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Ford Escape Hybrid, Hybrid Cars, SUV
#41 of 712 How I bought my 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid and saved $$$
Nov 05, 2005 (10:04 am)
I just bought a 2006 FEH and paid $300 over invoice. Here's how I did it, which is the same way I've bought the last 3 cars thanks to internet research (this took a few hours of research but I think it saved me a lot of money):
1) Went and took a test drive at my local dealer's and loved the car, asked the dealer how firm they were on the MSRP and he said they don't come down at all because hybrids are so in-demand. I said thanks, but you don't have exactly the options I want, I'll keep looking.
2) Now that I knew I wanted the car and knew exactly which colors/options were suitable for me based on seeing and driving, I went online to fordvehicles.com and checked the online inventory of every dealer I could think of within 200-250 miles... I live in VA and wanted to check anything within reasonable driving distance so I input the zip codes for Norfolk VA, Roanoke VA, Richmond VA, Alexandria VA, Winchester VA... you get the picture. Then I also did the same for every city in Maryland and Delaware to cover those states (I must compliment that Ford website, they have a great search tool which helps you find the specific colors and 2WD/4WD, made it much easier). So after 3-4 hours of surfing probably 100-200 dealerships I came up with 7 vehicles that exactly fit what I was looking for.
3) I took each of those 7 hits and did the "price quote request" on the Ford website which went straight to that dealer, put in the remarks that "I have done much searching and you have 1 of 7 cars that I like, and that I WILL buy one of those in the next week, so please give me your best price quote." Now the tables are turned and it's not one dealer saying "hey if you don't pay my price some other customer will" it's one customer saying "hey if you don't give me your absolute best price, some other dealer will"... turns our they really wanted my business as the phone calls and emails started coming in immediately.
4) I had 2 of the 7 dealers that came back with the standard "come on down we have a great selection and we'll see what we can do". I didn't ask for a sales pitch, I asked for a price quote, so those guys were history. I had 1 dealer that had 2 of the 7 vehicles on his lot, he said he'd give a flat $1,000 off MSRP on either of them. I was OK with that response but I got a better price elsewhere. I had a couple that simply did not respond, but that's OK as the ones that did knew they were competing with others. The one dealer I went with was the first to respond (in about 30 minutes), and gave me a real number price quote that was $300 over invoice... so I wrote back and asked about "processing charges" or other fees that dealers throw in at the last minute to jack up the price, and there was nothing out of the ordinary there so I was happy and worked the deal with him. I have since written to the other dealers either saying that they a) were beat out because their price quote was beat or b) that they failed to even give a quote and were automatically disqualified.
5) This might seem like an unorthodox way to buy a car, but I saved $1,685 off of MSRP on my 2006 4WD FEH. On my last car I did the same online search thing, and found my car and best deal a few states away, spent $200 for a one-way airline ticket on hotwire and the dealer met me at the airport, only too happy to pick me up to make the deal and I was too happy to save an extra $800! So if you find that you can't get a good deal where you are, I suggest putting the net to work for you and see exactly what's out there and make it work for you. To me it's worth it to save more money, and if it's a long distance sure you have to pay the gas to drive home but you're doing it in a brand new car that was exactly what you were looking for.
6) Yes you can also get a good deal and have your dream car "DX'd" to you from another dealer, but only if your local dealer is a good one and willing to sell you the car for $300 once he gets it. My local dealer was not interested in coming down on the price since it was a hybrid, so I just did the "self-serve DX" and saved a lot of money by doing it myself.
#42 of 712 Re: How I bought my 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid and saved $$$ [jeff_h]
Nov 10, 2005 (7:23 pm)
Excellent post. If more people will follow your plan of attack, the gouging dealers will be out in the cold.
Welcome to the forum, keep us posted on your new hybrid.
#43 of 712 Re: How I bought my 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid and saved $$$ [jeff_h]
Nov 11, 2005 (8:13 am)
I live in the same general area as you--which dealership did you ultimately purchase from?
