Diesel trucks aren’t cheap. Have you seen the price tag on a new 2019 truck? Every truck, even the basic ones, can put you out 50 grand. What about the Laramie Longhorn trucks for Ram, The Limited models for Ford, or Chevrolet’s High Country Edition? Now you’re out over 60, maybe even 70 grand. Is this what you have to pay to step into a newer diesel truck? What if I told you that you can save yourself thousands of dollars on a new or used diesel truck? Well, you can, and I’ve created 10 tips for getting the best deal on a new diesel truck.
I worked at a car dealership in college, so I’ve had the chance to see the inner-workings of a dealership. I’ve also spent massive amounts of time in your shoes, navigating dealerships and trying to get the best deal possible on a truck. So, what can you do to get the best deal on a diesel truck? I’m going to give you my 10 tips for getting the best deal on a diesel truck below.
1. Do Your Research
Research is an important first step to getting the best deal on a new diesel truck. Before you even go look a truck, you need to find out how trucks are priced in your area and surrounding areas. What I typically do is use car-finding apps like Cargurus, AutoTrader, or Carfax and make a list of potential trucks i’m interested in. For new trucks, I think Cargurus is probably your best bet. If you’re looking at pre-owned trucks, use Carfax as any truck listed there will give you a FREE Carfax Report. These sites or app will allow you to enter your zip code and find all of the trucks available within a certain radius. You can probably narrow down your options significantly, as you can see prices, mileage, features, and more about all of these trucks! Once you’ve done this, you can map out where you want to go and what trucks you want to see! I may look at 10 to 20 trucks in person before I find the right truck, and more importantly, the right purchase point.
2. Don’t Fall In Love With The Truck You’re Buying
We’ve all experienced that feeling, being googly-eyed over a truck. You think about all of the potential upgrades you could do to make it the perfect truck. It’s written all over your face, you LOVE the truck. How could that be a bad thing? Well, the last thing you want a dealer to see is how much you are into a truck. Then, they feel like they’ve got you hooked, and you may be unable to get the deal you want. Play it cool. You can be impressed with a truck, but keep it on the inside. Make the dealer feel like they need to work to give you a deal. Make them work for you. I’m not saying don’t be nice, but try and contain your excitement!
Extra Tip: If you want to take it a step further when you’re buying a used truck, you can. When I visually inspect a vehicle, I point out any and all flaws to my salesman or sales consultant. Do a thorough inspection inside, underneath, and around the truck. Many times you can find an issue the dealership may not be aware of, and you can save yourself some money!
3. Be Willing To Walk Away
Don’t ever think that this truck is “The One”. There are literally hundreds or thousands of trucks within 100 miles of you. The best deal may be away from your local dealership! I RARELY use the dealerships in my hometown. By traveling 50 miles, I can have a much better purchasing experience and get a much better deal. You don’t want to get stuck on one truck and then be forced into an uncomfortable purchasing decision.
Even if you are close to getting the deal you want, walk away. Don’t settle! Dealerships get kickbacks from manufacturers for volume and sales people get commission even on a “losing” deal. You’ll probably get a call or text a day or two later to come buy the truck at the price you want. If you don’t, just move on!
4. Don’t Fall For Dealer Mind Games
If you’re shopping at traditional dealerships, the odds are that you’ll encounter a lot-lizard or two when trying to find the best deal on a new diesel truck. They’re probably going to try to play games to get you to buy today. They’ll also probably lie to you and say, “This price isn’t going any lower.” Dealerships make money on trade-ins, the actual diesel truck you buy, kickbacks from manufacturers, and financing. There is always room for negotiation, unless the dealership uses a no-haggle pricing strategy. If that’s the case, the price is usually priced lower anyways. The truck probably isn’t going anywhere either. As stated in one of my previous tips for getting the best deal on a new diesel truck, just walk away!
5. Take Advantage Of Rebates
Have you seen a truck commercial that mentions incentives or rebates? Rebates can save you thousands of dollars off of a new truck. There are numerous available rebates at any given time, but not all of them are easily found. For example, if you’re a business owner, you can most likely qualify for commercial rebates! Were you a member of the military? Most manufacturers offer a military discount. Disabled or handicapped consumers can also get their own specific rebates. Here in Florida, if you’re a member of the Florida Association of Realtors, you can even get a rebate for that. The last truck I purchased, I got for $10,000 below MSRP. You heard that right, $10,000 below MSRP. Rebates are probably the most important factor on getting a good deal on a new diesel truck.
