What Is the Difference between the Invoice and the Car Quote?

January 27, 2012

When getting a car quote, there are many things to consider. When you walk onto a dealership, the first thing you see besides a smiling car salesman is the stickers on the side window of the vehicles. These are better known as the MSRP, or Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price. Just as the name implies, it is the suggested retail price determined by the manufacturer and not the actual amount the dealer is willing to sell the car.

A Car Invoice

The invoice is the amount the dealership pays to the manufacturer initially for the vehicle. In reality, the dealership might pay a lot less because of incentives they receive for selling certain models or bonuses for selling large volume of cars in a month. This is how a car dealership can sell you a car at or close to their invoice price and still make a profit.

Getting an Online Sales Quote

Before going out to purchase a new car, there are quoting services online. These services can assist you in finding the current prices available on most new models. They have information about the deals manufacturers have given to dealerships and sales in your area. With this knowledge, you will be able to negotiate a better deal than just walking in off the street.

A Sales Quote

A sales quote is the amount the car dealership is willing to sell you the car of your choice. It is printed out detailing the complete deal. To come up with this price, the salesperson goes through their tactics to get as much information to get you a price you will accept and have the dealership make the profit it desires.

The salesperson will ask many questions from how you plan to pay for the vehicle and if you have a trade-in vehicle. They will ask if you will be financing the car or leasing. Next they will ask if you will finance through their financing companies. If you have outside financing, they will not lower the price as much since they get commissions from their financing companies.

If you are financing or leasing the car through them, they will ask you how much you can afford to pay each month. Next they will ask the amount you can give for a down payment. All these items are used to determine what price they will sell the car.

Once they come up with an agreed price, they will show you the printed sales quote and ask you to sign the agreement you will purchase that car for the price they are offering.   

After the Quote

After you sign the quote you have to visit the finance manager. You need to remember, the quote is for the purchase of the car. There are still more items you need to pay for. There are taxes, licensing, and many other items. The finance manager will then discuss the quote, the financing, and the car warranty. They then may try to sell additional packages such as extended warranties. Be careful, everything they offer will increase the payment you had agreed upon with the salesperson. If you feel uncomfortable, you have every right to walk out before you sign the sales and financing agreements.

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