Recently I've been shopping for a new Toyota vehicle. Most dealers now have fleet/internet salesmen that are easy to deal with via e-mail, as the B.S. gets cut out to a large degree since they know you're shopping on the internet and are more up-to-speed on things like invoice pricing, dealer holdbacks, and the rest.
In fact, after filling out the form at cars.overstock.com to receive price quotes from nearby dealers, I was able to easily come to a deal with Derrick B. at Puente Hills Toyota in the City of Industry, CA.
But even if you agree to a specific price, they can still make money off you in other ways... typically with the finance department, which handles financing, as well as things like extended warranties...
I knew to expect this, so I wanted to go in armed with information. Here is some data that I've picked up in my reading that might help you:
- I have read that the official Toyota extended warranty is a pretty good deal, as long as you don't overpay. You can shop around at different dealerships (more below).
- Third parties like Fidelity, JM&A, etc. are often pushed by some dealerships, instead of the official Toyota warranties, and have confusingly similar names for their products, e.g. "Platinum" extended warranty, with the same mileage breakouts that Toyota's official extended warranties have. Don't be fooled. The warranty you get should be Toyota ExtraCare, officially branded.
- You don't need to buy the extended warranty when you buy the vehicle. It's not clear to me how long you have to buy it (some say 30 days, some say 60, some say up until the basic warranty runs out). But it's clear you do NOT need to be pressured into buying it that night (unless you really need to finance it with your vehicle purchase).
- You can buy the warranty from any dealership, even out of state. One that was recommended frequently online was Toyota of Greenfield, in Massachusetts. Ask for Troy. He appears to be affiliated with this website which has some good information on extended warranties (the official ones, which they sell). For several kinds of Toyotas, I was seeing people quoted in the $600 - $900 range for a $0 deductible platinum 7-year warranty in the 70K to 100K mileage range (from Troy). And many other people were getting charged upwards of $1500-$2500 at their own dealerships, so don't get suckered.