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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I really need your wonderful advice! I haven't done this is eons - my last car was 12 years ago and it was a new one.

Should I:

1.) Drive the 3 hours to the dealership that has the USED E I think I want (assuming no surprises) and make an offer on the spot, suggesting they need to make a decision then and there because I can't drive all the way back again (it really would be hard to fit in another 6 hour round trip, in part because I am inconveniencing someone to drive with me to take one of the 2 cars back if I do buy the E).

OR

2) Do I fax the manager (used car manager or owner?) the offer in advance TODAY (noting this is conditional on no surprises), and that I am prepared to drive there tomorrow to finalize?

The offer would be quite a bit below asking - folks on this site advised offering more than $3K less than asking in this case which is also more than $3K less than KBB retail figure, a number that's at the bottom of the private party price range. Should I say it must include all charges like doc fees, etc. (which I understand can add at least several hundred). Such a low number will not make them eager to agree quickly (if ever) which made me wonder if they need time to consider. I saw a dealer listing for same year E yesterday for not much more than I'm considering offering - it was nearly $3000 less than the asking price on the car I am wanting. "My" car has been sitting in the lot at least 3 months from what I can tell.

If your recommendation is 1), can they get a car ready to leave the lot on the spot or do the cars usually need stuff done to them before they can roll out? It's a Honda dealership and is a certified car, if that makes a difference.

Also, while very difficult, I could bring cash. Someone suggested I would fare better on car price by getting a loan from them so long as it has NO prepayment penalty but I am not sure I would qualify as my full time post lost its funding earlier in the year and at the moment I am helping a nonprofit and only making a fraction of what I did before.

Thank you for any input that helps me sort this out! I have a chance for someone to take this long ride with me tomorrow (and we can both get off work at the same time, etc....not an easy scenario to replicate) if I can figure out best approach quick enough.

Thank you!!!!!!!
 

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I had a similar situation where I drove 2 hours 1 way to get to the dealership that had the best offer. I did everything on the internet via email and phone for a new E. I worked with several dealerships in the state this way and would reply to each location with the latest and greatest offer. They had it ready when I got there and was a smooth transaction.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks 2009ELE

What you did for a new E is very smart, and CONGRATULATIONS!

Do you all think it's the way to go for a USED E, given that no two are alike and it's not quite the same comparing one dealer's price to another?
 

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Cash is good

Forget the "loan" idea. Any dealer will welcome and work for a cash dealer. While I sell in the marine industry, boats, our markup on loans is not great. Having cash to pay off floor plans, reduce paperwork, etc. makes a cash buyer look good to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Forget the "loan" idea. Any dealer will welcome and work for a cash dealer. While I sell in the marine industry, boats, our markup on loans is not great. Having cash to pay off floor plans, reduce paperwork, etc. makes a cash buyer look good to me.
Thank you lil tippy - I really appreciate your take on that!
 
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