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    Depending on where you buy your car, you may receive a large discount off of MSRP (Getty Images).

    by: Gary Hoffman | AOL Autos
     

    It's just plain human nature: Every day, buyers across the country drive their shiny new vehicles off dealership lots, and immediately get the sinking feeling that they could have gotten a better deal somewhere else.

    But where would that somewhere be? How about Tampa, Atlanta or Washington, D.C.? Those are the best markets in the country for car shopping. A few other cities, such as San Francisco, Dallas and Los Angeles might have done the trick, too, if a trip to the Eastern seaboard were out of the question. These and a few other metropolitan areas boast the greatest discounts off a vehicle’s manufacturer’s suggested retail price, according to data analyzed from the AOL Autos Best Deal Program.

    New vehicle prices in the Tampa-Orlando area, the top discount market, averaged 10 percent below their manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Prices averaged 9.9 percent below MSRP in the Baltimore-Washington area, and 9.4 percent under MSRP in Atlanta.

    The study also found that best states for car shopping were Maryland (with an 8.1 percent discount off MSRP), Virginia (with 7.6 percent) and Florida (with 7.5 percent).

    There is a practical use for these figures. Once armed with the data, consumers may decide it’s worth their while to drive 100 miles or so for a particular deal. But with the deals topping out mostly on the coasts, it might even make financial sense from time to time to jump on a plane and take delivery of a car 1,000 miles or more from home. Indeed, some people are doing just that.

    Hop A Flight, Book A Dinner Reservation

    Top 10 Best Deals Markets

    MarketAverage %
    Off MSRP
    Tampa/Orlando, FL10.0%
    Baltimore/DC Area9.9%
    Atlanta, GA9.4%
    Newark, NJ9.3%
    Los Angeles, CA9.1%
    Dallas, TX8.8%
    Philadelphia, PA8.8%
    Miami, FL8.4%
    Boston, MA8.2%
    San Francisco, CA8.1%

    It’s possible for consumers to adopt a medium- or long-distance strategy for a simple reason: Dealers in the program commit to a price before buyers show up. In the past, consumers could not count on that, said J.R. Lang, pricing manager at Zag, AOL Autos’ partner for its Best Deal program. And without real-time data, they probably wouldn’t have known about a good deal in a timely fashion in the first place, he said.

    For instance, an eight to 10 percent discount on a 2010 Cadillac CTS sedan could certainly justify the plane fare, and perhaps a dinner and a nice hotel room to boot. It could translate into savings of as much as $3,500 off MSRP in the country’s most competitive car markets. If you bought a CTS in your hometown for roughly the invoice price of $33,231 to $47,786 -- potentially a good deal in some locales – you would miss out on the extra savings of $1,500 to $2,000 in a more competitive car market.

    And if you prefer to stay close to home, the mere knowledge that 
consumers are getting an average discount of 8.8 percent off MSRP in Dallas or Philadelphia could be a bargaining chip in your negotiations with a local dealer.

    “If consumers see pricing in other metro markets, they can leverage that information,” Lang said.

    Discounts On Many Models

    For its study, Zag zeroed in on a range of popular cars, price levels and body styles. To be part of the Best Deals program, more than 3,400 participating dealers across the country are required to provide real-time pricing information to the company.

    Zag sifted through the data to find pricing for 10 sample vehicles, including the 2011 BMW 328i, 2010 Cadillac CTS, 2010 Chevrolet Traverse, 2010 Ford F-150 SuperCrew, 2010 Honda Accord sedan, 2010 Honda Civic sedan, 2010 Hyundai Elantra, 2010 Mazda3, 2010 Nissan Altima, and 2011 Toyota Camry. Given the broad range of models, Zag analysts believe its figures reflect general pricing trends.

    The analysts averaged the maximum discounts being offered on the models for its metro-area ranking. For its ranking of states, it
made a calculation based on average vehicle discounts. Either way, the savings end up substantial.

    The best metro markets were all areas with lots of dealerships, suggesting that competition between them is a key factor in increasing discounts and lowering prices. “These are areas where dealerships are really competing for business and customers are winning,” Karim O’Driscoll, Zag’s director of pricing strategy, said.