#45 of 712 Re: How I bought my 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid and saved $$$ [lparrish]
Nov 14, 2005 (8:17 pm)
I took the test drive at the dealer in Fredericksburg VA and that's where I was told that the sticker price is THE price, and when I asked him where our chosen vehicle was located (we told him what we wanted and he went and did a search and printed out one that fit) and he said "oh I don't know I didn't look that far", so I went home and DID look that far (turns out that vehicle was one of two matches just 20 miles up the road in Woodbridge VA and that dealer actually had 25 FEHs on the lot and likely still has quite a large selection), and looked much farther as well. For my particular search, there were specific colors/options that my wife definitely DID and DID NOT want, so I did the search and (for my criteria)there were matches at:
- Cowles Ford, Woodbridge VA: Told me $1,000 off MSRP, I then wrote back that I was already in the process of going with someone else, he then came back and said make me an offer, but it was too late... guy seemed OK and I was satisfied that he actually came back with a number (or amount off of sticker, in this case) I could work with; I would have gone with him if it weren't for the dealer to which I'd already given the OK. And it's pretty central to anyone in Northern VA so if you just want something close maybe this will work for you.
- Koons Ford, Falls Church VA: Had 2 different guys from this same dealership respond on both my email and cell phone, and neither gave a "price" for a price quote, just rang my cell phone off the hook with the "come on down let's make a great deal". I was frustrated that I when I asked for a PRICE QUOTE that all I got was a SALES PITCH and I wrote back to the more persistent one and told him so... so then he comes back with a price quote of $18,995 on an FEH with an MSRP of $31,205.. so unless he was trying to be "worst profit margin salesman ever" I believe this would have turned out to be a bait and switch deal just to get me in the door and then tell me that oh sorry that price was for a stripped Non-hybrid Escape but they wanted to give me the absolute lowest price on the planet etc etc, neither of which I was interested in. So based on this experience I don't think I would deal with these guys, but that's just me personally and there are probably others who think they're great but I definitely didn't have the warm and fuzzy about them.
- Sheehy Ford, Gaithersburg MD: No written reply, but several phone calls from that area code so it must have been them, but I wasn't answering the phone because I requested E-MAILS... and BTW through my searching and requesting of price quotes I didn't talk to ANYONE on the phone until after I agreed upon the deal and then worked with the dealer I went with a couple times on the phone, but it was still mostly all email back and forth. The reason for this was that I noted on my PRICE QUOTE request that my preference was E-MAIL REPLY and that's what I meant, so for those that couldn't understand the concept of the customer's preference of an E-MAIL REPLY over several phone calls, well I didn't care to deal with them because they either didn't understand that I preferred email or didn't care.
- Apple Ford, Columbia MD: They responded within 30 minutes with a WRITTEN PRICE QUOTE on my specific VIN, and the price quote was $300 over invoice (which equated to $1,700 under MSRP) and I certainly have no qualms about the salesman making a few bucks and the dealer making the holdback of a few more bucks, so this was fine with me... we did the deal with no hassle and picked up the car and everything was great. I HIGHLY recommend them and you can send an email or price quote request to them through the fordvehicles.com website or directly to them at www.appleford.com. They were very professional and didn't try to rip me off or add unnecessary aftermarket stuff at all, just the standard offering of the extended warranty once you hit the finance guy and I've always been offered that no matter where I've bought my cars. I was just happy that as soon as I was sold on how GREAT the paint job and rustproofing and interior was on the vehicle, that they didn't then switch modes and tell me how NOT SO GREAT that all these were and hey now you gotta buy the undercoating and paint sealant and scotchgard and anything else... I've been through that extra 30 minute sales pitch before when buying other cars, thankfully didn't get it here.
- Lastly, some other Ford dealer in Tysons or Fairfax, I forget which one, but this pitch was "we will NOT be undersold by ANYONE, yada yada yada", which to me means "go do your best search out there and then see us and we'll screw the other dealer by undercutting him by 50 bucks"... to this I replied that sorry I went with another dealer that gave me what I wanted, which was an actual number for a price quote, and didn't hear back from them.
I know there are those that aren't sure what vehicle and options they want, and are OK with taking whatever is on the dealer's lot because they want something NOW, and for them there's plenty of cars on lots and that's fine, happy trails to them. However I (and my wife) on the other hand want just the right vehicle because to us this is what we will be getting into and driving every day for the next several years, so to us it's worth the effort to search around. I've had my current car (not the Hybrid, that's my wife's car, but she logs plenty of miles too) for 14 months and this week the odometer will turn 38,000 miles so I want to get just the right combo as I have to live with it (some might say live IN it) every single day for plenty of miles, so getting just the right stuff is important to us.
