I see a lot of posts/get questions in real life about price points for the Volt and what people should expect to pay. After seeing all these questions, I wanted everyone - who might be lurking around these parts - to know that you too can now get volts pretty cheap. I figured I would write up a post describing what I got, my tactics in negotiating my lease, and spell out the prices so you can all see what is possible. I donít think I got the best deal, but it's felt like it was a little over a month ago and is still good enough today where this post could be helpful to someone who is just now looking into get this this great vehicle. Hopefully this will help others get close to or a better deal then I got. With a little patience, you should be able to pull off the same thing.
So, letís talk about the car I choose. I've been sort of eyeing all sorts of Volts for a while. I even have been trying to get a Volt from my local dealers, to no avail. (In Southern California, Volts are popular and hard to get at a decent price. I even posted in this forum that exact complaint months ago.) I chose to NOT shop in California, instead opting to go out-of-state; which is allowed for the volt since I believe all of them are CA ULEV certified. (Mine was. There is a sticker under the hood that will say if the car is CA ULEV certified. If you are in CA, make sure your car has this sticker before you shop out-of-stateÖ otherwise you wonít be able to register the car.) The ULEV volts do not allow for HOV access or stickers, but this didn't bother me since I'm only city streets driving to work daily. So, I started to do some research.
I checked here on GM-VOLT and found Stingray to usually have lots of good deals. If you are local or have time to wait for the car to be shipped, Stingray sounds like an easy choice for some of you. The problem I had with Stingray, was both the wait it would take for the car to get to CA, as well as the fact that they didn't have my specs/color combinations in stock... I wanted a car that was pretty much fully loaded, without NAVÖ So, I used the total Stingray price (w/ shipping included) as a base for calculations to get my car from another dealer I could drive home. I finally got my volt last month, and my lease payments are $350.20 with tax. (7.75% tax in Orange County, CA if I recall. 10K per year and a 62% residual.) Once you subtract the savings in gas... my payments are effectively $202 per month on average. (I don't pay for electricity in my garage. If I did, that would be an additional $20 per month in fuel/electricity costs. I wonder how long that will last.)
There is no car on the road that is as good of a value! A car, fully loaded with leather (no Nav,) for the pre-fuel cost of $202 is unheard of!
So, that's the car. Let's talk about how I found this specific volt. You see, I used to sell cars, so I knew a few tricks that I discovered in my year of sales. Some things are logical, but not thought of, like choosing a location to purchase your car that is to your advantage. Let me explain: I wanted a Black volt with black leather interior. This would be fine in Sothern California along the beach, where itís cool and I hang out. So, I figured that if a dealer in a hot location would have that volt, they would not be able to sell it this time of year because it's too hot... my idea was right on as soon as I started looking at hot locations.
I found a dealer in Vegas, which had that exact car! Based on the stock number, and the other stock numbers of brand new cars just arriving, I roughly calculated that this car had been on the lot awhile; like, for months. So, I shoot off an email to the dealer, asking about the car. The dealer replied promptly with full MSRP and what not... and tried to get me to come in. I actually did the entire negotiating over the internet via email. I never stepped foot into the dealer until I know every little detail of what went into my costs. This was the first time I had done that and I will never go back to negotiating in person ever again.
Most dealers train their staff on how to track/hunt down their leads. Basically, get them to come in and get their phone number/name so you can keep calling them. Knowing this, I got a GOOGLE Voice number that I could just turn on and off without having to worry about annoying sales people. If I didnít like what a dealer was saying, I could just shut off the number. I gave them that, since they asked, and then proceeded to talk about price via email. They kept trying to get me to come in. I told them no. If you are in this situation, realize that you don't have to test drive the car before you fully negotiate. I wasn't about to drive 277 miles to drive a car I MIGHT get, so I started with price first. They will go along, trust me. So, if you are asked to come in, just tell them NO. (This only worked because I had already drove a Volt before and knew I wanted one.)
As for negotiating, my tip for anyone is to NEVER talk about payment. Act like the payment means nothing and you could afford anything/all options are on the table. ALWAYS negotiate the "sales price" of the car first... even on a lease. A lot of people (including some sales guys, mind you) think that a negotiated sales price is only good on a sale and not a lease. This is NOT the case. Once you get that down to a price you are comfortable with, you are good to switch over and ask about a lease using the sales price as a starting point(Cap Cost or selling price... depending on which lease calculator you use) This negotiated sales price/Cap Cost would be before the lease cash kicks in. REMEMBER: The dealer WILL try to put the MSRP back in for calculations as the cap cost, hoping you donít notice, when you start talking numbers on a lease. This is normal, just correct them and inform them that you already negotiated the sales price (The Cap Cost) to whatever price point you spoke about. (I used to sell cars, and this is what I did all the time so I could make more money.)
So, it took TWO weeks of chatting and referencing/threatening to go with Stingray to get the price I wanted down to what I got it at. I know that sounds like a long time, but it really isn't. You NEED to be able to walk away if the price is not right. Once they get that you will walk away in their head, they should come down on the price of the car. (That is, unless they found another buyer. I wasn't worried about that with my car due to the reasons stated above.) I kept talking them down (on the price of the car) and got them to give me $2381 off MSRP (into their holdback. Funny thing, I disliked the color of the white console via pictures and got them to knock off another $400 off the price of the car at the last minute. In reality, I loved itÖ but they didnít need to know that.)
So, let's look at my numbers:
MSRP: $44,575 (Almost fully loaded, no NAV)
- Negotiated Reduction: $2381
= Selling Price: $42,194
- Ally Cash: $4400 (Not a CA HOV Volt, so I got the higher lease cash rate)
- Down payment: $1519 ($19 more than I wanted to pay, but whatever.)
+Acc Fee: $795
+Doc Fee: $499
=Total cost used for calculation of lease payment: $37944
Residual: 62% (Lease Residual Value is $27,636.50... 10K miles per year... I live five minutes from work, less than 2 miles. If you want 12K per year, use 60%)
Money factor: 0.00059 (1.416% I now believe the dealer inflated this slightly. Oh well.)
Base payment: 325.01
Payment, W/ Tax: $350.20 <--- $0.20 over my target.
I'm pretty sure I did pretty good, knowing that the national promotion is for a base volt and has a base payment of $349 w/ $2500 down, or $369 with nothing down. I got a fully loaded one sans NAV, for the same price and only $1500 down. If you donít qualify for the ďextremely well qualifiedĒ deal, and have a Experian CAR score below 740, you would be put on the lower level of Ally Lease cashÖ which only offers you $3370 lease cash and has a slightly higher APR (1.54% if I recall.) Also, California HOV volts canít get the $4400 lease cash; youíre stuck with just $3370. If you are in CA and choose to lease/buy a VOLT from out-of-stateÖ make sure you go to the DMV to register your car with the first 19 days, otherwise you get charged a penalty. (TRUST ME on this one. I waited till I got the paperwork from Nevada before I went to the DMV. The DMV told me I had 30 days over the phone, but thatís only for cars purchased within California. I showed up, everything in hand now, 21 days after the sale. BAM - $137 penalty.) If your car is not CA ULEV certified (remember the sticker under the hood, thatís important!) you have to wait till itís past 7500 miles to register it in California.
As for the dealer I chose/went with, that was Fairway Chevy in Vegas. They were wonderful and even picked me up at the airport... IN MY CAR! My test drive was from the airport terminal to the dealer! I mentioned it earlier, Iím never shopping for a car any other way again. Anyone wanting me to point them to my sales guy, let me know. If you can get the $2500 below invoice deal from Keys, go for it. Thatís a killer deal.