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You are in the Prices Paid - Buying & Leasing Experiences
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Subaru Outback, Wagon, SUV
#2404 of 3458 why I drove 4 hours to buy from Van Bortel
Feb 14, 2010 (8:28 am)
I started looking for a new 2010 Outback Limited for my wife in November 2009. Her getting the Subaru was a compromise. She really wanted a Honda Pilot. Eventually after testing driving the new Outback several times and explaining my opinion that the AWD system in the Subaru was superior to the Honda system she finally gave in. Her only demand was the color: Graphite Gray. ( On a side note, she's driven an outback during the winter on and off in upstate New York for the past five years. She would not even hesitate to tell you that she always felts safe, comfortable and had no problems). I also had a 2001 Legacy GT Limited that was finally done it by a deer.
So I started my search by going to my local subaru dealer in Kingston, New York. My family and I bought several cars from them over the past couple of years. So I expected to be treated right. That's not to say that I don't believe that people are entitled to make a profit: albeit a fair profit. Initially, the price issue was not even a concern, no one in the Hudson Valley had any cars in stock and no one expected any in for quite some time. After spending several weekends driving around and looking I was finally convinced they were right the only thing I could was order the car and wait.
So we went back to my local dealer one Saturday in earlier January and was pleased to be advised that they expected an Outback Limited in Graphite Gray to be coming in off their January allotment in the beginning of February. Previously, we had agreed upon a 2% markup from invoice. He knew, because quite frankly I told him, and I still feel this way, that I wouldn't have a problem paying a couple of hundred extra dollar to purchase the car from him than travel. I was, of course, a loyal customer.
(Turns out the loyalty only ran one way. As I see it, the demand for these cars was so high and availablity so low, that all dealers, including my friendly saleperson in Kingston, New York, had absolutely no problem with demanding a higher than usual profit margin. This experience was absolutely common place in the Hudson Valley.)
Anyway,back to this story: The problem with agreeing to 2% over invoice, isn't the 2%, it agreeing upon the invoice price. Not one dealer in the Hudson Valley agreed with the invoice prices listed on yahoo, edmunds, or truecar. They all pulledwhite invoice sheets to show they were paying substantially more than the invoice price listed on those websites. The difference in invoice was more than a couple of hundred bucks. The invoice price diffence from the dealer in Kingston was about fifteen hundred dollars. A considerable difference.
Now listen to this, the salesperson tells me I can have the car coming from the January allotment, due in earlier February, for $30,724: (Limited w/autodimming mirror, all weather mats, splash guards, remote engine start,rear bumper cover, and trailer hitch), or I could same the car for $30,124 if he ordered it. Bottom line he is wanted a $600 premium, ontop of an already inflated price, for the car that was on his allotment but wasn't even have on his lot. Well I left and no member of my family will never go back to that dealership to buy a car. No way!
Well say good bye to Kingston and say hello to Van Bortel.
Van Bortel is a true no haggle dealership. They post their price on their web page. That's the price: no tricks, no gimmicks, no hassle. The buying experience was simple. I called up told them what I was looking for. They asked if I wanted to order the car. I said go ahead. The confirmed their price was the same as the price advertised on their website. They said approximately 4 weeks for delivery. I told them to go ahead and order it. I e-mailed them once or twice during the period with some questions. They called back the next day without fail. Always polite. Always courteous. Always professional. Three weeks into the process they called and said they expect the car the next week. The next week they called and said its in. They did all the usual paperwork with DMV and my insurance agent. I then drove four hours to pickup the car. Not one problem. Not even a hiccup. The price was the price. Dan Fisher and Jeremy at Van Bortel were great. Dan then spent probably close to an hour go over the features with my Wife. This was the simplest and best car buying experience ever. It was worth the trip.
#2405 of 3458 Re: What's the deal in California [williams2150]
Feb 14, 2010 (9:25 am)
You may want to check with Jenson Subaru in Napa. I know it's a long drive from SC but we just ordered a '10 Outback (3.6 Prem) at invoice. Some of the other dealers in the Bay area were telling me the same thing you heard. It is a 8-10 week wait for the car, but that is no reason to charge you more. They are still making about $1k in dealer holdback at invoice.
#2406 of 3458 Re: What's the deal in California [williams2150]
Feb 14, 2010 (9:41 am)
There are several dealers in the bay area and almost all will go below MSRP for instock vehicles. (invoice for ordered ones). Try Livermore or Putnam for some of the better deals.
#2407 of 3458 Re: why I drove 4 hours to buy from Van Bortel [subeeowner]
Feb 15, 2010 (12:09 pm)
Great story, though I am sorry you went through all the hassle! I essentially experienced the same thing in September when I purchased mine. While my local dealership does not give you the runaround, they also have no bones about being adamant at selling their cars at MSRP. I traveled 2,200 miles to purchase mine in Seattle, WA at $300 under invoice for a pleasant, no-hassle experience.