    The study also revealed a surprise. In some cases, the best prices are found on the outer edges of metro areas.  The analysts concluded that dealerships there are forced compete aggressively with urban stores that are a relatively short drive away. But in the end, they can offer the best prices because their cost structures are also leaner.

    It’s no secret that discounts tend to be least available in rural areas, simply because the competition is less intense. “There may not be many BMW dealers out in the most picturesque parts of a state,” O’Driscoll said.

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    1 - 20 of 54 Comments
    tianqisjfbzfv Nov 24, 2010 8:48 PM
    I love this , So does My boyfriend .he is almost 11year older than me .i met him via agegapsingl es.c 'om a nice place for seeking age le ss love.which gives you a chance to make your life better and open opportunities for you to meet the attractive young girls and treat you like a king. Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends.. Just love it
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    jimjdb5591 Nov 24, 2010 8:39 PM
    When you think about it, we will probably use buyers agents in the future (like real estate) If you are an X car salesman you could charge say 10-15% of the money saved and you would be making more than when you sold them for the dealership. My 23 year old car is sitting in the driveway because my ignition switch just wore out and the key won't turn. I took a drive tonight to look at cars but came back because I just don't want to deal with the BS. I'll fix it again, at least I know I'm driving a piece of crap that I don't have a second mortgage on
    Report This
    bmfbt12 Nov 24, 2010 8:24 PM
    MOST CAR DEALERS ARE JUST PURE SCUM ,,THE FIANANCE GUYS ARE THE BEST LIARS OUT THERE,,, OFFER CASH AND AVOID THE OFFICE ,THEY LIE STRAIGHT TO YOUR FACE ,, SPECIAL FIANANCING MEANS YOUR SCREWED !!! AND HES GOING ON VACATION ,, LOOK AT HIS HUGE ROLEX AND OR PINKY RING !! AND POLISHED FINGER NAIL ALL CLUE TO RUN DONT EVER LEAVE ANY THING BLANK WATCH OUT FOR DOUBLE CONTRACTS AND GET COPIES OF EVERYTHING YOU SIGN !! LOOK AT IT AND READ IT !!
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    billycain526 Nov 24, 2010 3:56 AM
    by a 3 to 4 year old car is best way to go. with about 30 to 40.000 miles on it. stay away from new cars....
    Report This
    mrbretfoon Nov 24, 2010 12:29 AM
    Sad Commentary. Back in 1937 my parents drove from L.A. to Detroit in an old clunker to buy a '37 Ford. You got the best deals there, then, 'cause that's where they built 'um.
    Report This
    ticaleah Nov 24, 2010 12:24 AM
    I agree with you all, this guy is a typical car salesman, generally known to be between pond scum and a dust mite on the ethical and living scale. If you really want a good deal on an American car, the best deal is actually found in Detroit, MI. If you are looking for Japanese car good prices, then WA, CA have the best prices on those. There are no freebies or give-aways. It does pay to shop around. Get the DEAL in writing and take it to the next dealer, and the next...Good Luck, Buy American
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    robozinga Nov 23, 2010 8:32 PM
    what's so big about 10% discount. I have been buying cars for over 50 years now and never bought a car at 10% below MSRP. I buy last years off the dealer's lot and never got less than 15%. I think AOL is in cahut with auto dealers to make you believe that 7 or 8% is a good deal. Baloney!!!!
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    beebs79622 Aug 30, 2010 5:43 PM
    Arvig- You have used the term "God among men" waaaaaay too many times. I think that your arrogence and small you know what makes you feel comfortable name calling people you obviosly dislike yet dont even know. Enough said!
    Report This
    arvig Aug 19, 2010 6:16 PM
    zsyrup proves he is another car salesman who thinks he's a "god among men" and posts this drivel: "Gary Hoffman is one of the dumbest correspondents on the planet. Ever heard of research before you write? Over half of the New Cars sold do not have even a 6% Markup over dealer cost." My reply: Uh-huh. Sorry, but you're trying to claim in effect that the author of this article is saying EVERY car has between an 8.1% and 10% markup. NO, that just shows you either didn't comprehend the article, or you're trying to feed disinformation intentionally. WHAT the author is saying is that based on AVERAGE statistics, this is what has been seen. They also list the 10 vehicles used as a sample to get said statistics. So please, if you're going to dispute the author's claims, at least use FACTS, not assumptions based on the wrong information? Of course, your so called point doesn't also take into consideration that some or all of the vehicles may have been sold at a loss, with the loss covered by things like extended warrantys, gap insurance and other almost pure profit addons sold to cover said loss.But hey, who expects accuracy these days when talking to someone who somehow feels selling cars makes them a god among men?
