Other special promotions include high trade-in allowances and free or low-cost options. Some dealers promise to sell the car for a stated amount over the dealer’s invoice. Asking questions like these can help you determine whether special promotions offer genuine value.

  1. Does the advertised trade-in allowance apply to all cars, regardless of their condition? Are there any deductions for high mileage, dents, or rust?
  2. Does the larger trade-in allowance make the cost of the new car higher than it would be without the trade-in? You might be giving back the big trade-in allowance by paying more for the new car.
  3. Is the dealer who offers a high trade-in allowance and free or low-cost options giving you a better price on the car than another dealer who doesn’t offer promotions?
  4. Does the "dealer’s invoice" reflect the actual amount that the dealer pays the manufacturer? You can consult consumer or automotive publications for information about what the dealer pays.
  5. Does the "dealer’s invoice" include the cost of options, such as rustproofing or waterproofing, that already have been added to the car? Is one dealer charging more for these options than others?
  6. Does the dealer have cars in stock that have no expensive options? If not, will the dealer order one for you?
  7. Are the special offers available if you order a car instead of buying one off the lot?
  8. Can you take advantage of all special offers simultaneously?