The Fighting Chance Package
Current Auto Pricing
Ordering the Package
Market Summary
Bragg's Banter
Customer Testimonials
Our Book
The Name Game
Car buying guide

We've taught over 130,000 consumers how to get the lowest price when they
buy or lease a new car by having several dealers compete on price for their business.

HOW WE HELP YOU WIN: THE SHORT FORM

  • With our empowering guide to buying or leasing a new car at the lowest price possible, you'll conduct a detailed, step-by-step competitive bidding process from your home or office, among several dealers that you choose, without walking into a single car store . . . . and, unlike every other service, we'll be here to answer your questions by phone every step of the way. (e.g., If you're leasing, we'll go through the best-offer numbers with you before you sign the papers.)

    "TELL THE TRUTH, OR SOMEONE WILL TELL IT FOR YOU" - Stephanie Klein

  • No other new-car info site is telling you this fundamental truth: Every new car is a commodity, the same vehicle with the same price structure at every dealer for that brand. And the only leverage you have when you buy any commodity, including a new car, comes from having several sellers compete for your business. Haggling the price in car stores is a fool's errand. Why aren't those "trusted sources" leveling with you? Because they get much or all their revenue from the auto industry.

    "NO ONE CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS."
    HE SERVES JUST ONE: YOU.

  • With 20+ years and over 65,000 hours focused on this one subject, founder James Bragg is arguably the country's most knowledgeable car buyers' consumer advocate. Unlike all other Internet sources of car-buying info and advice (including, sadly, Consumer Reports), he takes no money that comes from car dealers or automakers. As a result, he's the sole source of the whole truth about new-car pricing, dealer cash incentives and how to get the best price on the car you want. In short, he's the only true consumer advocate for new-vehicle shoppers, on or off the Internet.

    CHECK OUT HIS EYE-OPENING "TRUTH PIECES" ON CLARK HOWARD'S WEBSITE

  • Rock-solid evidence of his expertise: He's become a regular contributor to the website of Clark Howard, America's best-known and most respected consumer advocate, whose national weekday radio broadcasts are carried on over 200 stations.

  • To see all the articles he's contributed to Clark's site, including The Eye-Opening Truth About The Dealer Invoice Price, his "bombshell" revelation that shocked senior executives of Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, TrueCar, Cars.com and Consumer Reports in a 11/27/12 USA Automotive Roundtable discussion, click here.
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    WHY BUY OR LEASE IN MAY?

  • May is in the middle of the March-August heavy-sales period, when dealers must 'move enough metal' to ensure a sixth consecutive yearly sales increase. It's traditionally one of the two best sales months in the last 8 months of the year, so dealers will do what it takes to ensure that that holds true this May. The Fighting Chance package tells you exactly what to say and do to get the best price. And we'll be here to answer your questions.

  • This week, the last week of the month, is May's "prime time" for soliciting price proposals. It's the time when dealerships shy of their May targets will be pricing more aggressively than they would have through Memorial Day.

    HOW TO ORDER THE PACKAGE, AND WHEN AND HOW YOU'LL GET IT

  • To place an order on our secure, encrypted order form, click on the "Ordering" link in the upper left column. If you'd prefer to place a phone order, or if you have questions that aren't answered on our web site, you may call our order desk at 1-800-288-1134 between 9:15AM and 4:00 PM Pacific time, Monday through Friday. To see the vehicles for which we have pricing info, click on the "Auto Pricing" link in that column.

  • Delivery Timing: 99% of our customers request email delivery. Weekday orders received by 4:00 PM Pacific time will be emailed that day.
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    HOW DO WE DIFFER FROM TRUECAR, EDMUNDS, KELLEY
    BLUE BOOK, CARS.COM AND CONSUMER REPORTS?

    LIKE THE NIGHT DIFFERS FROM THE DAY.
    WE TELL YOU THE TRUTH THAT THEY'RE HIDING.

  • We reveal this crucial fact about new car pricing that they know, but have been hiding from you for over 2 years:

    THE DEALER INVOICE PRICE HAS BECOME A BLOATED IMPOSTER THAT HAS
    NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY VEHICLE'S REAL COST! (AND THE INDUSTRY HAS
    MOVED IT FURTHER FROM ANY COST NUMBER EVERY YEAR SINCE 1995.)

  • We proved it to their senior execs in a 11/27/12 USA TODAY automotive roundtable discussion. To see the "bombshell" exhibit that shocked them, Click here.