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    arafog Aug 18, 2010 9:22 PM
    Any one who begins their purchase negotiations at the MSRP is sorely misled. If one goes to Consumer Reports and pays a small fee they can save thousands of dollars off of the bat. A good rule of thumb is to take 20 to 25% off of the MSRP and begin negotiations with firm resolve. This should get you to meet two added staff members beyond your initial salesman. When that happens you've got their attention and your offer is going to be accepted most of the time. They'll try to get you to kck in $100 to $500 more, but don't budge too much). You'll be surprised how easy it is to get a lot better deal than starting at MSRP or even 10% off of MSRP. You can do better than that.
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    myrlray Aug 18, 2010 5:25 PM
    I THINK PERSONALY THAT 95% OF ALL CAR DEALERS ARE OUT TO SKIN ANY ONE WHO WALKS ON THEIR LOT, MY OPION USED CAR PEOPLE ARE THE WORST FOLLOWED BY NEW CAR DEALERS. BUT THEN EVERY ONE IS OUT TO SCREW YOU THERE ARE VERY FEW HONEST AND TRUTHFUL PEOPLE OUT THERE. I HATE DOING BUISNESS WITH AUTO DEALERS, FURNITURE STORES ,JEWELRY SHOPS TO NAME A FEW. LYING CHEATING AND STEALING IS THE WAY ALL PEOPLE DO BUISNESS . NO RESPECT AND DON'T GIVE A DAM EXCEPT THEMSELVES.I THINK AMERICA HAS SEEN IT;S BEST DAY;S. YOU ARE COOL IF YOU ARE A DRUG ADDICT A PORNO FREAK. TATTO FREAK AND ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE YOU'RE COOL MAN. OH I FORGOT HATE YOUR FAMILY AND EVERY ONE ELSE AMERICA HAS A SAD FUTUE .
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    upforbids31 Aug 17, 2010 6:08 PM
    what consumers need to know when purchasing a new or used car is to do their research, figure out what will work for you budget wise, do a little internet shopping to get the best price, bring it to your local dealer and most likely they will honor it, dealers will not let you walk if it is a fair price, and remember sales people are their to do a job and be as helpful as possible, try to treat them with the same respect as they treat you and i'm sure you will have a much better buying expierence. the people who walk into a dealership with a chip on their shoulder and want to treat a sales person like dirt should get treated the same way, the dealership doesnt want to serve people like this unless they are going to make a good amount of money off them. if their that rude when they come in to buy a car how do you think they are going to act when the vehicle breaks down or needs a service. the country cant survive without vehicles and there still isnt a majic way to purchase a vehicle with out us.
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    danmommo Aug 17, 2010 2:55 PM
    So much wrong information out there, as I am a Proffessional Sales Consultant/Iternet Manager/Fleet Manager and have been so 16 years. No one can be aware of all the different programs that change daily. The best thing a consumer can do is there homework. Get on the internet and study for at least 5-6 hours and that would be after you make model selection. Go to the dealers in your area and treat them as they treat you. If get a unprofessional sales person ask for the manager and get a pro. Having a good relationship with your local dearler can not only save you thousands of dollars but ongoing service and safty net is how I have grown my client base evan in this tough time. Every one should enjoy getting there new car, my clients do. Good Luck
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    zsyrup Aug 17, 2010 2:25 PM
    Gary Hoffman is one of the dumbest correspondents on the planet. Ever heard of research before you write? Over half of the New Cars sold do not have even a 6% Markup over dealer cost. Keep on reading trash put out by washed up People that pull their research out of the 1980's trash bin. Did you get your research degree on the back of a Wheaties Box? Lets see your certified data. That would be worth seeing.
    Report This
    arvig Aug 16, 2010 7:12 PM