Feb 15, 2010 (4:35 pm)
Thanks for the input. I think in california I can only buy in california because of the special emission requirments. Is that still true? Can I buy from a dealer in Seattle, WA and register it in Calf.
#2409 of 3458 Re: California [williams2150]
Feb 15, 2010 (6:01 pm)
You can buy any PZEV car (CA emissions requirement) anywhere and register it there. There are a growing number of states that have adopted California Emissions Standards:
PZEV is optional elsewhere, so there is a good chance you can also find those vehicles in states other than the ones I just listed.
One thing you might verify with Subaru is whether the extended warranty for emissions components (15 years / 150,000 miles) is extended to vehicles purchased by CA residents if the car is purchased outside the state of residence. I would think 'yes,' since those individuals do not have the option of purchasing non-PZEV vehicles, but one never knows....
In case that last statement confused you, I purchased a PZEV vehicle in Washington (required there) but am not eligible for the extended warranty on those emissions components because I live in Alaska and my purchasing of a PZEV vehicle was by my choice. Therefore, if those components fail I am stuck holding the bill.
#2411 of 3458 2010 Subaru Outback Limited w/ moonroof buying experience
Feb 15, 2010 (9:19 pm)
Once I decided on the Outback I went to http://www.pricequotes.com/index.html
I looked in my area (Binghamton, NY) and because I have some family in Bergen county, NJ, I got some quotes there too.
Wonderful response time and the real players were as follows:
Bill Kolb Jr. Subaru (NJ) - Very straightforward. Will sell invoice.
Ramsey Subaru (NJ) - Asked for a competitive bid on a limited and he said straight out '500 under invoice'. The only small gotcha is that they had a $299 doc fee which wiped out some of the gain.
Matthews Subaru (Binghamton area) - This is my local dealer. The internet rep was friendly and willing to work with me based on my NJ quotes. The sales rep who represented my walk in experience for the test drive was wonderful too.
Bottom line.... The dealers had the following prices to order this car (which includes moonroof, Homelink compass auto-dim mirror, bumper cover and media hub)
Matthews = 29117 +147.5 in fees.
Ramsey = 28571 + 359 in fees.
Matthews said they couldn't go more than 200 below invoice but gave me a more than a fair price on my trade in... about 500 over TMVedmunds (3k for 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee 103,300 miles) which made them competitive. Assuming Ramsey could at least match the trade in offer (which of course they can't do sight unseen), the difference between the dealers was $365. At that price, a 'looks see' trip to NJ seemed less appealing. I suggested that if they can cut another three hundred I'll skip the NJ trip and buy local..... they came back with 200 added to my trade in value which was good enough for me.
So, bottom line.... 29,117 - 3,200 (trade) + 2,073.36 (8% NYS tax) + (147.5 fees) I am at $28,137.86 OTD.
Matthews Subaru was wonderful to deal with on this and since I proceeded with my internet quotes and was willing to commit to a trip if the price was worth it, I found everything smooth and easy. I highly recommend them.
Ramsey, if I lived closer, would have been good too and I may have been able to get an even better deal there, depending on where they came in on the trade.
I put down my deposit tonight and I'll update with better details as they unfold while I wait 4-6 weeks.
#2412 of 3458 Wish to buy Outback at invoice or lower in Ohio region
Feb 16, 2010 (7:01 pm)
I love my 1999 Outback with 180,000 miles but it's time for me to get a new one. I'm looking for a blue 2.5i Limited or Premium with auto and moonroof (not at all interested in All-Weather package that seems to be almost standard.) There are three dealers in the Greater Cincinnati area but I am willing to go beyond the area, maybe by 3-4 hours, if I can get a good price. I get kind of worked up when jacked around at the dealers (my '99 purchase from a Cincinnati dealer was not one that I remember fondly.)
When searching the Internet I find lots of sites that wish to submit my name for a dealer's bid or maybe just an email or phone response. Then there are sites like CarsDirect that will get a "good" price for a fee, and sites of many other variations for buying a car
I will appreciate any advice on buying an Outback in the extended Mid-West region where a fair price is assured along with decent buyer treatment.
#2413 of 3458 Re: Wish to buy Outback at invoice or lower in Ohio region [carl441]
Feb 16, 2010 (7:29 pm)
"I'm looking for a blue 2.5i Limited or Premium with auto and moonroof (not at all interested in All-Weather package that seems to be almost standard.)"
Note: the All-Weather Package and the Harman-Karman Stereo upgrades are standard on the Limited Outbacks but optional on the Premium models.