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Car-buying services: Are they worth it?

The most common ways to buy a car or other type of vehicle are by going to a dealership, store, or buying online—or working with a private seller. But there are also companies that can do all the legwork for you.

What are car-buying services?

If you’re short on time or just hate negotiating, there are car-buying services that can reduce some of the time and effort it takes to research, find, and buy a car. When choosing car-buying services to find and buy a vehicle for you, consider asking for references, and check online reviews to see if the service worked out well for other buyers.

There are also several automotive and shopping clubs that offer prenegotiated prices on cars to their members.

How do car brokers work?

Brokers are very familiar with the car-buying process and understand how dealerships work. They work in a similar way as concierge services in that they can find the car you want and help you get the best price. There may be a fee for the service or they may get paid by dealers for help selling their cars.

What are car-buying concierge services?

These services can do all the work for you. There are different car-buying concierge service models, and they may not all work in exactly the same way.

The idea is that you provide information about the car you want and they will go out and find it, negotiate the deal for you, and may even be able to bring the sales contract to you and have the car delivered.

They can handle the trade-in and may be able to work on financing as well. If you have already gotten a price and want them to get you a better deal—they can do that too. The cost of the service may be a flat fee based on the price of the car.

Are car-buying services worth it?

Whether or not a car-buying service will be worth it for you comes down to how much time and energy you have to shop for and buy a car, as well as your knowledge and expertise about cars, car shopping, and the negotiation process.

On one hand, you could potentially buy the same car for a little bit less money if you do it yourself, since you’d avoid paying someone else to do the shopping, negotiating, and buying. On the other hand, your time and energy might be well worth the cost of a car-buying service.

On top of that, you might not know much about cars, how to shop for cars, how to negotiate with car dealers, and how to buy cars. In that case, hiring an experienced professional could give you extra peace of mind that you’ll likely get the reliable vehicle you truly want.

A car-buying service could also be worth it if you’re shopping for a vehicle from a different state or country than where you’re located or if you’re looking for a rare or hard-to-find model.

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This information is general in nature and provided for educational purposes only.

Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.

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