I just put a deposit on a 2020 Subaru Outback this afternoon at a fairly local dealer. I thought I had it all worked out in advance, walked in to find that the car was not yet actually on the lot. Scheduled to be delivered Thursday. Rrrrrr.
Would I have gone almost two hours away instead to get the same deal on a car already on the lot if I had known in advance? Well, since by pure chance I happen to be going to that location tomorrow anyway, I would have considered it. But then I would have still had to go back to pick it up another day after they installed all of the accessories. So, no, probably not.
Since I was at the local-ish dealer, and it would be a short trip in order to pick up later, and maybe get better follow-up service, I went ahead with the deal. This is the first time in 18 years that I’ve “bought” a new car and then had to wait for it to show up.
I ended up getting almost 9% below MSRP, but only this morning did I get the very competitive offer from the distant dealer, allowing me to push the local dealer. Plus a guy on the Outback forum has some sort of inside connection and yesterday saw my disappointment in the offers at that point (particularly the dealer fees) and got me a $500 voucher that I used to get the amount lower at the last second!
Overall, I find the result acceptable on a brand new model still in fairly low supply, but I suspect that I gave the dealer more profit than I’m used to.
But I saved about $2,000 on the deal in the last 24 hours! That was a close call.
Hopefully the car will arrive early and I’ll be able to get it before our next mountain trip on Friday.
(Oh, and when I was checking the numbers tonight, I found that the tax calculation is off by $12 and change. What a weird error.)