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Negotiating Home Delivery of Your New Car

Ann Carrns, The New York Times
Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012 | 10:59 AM ET
2013 Cadillac XTS
Getty Images
2013 Cadillac XTS

It might not be quite as easy as having a pizza delivered, but automotive site Edmunds.com advises that you can have your new car brought right to your home, instead of going to pick it up at the dealership.

Why would you want to do that? Buyers can spend hours on location at dealerships finalizing the purchase and delivery of a new car, Edmunds says.

By having the car come to you, you can “eliminate waiting times and also the inevitable hard sell for additional products and services that takes place in the finance and insurance office,” the site advises.

Negotiating for a home delivery works best when you’re shopping and bargaining for a car remotely—either online, or on the phone, says Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com. But it could also be done if you’re at the dealership, and it’s particularly crowded and you don’t want to wait around while the paperwork is finalized and the car is cleaned and otherwise readied for you.

The catch here is that you have to request delivery while you’re in final stages of negotiations, Mr. Reed advises. You could negotiate the deal and then, before finally agreeing to it, say something like, “Well, I’d be happy to buy it today if you’re willing to deliver it to my office or home. I just don’t have time to get to the dealership.”

Why would a salesperson agree to this? He or she is eager to make a deal. “The dealership is looking to make you very happy,” he said.

Edmunds offers the following tips for getting home delivery:

1) There should be no additional cost for delivery within 50 miles of the dealership. If a car has to travel beyond that radius, consumers can expect a delivery fee of around $75.

2) When the car arrives, verify that the vehicle is the year, make and model you chose and that it has all the agreed-upon equipment. There should be no dings or scratches and the odometer should read less than 100 miles.

3) Internet managers are increasingly more open to evaluating trade-ins sight unseen, so home delivery can be an option even if you’re using a trade-in. A price range is often given to the buyer for the trade-in over the phone, and the final price is locked after an onsite inspection — at your home. (The dealership will send two people—usually, a salesperson and a porter, who runs errands for the dealership).

If you’re skeptical that the trade-in portion of the delivery will go smoothly, Mr. Reed notes that online salespeople are getting quite savvy about pricing cars remotely, based on information like mileage (they can also get CarFax reports, showing the vehicle’s history). You may be given a range for the trade in, rather than a hard price, subject to inspection, in case there are dings or scrapes you didn’t mention.

Have you ever had a new car delivered to your home? How did it go?

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