  • You could have heard a pin drop. No one there knew it! No one disputed it. But the widespread knowledge of the truth is their worst nightmare because it because it exposes their dealer-cost information as totally bogus and shows that their "target price" negotiating advice is built on a house of cards. (Jack Nicholson would bellow at them, "You can't handle the truth!")

  • If you're looking for that hidden truth that invalidates all the conventional wisdom about the smart way to shop for a new car today, this is the only place you'll find it. Guaranteed!

  • The inside story of the discovery of that game-changing truth is told in our book, "Letting The Cat Out Of The Bag: How The Auto Industry 'Redesigned' The Dealer invoice Price When The Internet Arrived," available in paperback and Kindle format at Amazon. To read the back cover copy, Preface, Table of Contents and the first four chapters, click here. If you'd like a personalized, author-signed copy ($14.95 including 1st class postage), you can add that to your order for the Fighting Chance information package.

    "I never did give anybody hell.

    "I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell."

    - Harry Truman ___________________________________________________________________

    HERE'S BRAGG'S TAKE ON THOSE CONSUMER AUTO PRICING SITES

  • I've been a full-time consumer advocate-activist for new-vehicle shoppers since before the Dead Sea got sick. I'm little David, fighting the auto-info establishment's misleading Goliaths with a slingshot called "The Truth" that invalidates all the conventional wisdom about the smart way to shop for a new car today.

  • I was dumbfounded that no one in that USA TODAY meeting was aware of the dramatic long-term change in the invoice/retail price relationship that has turned the invoice price into a bloated impostor that's totally unrelated to any "true dealer cost" number. That continually-changing invoice/MSRP relationship had been in their "information wheelhouse" daily for almost two decades, but gone unnoticed?? Unbelievable incompetence!

  • Those sites are: (a) pitching the range of what other clueless shoppers have paid as the "holy grail" of new-car transaction prices, (b) using customer rebates (which everyone gets) and a comparison of their prices to the full sticker price (which almost no one pays) to inflate their hyped claims of savings realized from using their services, and (c) sending you on a milk run to a small number of dealers in their "networks," who relish the thought of selling you a car at that "holy grail" price and reward those "conduit sites" handsomely with the advertising and/or "finder's fee" dollars that are built into it.

  • Example: For each sale made, TrueCar dealers pay TrueCar $299, which comes out of your pocket. Even Consumer Reports sends its "Build & Buy" site visitors to True Car dealers, admitting on its site that True Car sends CR "a fee" for every sale made. My guess: about $150. (That's what I'd pay for tens of thousands of slam-dunk sales at prices that have CR's "seal of approval.") Consumer Reports' meeting representative was its head of auto testing, who is also involved in the magazine's pricing data. I noted to him that the relationship with TrueCar seemed in conflict with the "No Commercial Use Policy" stated on CR's website, which "helps ensure we avoid even the appearance of endorsing a particular product or service for financial gain." His response was, "Oh, now he's throwing those words at me!" (Guilty as charged. I am not easily intimidated. I don't make this stuff up. A court reporter transcribed every word said in that USA TODAY meeting.) Can you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y?

  • In that meeting, I challenged their "pay what others paid" recommendations with "You're treating consumers like they're idiots. Why would anyone pay close to an average price, when, by definition, it means that about half the people got a better price, maybe a much better price?" The Kelley Blue Book representative's reply was, "Overwhelmingly, our market research shows that consumers ultimately don't want the best price. They just want a fair price," which he said "means that when I tell my neighbor what I paid for the car, I won't be embarrassed." TrueCar's Executive VP echoed that claim, saying, "We have data to support exactly what he said." No one disagreed.

  • Do those statements accurately describe your objective when you buy a new car? Are you sitting there thinking, "I sure hope I get a price that's in the ballpark of what others are paying?"

  • To read the full USA TODAY "Don't Trust That Invoice Price" write-up on that meeting (in which I was dubbed a "peppery contrarian"), click here. All those executives left the meeting with that exhibit, every one of them smart enough to realize what it meant, but praying that you'd never see it. I was not their favorite participant. I asked the Consumer Reports person, "Who's been running your New Car Price Service for the past 20 years, Rip Van Winkle?" He was not amused. After the post-meeting lunch, I said to him, "Give me name of that person and I'll update him or her on the two-decade inversion of the invoice-retail price relationship." He gave me a dismissive smirk and left the building, like Elvis, without a word. Was there a message there about a revered organization that positions itself as the consumer's champion of truth and transparency? What do you think?

  • I'll remain the "peppery contrarian," the one who's only on your side, until the organizations that should be telling you the truth about the second most expensive purchase you make start doing exactly that. But when you get all that revenue from car companies and dealers, I guess your motto has to be "Silence Is Golden," with Golden's six letters being $$$$$$.

