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The Truth About “No Haggle” Car Deals


Apollo B | Member Since 2012

More and more “no haggle” (or “no hassle”) dealerships are springing up across the nation. Before you start shopping, let’s take a look at the benefits of buying cars online, and consider what you might give up if you skip the dealership and try shopping on one of these used car sites.

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Consumer Reports has reported that more automakers are choosing to make it easier for consumers to purchase a car without ever stepping foot into a dealership.1 This is a bold acknowledgment of the stigma that has grown up around car buying. (Goodbye to an entire Saturday waiting around a dealership.) So, what are the arguments for and against?

The Pros
  • Less stress — Many people get nervous about bargaining all day with a professional salesperson.
  • More predictable — You’ll usually know precisely what you’re getting into, in terms of cost and time frame, before you sign on the dotted line.
  • More choices — You won’t be limited to the cars on a single lot. And you won’t need to visit multiple dealerships to test drive multiple cars. You can trade this gain in time for research, budgeting, and planning.
The Cons
  • Pricing — You’ll likely pay a higher premium, although not always. Experiences vary, but prices tend to rise in exchange for convenience. It might be a better way to spend your Saturday, but be sure to consider the overall loan-to-value implications.
  • No wiggle room — While many people prefer not having to bargain, there are consumers who like haggling. This would no longer be an option.
  • Research — You’ll have to do your homework ahead of time. Let’s also acknowledge the excellent salespeople who have helped to inform and comparison shop for consumers over the years. There are still consumers who are loyal to dealerships and the professionals who work there for this very reason. As with advances in other areas of technology, it’s a shame to consider the possibility of fewer personal relationships in the marketplace.

Best Practices
We recommend you consider the pros and cons before you decide. What is more appealing to you? Less stress? Or a better deal? Apply these best practices when you shop for your next car, regardless of your approach:

  1. Get recommendations from trusted friends and family.
  2. Know your budget. It’s always best to get preapproved before you start shopping.
  3. Research — You’ll have to do your homework ahead of time. Let’s also acknowledge the excellent salespeople who have helped to inform and comparison shop for consumers over the years. There are still consumers who are loyal to dealerships and the professionals who work there for this very reason. As with advances in other areas of technology, it’s a shame to consider the possibility of fewer personal relationships in the marketplace.

1 “Automakers Make It Easier to Buy a Car Without Visiting a Dealership” October 2017

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