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I am in the market for a new Volvo XC90 (likely 2.5T/FWD trim), and am trying to get some info on pricing and negotiations.

I have the option of using Ford/Volvo X-Plan program (Ford Partner Recognition) -- as best as I can tell, the X-Plan prices appear to be 2% over invoice (numbers from edmunds.com). Edmunds claims the True Market Value (TMV, supposedly the average price paid in my area, Central Texas) of the vehicle is at MSRP, although I don't know if this information is valid and correct.

This is my first new car purchase, and first at a dealer (two used car purchases from private party), so I am on some unfamiliar ground, although I have read the Fool car buying info. I also looked into Costco Auto Buying program, and the only participating Volvo dealer is 600 miles away, so that option is essentially out.

I am wondering whether it would be possible to get a better deal compared to the X-Plan prices for the XC90? Given that the model is a relatively popular, and there is only one dealer in town, I am not sure if they would be willing to negotiate much. I am trying to get a sense of whether it is possible to come out significantly better using Fool-style email-blast or fax-blast (with dealers in other nearby cities) compared to going with the fixed X-Plan pricing.

Any thoughts or recommendations are very much appreciated.

-S


We purchased through the X-plan about two years ago. They show you (or should anyway) a sheet with four numbers:

1)MSRP of the car
2)What the car REALLY costs them (i.e. without "holdback")
3)What they are selling it to you for: this was #2 * 1.04
4)Your "savings"

We tried negotiating first; could not get a better deal than the X-plan. We bought near year end; got an addt'l $2K in incentives. Overall, we got a MSRP of $23,500 car for $19,200, including about $1500 sales tax and licensing fees (tax is charged on the reduced price). FWIW; we walked into a dealer and asked for the X-plan price on the car and they gave it to us in about 5 minutes.

Jump on the X-plan
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