    JAMES BRAGG
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    THIS TRANSACTION REPORT IS AN EYE-OPENER.

  • "Using your method, I got a great deal on a 2014 Kia Optima EX with Premium and Technology packages. The total invoice price (including the regional advertising fee) was $28,521. My price was $27,535, $986 below the invoice. And that was BEFORE subtracting Kia's $2,000 rebate!."

  • "I checked TrueCar.com, and their best estimated price was $27,521, which at first seemed impressive. But when I read further, I learned that their price INCLUDED that $2,000 rebate! MY PRICE BEAT THEIRS BY $1,986! So in reality TrueCar is worthless to anyone who wants the best price."
    B.C., Wade, NC. (Here's a cornucopia of great testimonials).

  • Question: So whom should you trust for reliable information and negotiating advice? The one source that's telling you the whole truth and takes no money from the auto industry? Or all the others, who send you on a milk run to a small number of their network dealers with pre-sold prices that aren't great and hide the truth from you to protect their revenue stream from those dealers, revenue that comes from your pocket?

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    THESE ARE THE FACTS ABOUT HOW THE NEW-CAR BUSINESS WORKS TODAY.
    It's 2015, not 1994, and that world isn't flat anymore, it's round.
    (But apparently no other auto-info site wants you to know that.)

  • When you walk into a car store to haggle, you have ZERO leverage in that transaction and leave with a deal well short of the best price available in your market. But thousands of solid, gold-plated fools do that every day, believing the myth that the invoice price they find on the Internet is a real cost number. Read my lips again: The only leverage you have when you buy any commodity, including a new car, comes from having several sellers compete for your business.

  • And given how "The Truth" about the dealer invoice price in that exhibit has totally changed the automaker-dealer financial relationship, the 'best price' on your car will change from dealer to dealer and month to month.

  • That's because dealers are typically working on sales targets that are based on TOTAL vehicles sold. 90% of the bucks spent on "dealer cash" are allocated to these programs, NOT to sales of specific vehicles. Many of them are based on long-term multi-month sales targets, where the rewards can be million-dollar+ bonus checks that make "holdback" look like bus fare. Others are monthly "stair-step" promotions, in which per-vehicle bonuses increase as dealers reach higher individualized volume thresholds. Tens of thousands of bonus dollars can be hanging on a store's ability to close enough deals at month-end to get to the next plateau. (Holdback is heading for extinction. Audi, BMW and Land Rover haven't had it in years. Lexus and Lincoln deep-sixed it in 2012. Mercedes followed suit in 2013 and Infiniti did in early 2014. I believe Jaguar, Mini and Scion also have no holdback.) Why is no one else telling you this? Are they ignorant or just hiding the truth from you?

  • So whether these secret programs are based on monthly or multi-month targets, reaching month-end goals is crucially important to dealers. That keeps steady sales pressure on, month after month. Dealers who are trailing their monthly targets will sell for much less, and that will be different dealers each month.

  • If your objective is to get that best price, you're unlikely to get from the dealer networks of any of the companies named above. There isn't a single one of them who'd debate this subject with me in a national media forum. (CNN would love to host that one.) They're all scared to death that every consumer would learn the facts that obsolete all their info and negotiating advice.

  • If what I've said so far doesn't convince you that all their advice is bone-stupid, you're probably not a Fighting Chance candidate. But if you understand how that previously-hidden truth invalidates all the ridiculous, "start with the invoice price and subtract the holdback to get the dealer's true cost" advice, read on for more solid reasons to use us.

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    WHAT CAN FIGHTING CHANCE DO FOR YOU THAT ALL THE OTHERS CAN'T?

  • 1. You'll have in us the only independent, unbiased source of truthful information and powerful negotiating advice on the Internet. We serve our master (you). Those other auto info sites, including Consumer Reports, serve theirs (not you).

  • 2. In the package's "centerpiece," How The Phone+Email Attack Can Get You The Best Deal, Saving You Time, Money and Aggravation, you'll learn exactly what to do and say each step of the way as you conduct a competitive bidding process from your home or office, without walking into a single car store. You'll enlist 6 to 10 dealers that you choose to make price proposals, and you'll go with the winner. We even tell you the best day(s) of the month to start the process.

