If you're thinking about buying a car, you might want to check out some of these local car dealerships, all of which are on Chiles Road

Former Car Dealerships:

Advice on Buying a New (to you) Car

It is no secret that car dealerships employ a whole suite of tactics to soak you as much as possible. It's psychological warfare and if you're not prepared, you are going to lose. This, of course, is not unique to dealerships in Davis, but is common throughout the auto sales industry. If you are considering buying a new car in the near future, read these tips and begin to prepare yourself. And, of course, please add any advice that you have learned elsewhere.

Remember, that you can often get better deals on car loan rates at not-for-profit Credit Unions as opposed to for-profit Banks. It might not seem much, but it could save you hundreds of dollars if you go with a credit union.


  • Know and be confident about the price of the car you want — use Edmunds, KBB, NADA, etc. Be aware that many of the salesperson's rhetorical techniques are designed to break your confidence and to get you to accept the prices they suggest.
  • Read Confessions of a Car Salesman on Edmunds.com (Dead link, try here) to get an idea of what you're up against.
  • Go to many dealerships and get quotes. Make the dealers bargain against one another. They hate this, but it works. This can also be a frustrating process for the buyer (there's only so many times you can here the words "what will it take to get you to drive home in this car today" before you snap), but it's worth it.
    • Don't do this. You have no power, don't even pretend like you do. Every single person in that dealership — from your salesman to the sales manager to the general manager to the lot guy — is there for one reason and one reason only: to separate you from your money. You think they haven't been cross-shopped before? You're delusional if you think it's going to get you a better deal. It isn't uncommon to be misled during these quote-getting sessions. Remember, you're one person who does this maybe once every five years. They're a crack team of pros who do this time and time again EVERY DAY. The way to get a good deal is this:
  • Understand that California has some nice buyer rights, including a mandatory option to buy a two day cancellation period for used vehicles and a "[lemon law" that protects you as a purchaser.


  • Know what you want and decide if you're flexible (If they don't have metallic blue, will you take gray? If they don't have the 5-speed, will you take a manumatic? etc).
  • If you're buying new, find the invoice price, the factory-to-dealer rebates, dealer holdback, and financing incentives (if you're financing)
  • Other sites go into greater detail, but the basic story of a good deal is this: For a new car, $500 back of invoice is an outstanding deal which you can usually pull without trouble unless the car is hard to come by or otherwise premium (good luck getting $500 back on a Mercedes CLK). On a used car, 20% back of the average of TMV and Blue Book is excellent for a non-premium make of car (Toyota, Ford, Chevy, Isuzu, etc); as low as 15% back is acceptable for premium brands in exceptional condition (BMW, Volvo, M-B, Lexus, Acura).

The Haggle

  • Never rush to buy a car or get into a bid war.
  • Get prepared for a long afternoon of negotiating. Start by asking for the moon, because they'll do the same of you.
  • Once you have found the car you want, don't be afraid to walk away if they won't give you the price you're asking. They will often crack as you are about to step out, or call you later in the week.
    • This works! My mom got pissed and walked off when we were working on buying my car, some guy came running out after her car and stopped us, we ended up getting the car at a better price. -MichelleAccurso

New Cars

  • Janelle did a lot of research on this a couple years ago and this is what she remembers: December may be the best month to buy a car as people are too wrapped up in Christmas to think about car purchases and dealers are desperate to sell. Early fall is also good, as dealers often want to clearance out current models before the next year's models come in. April is also a good month to buy, but she can't remember why.

Used Cars

  • If you're buying used, take it for a test drive and don't fear the salesman. Most salesmen welcome the opportunity to get off the lot. This is not the time to fight. Let him go with you if he wants. But, do NOT forget to go again alone, and also to take it to your own shop to get it checked out (often a <$100 procedure that can save you thousands).


  • A different approach to buying used cars for cheap are repossessed car auctions. These are public auctions (there are private ones, too) where you can bid on bank repossessed cars, which are vehicles whose owners defaulted on their auto loan payments (therefore allowing the bank to repossess the car). They take place both offline at local lots and online (the most popular place to find repossessed cars for sale online would be ebay motors). Point is, repossessed cars are usually bought for a fraction of their price, sometimes even 70%-80% less than their market price. There are, however a few things to remember before bidding on repossessed cars:
    • Attend a few auctions in advance. Study the codes and regulations. See what dealers and more experienced attendants do.
    • Always ask for a VIN (vehicle identification number) and check the car's vehicle history report. This will help you determine (to a point) the condition of the vehicle.
    • You'll be provided with a day or two to check the car's condition in person. Do it. In fact, take a mechanic with you. (This point as well as the previous one are valid for buying any used car).
      • Where can I find such a mythical place? —MasonMurray
        • Car auctions are usually announced in various media like newspapers. A news feed filtered for auctions would probably work.