TMV for New-Car Shopping
Now that you know what TMV is and where to find it, here are some tips about using it to help you get a good deal.
TMV is particularly useful when you use it in conjunction with a price quote from a dealer or with Edmunds Special Offers, which give you a guaranteed upfront price on a specific car. These special offers are ideal if you who want to save time and avoid the back and forth of negotiating.
In many cases (but not always), the Special Offer price is at or below Edmunds TMV. If you want to verify this, double-check the price quote with the vehicle's TMV. Make sure to correctly enter the style, trim and options; otherwise you might get an incorrect figure.
If you've chosen to negotiate, look up the TMV and mention the figure to the salesperson when you're countering an offer. Say the salesperson had quoted you a price of $30,000, but the TMV for the car is $28,000. Tell the salesperson: "I've had a chance to do some research on this car, and according to Edmunds, it's selling for about $28,000. If you can beat that price, we'll have a deal."
Other buyers just want to cut to the chase and will be satisfied with a fair deal, if not the absolutely lowest price on a car. If this is your style, offer to pay TMV. It helps to have a printout of the TMV price handy, or have the TMV information ready to display on a smartphone as you talk.
There is no guarantee the salesperson will accept your offer to pay the TMV price. TMV, while accurate, isn't infallible. There will be times when we don't have enough data to give accurate results or there is a trend that isn't being reflected in the data. In these cases, it's best to get your own "real-world" TMV. Talk to three dealerships to get price quotes. This tactic should give you an idea of the car's actual selling price.