    Yay, I knew car salesmen would ooze out from under rocks to flame this article, and then imply they are gods among men. :P Anyway, mckaymotorco posted this drivel: "Save $1500 to $2000 dollars if you buy 1000 miles away. You moron, what do you think it is going to cost for you and your wife to fly 1000 miles, cab fares, meals, and motels. Not to mention meals and gas to get back home, you idiot. Oh yea, then what about the customer service and loaner cars when service is needed ? Or sponsering the local youth ball clubs. Quit hammering us car people and pick on resturant prices or funiture stores that have an 80% to 300% mark-up." To reply to Mccaymotorco's hissy fit: 1) You moron, one CAN contact a dealer that isn't local over the phone and/or the Internet, have the deal done THAT way and then have the car delivered. I know, I've bought cars from 300 miles away that way before, I live in a small enough town that my choice even for dealers in my area is limited. Or how do YOU suggest people buy a car if they are in a smaller town, and they want a make and model that isn't sold locally? :P 2) Yes, SOME car dealerships sponser things like local youth ball clubs and other local events and charitys. And OTHER local businesses do the same as well. Our local resort hotel does that and helps to pay for the city's firework display on the 4th for instance. So please, don't make out the precious car dealership to be the only place sponsering local events and such. 3) As for claiming to hammer car dealerships other then other businesses, YOUR industry set the model and stage for how you want US to do business with YOU. Now that people have more ways to research things like the invoice price and are becoming more saavy on how to pay for a car and what they should pay, YOUR industry is whining about something YOU guys set up. Don't like it, change how YOU do business. Anyway, it's an apples to oranges comparsion to compare a restaurant meal to buying a car. I don't also go through haggling for the price of the meal, having the manager come out and trying to upsell me an extended warrenty on the meal or insurance I can get a lot cheaper from my insurance agent, or for accessories to said meal that are unwanted and/or unneeded either. Nor does your typical restaurant meal cost enough that the average consumer needs a 4 to 6 year loan or so to buy it. So it is inane to use that comparsion. I suppose furniture does come SOMEWHAT closer to a comparsion, but even a $2000.00 couch is a LOT less then a $20,000 car. Well, anyway it's always good comedy relief to read the car salesman replies here. Just is so amazing how so many seem to think they are a god among men for selling cars. Do I look down on your line of work? No, but come on, you sell cars. You're not going to win the nobel prize for most Chevy's sold in a month. :P
    Report This
    igator1 Aug 15, 2010 1:10 AM
    To the ILLINOIS people. If you do choose to buy new at least go to Lake county where you save on the Taxes. Savings of a percent or more add up real fast on a $30k car. saveit
    Report This
    mjajarek07 Aug 15, 2010 12:02 AM
    cheapest places?...find a dealer.Who is writting this?
    Report This
    eddiedunn200 Aug 14, 2010 10:16 PM
    Keep one thing in mind folks. When you pull into the car dealership, and the salesman comes out to meet and greet you, you have already lost. Those car dealers have more ways to make money than any of you could ever imagine. One thing's for certain, ALWAYS arrange your own financing before you start shopping, and NEVER tell the sales people how much you are approved for. This comes from a former new car slaesman (ME).
    Report This
    wmathess Aug 14, 2010 9:16 PM
    What the hell! Go to Ramey Ford in Beckley, West Virginia. I traveled 140 miles to get my F-150. It was a 2008 FX4 Crew Cab 5.4L V8 4x4. I got it for about $2,500 off what trucks are up in Lewis County and I got Ford Certified Pre-Owned with a 100,000 mile warranty and 24 hour roadside assistance. So, if you live anywhere in West Virginia and you're looking for a Ford, go to Ramey Ford in Beckley, WV. FYI: I live in Lewis County, West Virginia. So it was a long drive!
    Report This
    chczander22 Aug 14, 2010 8:01 PM
    I am shocked DC was not at the top of the list with all the tax payer money spent on OBlamer and his group of msiguided soles. Hell they all probably have 19 new cars on our buck. When he says the buck stops here he ain't just a kidding.
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    Buyers across the country drive their new vehicles off lots, and immediately get the sinking feeling that they could have gotten a better deal somewhere else. But where?
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