Dealerships offer discounts often referred to as “specials”.  This should not be confused with coupons offering $500 off a certain purchase of a car. These are almost always a scam. The two types of specials the dealerships offer include the incentives offered by the manufacturers and passed along by the dealers. 

Car dealerships also offer loyalty discounts, rebates for those serving in the military, and monthly customer rebates. These “specials” are not often advertised so you must call your dealership and ask. Sometimes they are listed on the dealer’s website under “coupons” or “services”.  Manufacturers offering discounts, rebates and savings programs include Nissan, Chevrolet and Toyota.

Ask Dealerships for Monthly Specials

Another way dealerships offer discounts is if you visit them on a regular basis for car maintenance. Not only do they get to “know” your car, but you build a rapport with them. Many dealerships now offer reward clubs to join. Do it if there is a low or no fee to join. Why? Consider the average cost of an oil change and tune up is around $50. 

Over the course of your car’s lifetime, that is significant money. Even if they offer 10% off for club members, it is worth it. 

The best negotiating tool you have is to simply state that you would approve the repair if the dealership’s service department would be willing to give you a break on the cost. Service advisors work on commission just like the car salespeople do. They would rather make something than nothing. 

The next best question to ask, if you need a part repaired, is to ask the service person to use alternative parts. If they only use original equipment manufacturer parts (referred to as OEM in the industry) it costs more. High quality alternatives are much cheaper. Remember to negotiate the rates before the mechanics begin working.