Benito.Ram123

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Today, we just took home our very first Jeep - a 2019 Sahara. Sticker attached, but was listed at $49,245 and we took it at a 13.9% discount off MSRP or 9.2% discount off Invoice for $42,400 (incl. destination charge).
After reading this forum for a few months now, I have not seen a better deal in the western US (we are based in Salt Lake City, Utah), so I hope our experience can help you in your Jeep buying adventure.

It is worth noting that we came in with ZERO experience. My long-time GF and I are 23 and 24 years old, respectively and this was our first car purchase EVER! We came into this process very intimidated by the infamous car-buying horrors stories, but ultimately excited for the challenge and satisfied with how it turned out. There are certainly some mistakes that were made along the way, but at the end of the day, we took home a great Jeep and we have some great lessons for our next Jeep purchase.

We can go on for hours and discuss each aspect of our process in great depth, but hopefully the key takeaways help tell the story:
  • When selecting our Jeep model and trim, we ended up choosing the Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. We often host a lot of our friends and family on trips, so a 4-dr was a must. We chose the Sahara because it offered some of the creature comforts we wanted in a new car while still being relatively low cost compared to the Rubicon and Moab. At the end of the day, the cost was the most important reason why we went with the Sahara.

  • After selecting the Trim, we listed out every option we cannot live without based on our lifestyle. We knew we wanted the safety and the additional features to address cold weather/poor road conditions – our must haves ended up being the (i) Cold Weather Group, (ii) Jeep Active Safety Group, (iii) Selec-Trac Full Time 4WD drive system, (iv) Anti-spin Rear Diff and (v) Automatic Transmission. We then separated out our nice-to-haves. Again, price was always at the forefront of our mind, if we got a good enough price we would start incorporating our wants into our build.

  • One of the biggest costs to consider is your monthly interest payment. Check all your local credit unions for the best rates and get the offer in writing – one resource you can leverage is http://ncuso.org/. NCUSO is a national credit union regulator and the site has a list of credit unions by City & State. Market standard rate is 4%-5%, but we were able to find a rate for 2.59% at a small credit union that we were eligible for just because we lived within the county. We got this rate despite this being our first car (just need a credit score of 720+). If you decide you want to stick with Chrysler Capital, just know that you can negotiate the rate down – its in the contract that the rate is negotiable (I learned this too late).

  • SPECIAL ORDERING is the biggest reason why we got the price we did. It took about 3 weeks to get my offer from 2% to 9.2% off invoice by pinning the dealerships against eachother. I cannot stress this enough, your biggest asset is patience, the dealership will do whatever they can to get you out the door with a car today, but keep searching and don’t get swindled in. The moment I got a good price, I called the last dealership and told them the price and said they needed to beat it. The truth of the matter is that there is nothing special about the dealership, they can all offer you the same thing – free services, accessories, discounts, etc. A special order of your Jeep will give you the best price because its literally free money for the dealer, you are doing all the work in selecting the Jeep and picking out the options, all they have to do is put in the order with the price you want and then they can take their commission check. I spoke with the salesperson for a total of 30 minutes on the phone to lock in this deal over 5 calls.
    Worth adding that I didn’t step into a dealership at all during these three weeks, everything was done over the phone. My search included mostly out-of-state dealers at first until I got above 8%, at which point I reverted back to local dealers... I was prepared to travel out of state, but really didn't want to.

  • Taxes are the sneakiest cost that are not talked about enough. We were very selective in how we addressed the dealerships, because we wanted to end up with a dealer in a location with a low tax rate. Luckily for us, we were able to lock in our 9.2% off invoice 45 min away from our house and save 1.25% on the tax rate.
Now after all that work is when we started making some mistakes in closing the deal... [05/24 Update: Our mistakes were corrected by refinancing through a credit union as soon as we got our loan number]
  • When we arrived, the dealer made it clear that they weren’t going to match the deal unless we agree to the dealer financing. I almost walked away, but after nearly 4 months of searching, we were exhausted and just wanted to close the deal. In hindsight, we should have spent more time discussing this because we ended up stuck with a 7.93% rate. The dealer said we were allowed to refinance after 3 payments, but I plan on discussing with my credit union this week once I receive all the final paperwork to find a workaround.

  • We had put down $1,000 down to put the order in, thinking that we would be allowed to put the rest of our down payment ($16k) on a credit card that we can pay off within the month. I have a lot of assets in a Fidelity Trading Account, so I wasn’t able to pull the money out without instantly. In hindsight, this should have been a question I asked the dealer ahead of time, but instead I walked in the day they said the car was ready (5 weeks later) w/out the cash available. I ended up only putting $4k down due to the limits on charging credit cards.
    Again, I plan on discussing with my credit union what they recommend some of my options are. We will have the $16k in assets sold and converted to cash in 3 more days to put down to reduce the principal amount.
If I had to do it all over again, I would have read through the documents more carefully and pushed for a better, more competitive rate and made sure I had the cash readily available in case they didn’t allow me to put the money on my credit card. I will probably post an update when we figure out how to get out of the insane interest rate they gave us.

If anybody is interested in what dealership we went through to get the 9.2% off, shoot me a DM and I'll let you know. As a caveat, they weren’t the nicest folks and I am not sure I would recommend them again. Doesn't help that I felt screwed on the rate.