So again I suggest using the fordvehicles.com website to see what's out there, it's handy and a GREAT search tool. And then use the price quote request tool to keep the ball in your court, as once you walk in the door of a dealer, they are definitely the home team. However if you have the price already worked out before you walk in the door or even talk on the phone, it takes away the hassle and uncertainty.
Good luck with your purchase, let us all know how it goes!
#46 of 712 Re: How I bought my 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid and saved $$$ [jeff_h]
Nov 18, 2005 (8:33 pm)
jeff h - thanks for useful tips. i'd been looking at the escape hybrid for a while and finally made the decision to buy. as luck would have it, just as i was contacting dealers this week, ford matched the gm price cuts by announcing the "simple plan" pricing (which is x-plan+$100). importantly, ford included the feh in the simple plan program. i bought the awd version fully loaded. i contacted about fifteen dealerships in the bay area and central valley by email and got a number of quotes. once the simple plan hit, the quotes were very uniform. but one dealer undercut them by almost $1000. i went to the dealer who had the exact car i wanted and that dealer matched the lower offer (which was under the supposedly non-negotiable simple plan price). so i'm pleased to get the car i wanted and at a price well below the msrp from a few weeks ago and even under the simple plan price. it seems that this is the time of year the dealerships have a sales trough so they seemed willing to deal a little more to move the merchandise. again, thanks for the tips.
#47 of 712 Our buying experience
Nov 25, 2005 (5:59 am)
First dealer I went to had a 2006 with 4WD, sunroof and Nav system, price was $36K firm. No come down off of MSRP. Then went to Autoway, they had a left over new 2005 on the website with nav system and 2WD for $28K, according to website. Went to go buy it, but on arrival at dealer was told interent price was wrong, car was really $30K. Started to leave, sales manager said they could get me a 2006 similarly equipped for $29K. I said fine, they ran a listing, I picked out the one I wanted, they said they could have it day after, and did a finance app. Days go by, no news from dealer, so I called dealer. Dealer says , uh, well, uh, we can't actually get any of these cars but still has that swell deal on the 2005 for $30K.
Gave up, went to Autobytel and Cars Direct.com, within a day had a few quotes on a 2006 from $29 to $32K.
But then, just for the heck of it, went to CarMax. They had listed a 2006 with Nav system for $28100. The car had been titled, had just 1800 miles on it. It was out of state though,atleast 1o hour drive to get to it, but I agreed to pay CarMax $200 to have them bring it here. Week later test drove it, everything was as advertised, fell in love with it. Bought it.
On other options, I elected not to buy either the Ford or CarMax extended warranty, found on WarrantyDirect.com a 5 year, 125,000 mile warranty (not a misprint, that is 125,000 files) , $100 deductible for $1600. Checked with local Ford dealer, they accept this warranty if warranty provider pays with credit card, which they do, and provider has a good record at BBB.
Am also a lover of Satellite radio, checked with local dealer and their radio man and they can either put in Sirius (the 2006 FEH with Nav system is Sirius ready) or XM radio, which just came out with an adaptor for this radio and which will work through the dash radio and is about $100 cheaper to install.
Summary: just about new 2006 with 1800 miles on it for $28,100 (plus tax). I think the only way to shop for these is let your fingers do the shopping on the internet and be very careful with traditional dealers
#48 of 712 Doc Fees..what's the scoop
Dec 05, 2005 (4:57 pm)
I looking at 389 for a doc fee..are these negotiable??
#49 of 712 FEH and leasing
Jan 03, 2006 (12:41 pm)
Has anyone looked into leasing an FEH? If so did you lease and why or why not? The FEH has made my list and so I'm just poking around for information as thoughts pop up in my head. THanks in advance!
#50 of 712 Purchasing
Feb 18, 2006 (8:03 pm)
I have to say I had a wonderful experience purchasing my Escape hybrid. I did the internet search and emailed two Dealerships. One in Northern Mass the other in Southern NH. The northern mass one was not polite and was a bit pushing to get into the dealership. Best Ford in Nashua NH was very good. The salesman was very polite, and wasn't pushy. Even when the deal didn't work the first time he wasn't pushy. I finally got the deal that I wanted and we went with it. I would recommend this dealership to anyone in the area.