn good. I owe a lot of my awareness of dealer tactics to www.carbuyingtips.com, there is a lot of good info on that site and I highly recommend it. This was my first solo car dealer negotiation and I feel real good about it. It takes a while to read but it really does work. I also want to thank the members of this board since you have all provided such valuable information, it's great to be a part of such a great community of car lovers. Thanks.

I should pick the car up on Wednesday, so I'll post again how everything goes. I fully expect them to try and screw me somehow so I'll be on my toes. I don't think they were too happy when I caught there $889 worth of bogus charges. The salesman even made his usual comment about that goes to paying my salary hehehehehe. Now waiting to here from the finance manager on how bad a rate they are going to give me on the financed portion of the payment. HAHAHHAHA I have no debt with perfect credit history, I wanna see the guy come back with something over 5.99% for 60 months. I may look to pick up a spoiler and splash guards in a month or two.

Thanks for reading. Sorry for the length of this post. Hope it helped some of you and good luck to all.
 

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Great News!! Congrats!

Congrats on your new purchase. That is great news.

It is funny how you guys always seem to get the cars with all the safety features while in my area, all the SE models I see at least have the Sunroof and the BOSE, but no traction control or ABS.

I am glad that you didn't get played by the dealer, they often try to do that kind of stuff. My aunt works for a Ford dealership, and she has taught be all about the dealer's little games and stuff. You did very well though. I can't wait to purchase my Altima.

Also, I am surprised that the dealer didn't try to push accessories on you. If you are lucky enough to find an Altima in my area without pin stripes and splash guards(I only seen maybe 3 without them.), the dealers then try to add splash guards for $100 and the sunroof wind deflector for $70, on some S and SL models with the accessory spoiler, one dealer wanted about $600 for it. That is outrageous. If you want the guards, why not have the dealer add them for free. I find that some dealerships do this from time to time. When we brought our Accord DX back in 1992 they threw in air conditioning, something that cost about $500 at least, and we still managed to get the car for about $12,500 new. My mom haggled for about 2 hours though.

Again, Congrats on your new Altima. If you can, later post some pics of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, my wife and I are so excited. I feel I got a really good deal, the only thing that is bothering me is that I am unsure of the financing rate. We signed on late saturday afternoon and I think we should know by tomorrow what the rate is. I gave the finance manager a quote of 5.75% 36 months, and 5.99% for 48 or 60 months from Peoplefirst.com. I'm going to leave him a voice mail that we are financing less money now and for 36 months so I hope he will beat the 5.75% number.
We are scheduled to pick up the car on Wednesday and could post pics shortly after.
 

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Man, do you really have 8.5% car sales tax in NY or could that be a scam too? Our tax on cars here in Virginia is only 3.1%, and it generally ranges from 3-6%. It's not always the same as regular sales tax either. You might want to find out from someone other than the dealer what the car sales tax is in your state.

Other than that, it sounds like you did well for a new Altima. I got a killer deal on my new Maxima but it's easier to deal on them because they're not the "hot new thing" like the Altima is. The dealer tried to pull a couple things over on me (like negotiating things based on 15K mi/year and then writing up the lease paperwork with 12K/year -- I caught them and they had to eat another $987 in value for the lease). It's extremely important to read everything carefully when you start signing things because they'll screw you, and once you sign it's done. The dealership where I bought my '96 Altima wrote up the lease for 39 months even though we had been talking about 36 months the whole time. I didn't read it carefully enough and it wasn't until near when I thought I was supposed to turn it in that I noticed I had signed for 39 months and was stuck paying for the car for 3 more months. I was pissed, but good thing I loved the car! :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah the sales tax here on long island is 8.5%. It's crazy but it is what it is. I think I did well on the car so I am happy.
 

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S1DIMMER said:
Yeah the sales tax here on long island is 8.5%. It's crazy but it is what it is. I think I did well on the car so I am happy.
Don't worry, be happy. In Canada, federal tax is around 7%, and in my province the provincial tax is 8% for a 15.56%
(yes, the provincial tax is added OVER the federal tax). Some provinces have a little less, except for Alberta, where there is no provincial sales tax unless I'm mistaken.:angry2: :angry2:
 
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