Overall, we love the Jeep and cannot wait for the adventures to come!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ UPDATE 05/24 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Our contract did not include any prepayment penalties, so we were able to refinance through our local credit union as soon as we got the loan number. Chrysler Capital tried to make it difficult for us to pay a down payment over $2,000 (as noted above the dealer didn't let us put a big down payment down), but our credit union just accepted the check and then calculated the interest off the remaining principal.

At the end of the day, we ended up paying $208 more due to the interest payment they charged on my first payment, but that still nets a total savings of ~9% off invoice. Our credit union locked us down for a 2.59% rate that will end up saving us ~$7,000 in interest payments.

If anybody is looking for a FANTASTIC credit union in SLC for their car loan, I highly recommend P&S credit union. They offered the service we felt we didn't get at the dealership.

*Note I am in no way affiliated with the CU, just had a great experience is all.
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Rockstar08

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You can refinance anytime, the dealer lied to you also you absolutely don’t have to keep their loan for 3 months! That’s illegal, you have a simple interest loan, the only reason they want you to keep the loan for the 3 months payments is because they SCREWED you so BAD 7.93% they are getting a HUGE Kickback from the bank for SCREWING You that much I mean Huge on the backend! You did all that work and let them screw you that much I am surprised, you should have walked again and I bet your rate would have come down! But you can refinance as soon as you know what bank financed you and you have a loan number!! If you get that in a couple of weeks I would refinance and payoff that ridiculous loan you got in the very first payment! Again you have a Simple interest loan you can pay it off anytime!

Other than that enjoy the Jeep great color you picked!
 

jlewissystem

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Congrats! Sounds like you did everything right (good job on that, for a young lad ;) ) until you went with their financing. Sorry to say, they took it to you on that. 7.93 is insane when you had something in the 2s. Hope you can get that worked out. YOu'll need all that $$ for your mods :LOL: Welcome to the Jeep fam!:like:
 
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Benito.Ram123

Benito.Ram123

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But you can refinance as soon as you know what bank financed you and you have a loan number!!
Thanks for the advice! I called the dealer and Chrysler Capital and should be getting the loan number very soon. I spoke with the loan officer at the credit union who agreed the dealer is just trying to screw me, but reassured me that they will help pay it off the day the loan number gets in!

If all goes to plan, we should have everything we wanted in short order - the Jeep, the price, and the rate!
 

Taurian

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The reason you save on the purchase price is because they made big money on that loan. You were so focused on a % discount below invoice that they just covered the difference with the rebate from Chrysler Capital. The info above is correct, the loan must be outstanding for 3 months for the dealer to earn the commission. I bought a Harley and had negative equity on my trade, and the dealer proposed a higher rate, and using that extra commission to offset my loan, and told me to keep it out 3 months so they don't get screwed. I agreed, and then refinanced with a credit union. It was discussed prior. If you were fixated on the %, then buyer beware. Chalk it up to a great learning experience, and hoping you can obtain a better rate with the credit union.
 

unconfirmed

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You can refinance anytime, the dealer lied to you also you absolutely don’t have to keep their loan for 3 months! That’s illegal, you have a simple interest loan, the only reason they want you to keep the loan for the 3 months payments is because they SCREWED you so BAD 7.93% they are getting a HUGE Kickback from the bank for SCREWING You that much I mean Huge on the backend! You did all that work and let them screw you that much I am surprised, you should have walked again and I bet your rate would have come down! But you can refinance as soon as you know what bank financed you and you have a loan number!! If you get that in a couple of weeks I would refinance and payoff that ridiculous loan you got in the very first payment! Again you have a Simple interest loan you can pay it off anytime!

Other than that enjoy the Jeep great color you picked!
That all depends on what jurisdiction (state) you're in, and what the terms of the loan documents say.

For example, while you may be ABLE pay it off early, there may be a significant pre-payment penalty associated with doing so that makes it inadvisable. If prepayment penalties aren't illegal where you are, and you agreed to pay it in writing (and whatever they charge isn't barred somehow), you're stuck with it.

Also, depending on how the loan was written, if they did it as pre-computed interest instead of simple interest, you may not get it all back if you pay it off earlier than allowed. It's sneaky, and can be very costly.

The law in almost every jurisdiction presumes that you have both read and understand anything you sign, so provided that what the contract says isn't illegal or against the public policies of your state, you'll probably be bound by the terms of the written contract/loan docs.

All that being said, I believe that some states may prohibit prepayment penalties and precomputed interest. It's going to depend on the law of the land where you bought the jeep.

I'd suggest you read the loan documents VERY closely before doing something that may be costly, and consult an attorney if necessary.

Good luck!

From the Federal Trade Commission:
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2014/04/financing-car-ask-about-pre-payment-penalties

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/buying-owning-car
 

Wanted33

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Congratulations, and what a deal. I'm preparing as we speak to order our Sahara Unlimited. I hope to find a deal close to your's, but on the east coast I doubt it will happen.
 
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Benito.Ram123

Benito.Ram123

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That all depends on what jurisdiction (state) you're in, and what the terms of the loan documents say.
This is a really good point. Reading through the loan documents with a fine tooth comb, there are no prepayment penalties. Spoke with the credit union as well and they confirmed that dealerships will not incorporate this in Utah.

Doing the math, in a worst case scenario where I somehow ended up having to pay 3 months at a higher rate, the cumulative interest amount charged would net ~7.4% off invoice deal. Not too bad, but hopefully I can get it taken care of before then! (knock on wood)
 

SecondTJ

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The reason they tell you 3 months, is that's how long the loan needs to be active in order for the dealership to get their referral kickback money.
 
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