Extra Tip: From my personal experience, Ram and Chevrolet usually have the best rebates at any given time. Check online and google rebates for your manufacturer of choice. Make sure you ask your sales consultant or sales manager you’re dealing with about rebates too!
6. Trade-In Smart Or Don’t Trade In At All
Trading in another vehicle can be a life-saver! When you a trade a vehicle in, you can save significantly on taxes! This is because you only get taxed on the difference between your trade-in and the vehicle you’re buying. For example, if you trade in a vehicle at $25,000, for a truck priced at $30,000, you only get taxed on the difference of $5000. If you’re thinking about trading in a truck in good condition, especially if it has low miles, the dealer may want to re-sell it! It is much cheaper for dealerships to acquire inventory by trade-in than by auction! This is because of administrative fees, wages, and transportation costs the dealership incurs! Therefore, the dealerships can pay you more than auction value for your vehicle.
Take a look at the Kelly Blue Book Car Value tool. You can get a basic range of what your vehicle is worth. Keep in mind, you’re never going to get full retail value. You might be able to get more money selling your truck to private party if you have an old gem like a 7.3L Powerstroke or 5.9L Cummins. Heavily modified diesel trucks should be returned to stock or should be sold by private party. Dealerships won’t give you more money for those American Forces or those fox shocks. You definitely won’t get what you put into the truck. With stock trucks however, it’s often not worth selling your vehicle private party because while you might get a thousand or two thousand more, you miss out on your tax savings!
7. Buy New, It Might Be A Better Deal
At least where I live in Central Florida, used diesel truck pricing can be very close, or even above new truck pricing! I literally saw a 2014 GMC Sierra 2500HD with 10,000 miles priced at $58,000 a couple of months ago. That’s about the price of a new Denali or SLT after incentives and rebates. If pricing is close, I tend to just buy new. I just bought a 2018 Ram 2500 Megacab for $52,000. Like I mentioned above, the MSRP was around $62000. The weeks before, I had visited numerous dealerships looking for a used Megacab but no dealerships would go below 47 or $48,000. That’s with 10-20,000 miles too! For a couple thousand more than the used trucks I looked at, I got a brand new truck, no headaches, and a full warranty.
8. Save Money Financing
Dealerships make money financing automotive loans. Don’t be a fool and think you need to use their inflated interest rates! If you’re above a 700 credit score, you can normally get below 5% APR. For my last truck, I got 3% APR for 72 months. Most dealerships accept external financing, so take advantage of it! Shop around for the best interest rate! Small, local credit unions usually have the best rates. Every percentage point counts! If your credit needs work, you might have to settle for a worse interest rate. Make your payments on time and in-full. In a year’s time, you can refinance and get a better interest rate! Financing plays a big role in making sure you get the best deal on a diesel truck! Don’t overlook this vital detail!
9. Buy Commercial
If you’ve never had the pleasure of purchasing a vehicle from the commercial side of a dealership, you are seriously missing out. Commercial salesmen typically offer you a much better buying experience. They are laid back, no-pressure, and willing to do everything they can for you. Commercial departments work in terms of volume. Commercial departments get paid by their automotive manufacturer if they meet a certain quota of sales every month or quarter. Because of this, they usually offer customers much better pricing. For our commercial vehicles and trucks, we use Crystal Automotive in Crystal River. If you live around Central Florida, you seriously need to give Don over there a shout. He always gets me the best deal on a new truck. Anyways, by using the commercial department, you can help get yourself the best deal on a diesel truck!
10. Never Pay Sticker Price or MSRP
I can’t stress this enough, never pay MSRP or Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, on a new vehicle. Take advantage of rebates. Negotiate! There is always room for negotiation to take place. You can ask dealerships to throw in things like tinted windows, running boards, floor mats, or other accessories to get yourself a better deal too! Sometimes, you can even get free maintenance or service for a year or two! Be creative! Getting the best deal on a diesel truck is all about structuring a deal that is best for you!
Buying A New Truck in 2019?
Check out our articles on the new 2019 Ford Superduty, 2019 Ram Heavy Duty trucks, or the new Chevrolet or GMC Duramax! We’ve had to chance to drive some of these trucks, and even if we haven’t driven them personally, we have a ton of insider knowledge! Want to watch a video showing you the trucks instead? Here’s one of our video reviews of the 2019 Ram 3500 HD.