  • Given how the industry has squirreled away substantial dealer profit dollars in the invoice price to fund the myriad of truly-secret, "below-the-line" incentives, it's not unusual to have a $1,000 to $2,000+ difference between the high and low bidders on even a mid-priced vehicle. And this month's high bidder may be next month's low bidder, depending on where a dealership stands vs. its hidden targets. (Check our long list of testimonials here. Note there how far off the mark those auto info websites "target prices" can be!) This is why it's nuts to aim for any "target price." That puts a floor under your price, when some dealer might sell for less, maybe a lot less.

  • 3. As a confidence builder, YOU'LL HAVE US AS YOUR COACHES as you go through the process. Got a question? Call us. Want to run the numbers before you sign a lease? Call us. There's no such thing as a "silly question" here. Talking to you is our favorite part of the job. We've been at this for over 20 years, and much of our knowledge has come from our customers' feedback.

  • 4. You'll receive our signature "Big Picture" analysis of how the brand(s) and the specific vehicle(s) you're interested in have been doing in the market. re sales up or down so far this year? Does the average dealer sell 2 per month or 22? This piece also reveals the current "holdback" information for brands that use it (several don't). Here's a sample "Big Picture" analysis (not a current file).

  • 5. You will, of course, get the complete current sticker/MSRP and dealer invoice pricing data for the vehicle(s) you're considering, covering all trim levels and equipment packages. Here's a current list of model pricing available. And a sample vehicle pricing file (not a current one) in pdf format.

  • 6. You'll also receive the latest issue of CarDeals, a bi-weekly report of current national rebates/cash incentive offers and cut-rate financing programs. Here's a sample CarDeals report (not a current edition).

  • (Our unique $39.95 package includes all the information you need to negotiate the best price on for any one vehicle. Additional vehicles are $15 each. You may place an order here on a secure, encrypted order form at any time.)

    YOU'LL ALSO GET ALL THESE OTHER INSIGHTFUL CAR BUYING TIPS:

  • "Will Your Vehicle's Value Drop Like A Rock?," a piece on how well your vehicle holds its value vs. other similar vehicles.

  • "How To Avoid The Big Leasing Rip-Off."

  • "Things To Consider About Placing a Factory Order."

  • What I've Learned About "Below-The-Line" Dealer Cash Programs, Facts No One Else Is Telling You.

  • "Dealing With A Trade-In."

  • "Should You Buy A Demo? At What Price?"

  • "The Crucial Financial Importance Of A Dealership's Customer Satisfaction Rating."

  • "What Some Companies Don't Want You To Know About Product Quality (And Others Hope You'll Learn About Theirs)."

  • "Smart Ways To Buy An Extended Warranty."

  • "Have You Chosen A Crashworthy Vehicle?"

  • "Can You Get The Vehicle Configuration You Want?"

  • "Should You Buy Last Year's Model?"

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    CHECK OUT THE QUALITY OF THESE PIECES?

  • As examples of the information pieces we create, read "Leasing A New Car? Here's Everything You Need To Know" the clearest explanation you'll find of what leasing's all about, and "Test Driving 101" to learn how to handle that process without getting into a price negotiation.
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    SPECIAL MESSAGE TO PREVIOUS CUSTOMERS

  • The Fighting Chance package is always changing to reflect new knowledge and the best ways to deal with the changing realities in the retail car business. Sometimes the changes are dramatic. For example, the method for getting competitive bids differs substantially from the arms-length "fax attack" process we recommended just a few years ago. At other times the changes are small, but represent worthwhile improvements. The suggested wording in the note you'll send dealers is fine-tuned often. The package you'd receive today will typically include several insightful changes compared to the one you ordered years ago.

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    THE COST OF THIS UNIQUE PACKAGE?

  • $39.95 (Includes all the information you need on any one vehicle.)

  • Additional vehicles: $15.00 each. (More than half of our customers add one or more additional vehicles as "fall-back" alternatives. This could become a small, but wise $15.00 decision if you find it difficult to deal on your first choice.)

  • Considering the substantial cost of the new vehicle you're about to buy or lease, isn't this a relatively small price to pay for the comprehensive Fighting Chance information package?

  • To place an order on our secure, encrypted order form, click on the "Ordering" link at the top of the page.

    If you'd prefer to place a phone order, or if you have questions that aren't answered on our web site, you may call our order desk at 1-800-288-1134 between 9:15AM and 4:00PM Pacific time, Monday through Friday. (We don't work on weekends.)


    Click here for current list of model pricing available.


    Important Note: This is a service for NEW VEHICLES ONLY. We have no information on used vehicles. Also, we have NO CANADIAN PRICING DATA. (For Canadian pricing, visit carcostcanada.com)


    Links to Our Other Pages

    To learn more about us, click on the links below.

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