While Truecar gives you the closest match, the prices vary according to the market trend. Check the respective car board. When I was out to buy a Forester/Outback, I checked their forums and both of them had a thread 'Prices paid'. I made an excel sheet with all reported prices, with trims, regions etc. and came to my best guestimate as my asking price and the range I want to compromise for.
Later on, a local Subaru enthusiast informed me abt a specific dealership and specific salesman to get the best price. I seriously hate haggling so that was a blessing. Next month, I am clocking 3rd year on my Forester without having seen the face of the salesman or the dealership that sold me it. So also check if there is any dealership that gives you the 'best' price.
I always use truecar and look at their lowest price and then take off another $1000 and start there. While truecar has great info on pricing it tends to be on the higher side usually hence me deducting more money.
I just bought a new car. The truecar average for my low trim is about $2000 more than what I paid. Edmunds is worse. Prices change, especially if you are buying an unpopular car (SUVs and trucks of all sorts are super popular). Truecar might be ok if you are buying a Forester, which are selling high now, but not if you are buying a 2017 camry, which they are giving away now for $17k before TTL.
I think the competitive bidding process is the best way to buy a car now.
The best way to get a great price on a car is to not need the car. Desperation clouds judgement. If your car is totalled or is not cost effective to keep on the road,rent a car for week or two and take some of the pressure off.
That buyer who has to have a car today does not have as much leverage as the one who must actually ne sold on the deal.
You can get invoice but nobody can get real dealer cost anymore. There is a big difference between the two.
This is true. However-there is always a deal that someone completes that makes no sense at all-that seems the ONLY WAY the dealer made any money was through "holdbacks".
The holdback on a 26K invoice car is a decent amount of money for a buyer who either writes a check or has a 400+ FICO so is painless to get financed.
There are also often factory money giveaways to dealers or discounts from actual invoice, rebates you and I might never hear about, that make the deal work for the selling dealer.
I got them down to invoice on our new Forester, and the selling dealer actually emailed me the invoice for the car we ended up buying which made me a little suspicious about what other money was out there for the dealer beyond holdback. They had originally wanted $600.00 over invoice, which would still have been a considerable discount off the 28K+ sticker for a model that remains in as much demand today as it was when we bought the '09.
The tip from the dealer guy we spent the most time with was that if you want a better deal on a Subie, the made in Indiana Outbacks can be had at better deals than the supply limited made in Japan Foresters.
Wife wanted a Forester and would not have been happy with the much lower seating position Outback so we bought a Forester at a bit of a premium.
The price I paid five years ago was off the scale on Truecar and never did show up on their prices paid chart. Edmund's was dead on.
The "prices paid" on an enthusiastic forum seems like my best bet. Otherwise, I'm thinking of going to the one year old used price and adding in what I consider reasonable depreciation for one year.