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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting ready to move in early July from California to Western New York State. I don't have a car now (not needed) but will need one pretty soon after my arrival in Buffalo.

I am a total noob when it comes to car buying. The info I am able to gather from you here on pricing is priceless (haha!), and I wonder if you can help me with something else:

Is it possible/advisable to negotiate with the local dealer here (only one in San Luis Obispo, next one is 100 miles away), arrive at a fair price for a model 'in transit', and then have this model delivered to a different dealership in Buffalo?

That way, I could order the car I want, without being affected by transit time. Plus, I have more time now to do this, than in July.

So my first question is: Is it possible?

Second question: Do you see any risks in this that would speak against it?

Many thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And third question

And third: Or is it better to negotiate with dealers in and around Buffalo over the phone, maybe put down a deposit, and then pick up the car after I arrived?

What is a typical timeline I can expect for this, so I know when to start shopping to have the car ready for me by early July?

Thanks!
 

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2019 Forester
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I live in California, and ordered a car directly from a Colorado Springs dealership a few years ago. The car was ordered with a 12 week estimated timeframe. No problems at all with the transaction. That dealer's price was better than anything I could find in California. The savings paid for the trip and I registered the car when I returned to California. Buying from a dealer that actually provides delivery the car probably makes the most sense even if you could buy in Calif and take delivery elsewhere.
 

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Before buying my 2015 Forester from Rancho Grande Subaru in San Luis Obispo, CA I compared prices and availability with other Subaru dealers within 150 miles and with Hueberger Suburu in Colorado. Hueberger had an inventory that was about 10 times larger than Rancho Grande's and considerably lower "internet prices". I was prepared to buy a Forester from Hueberger and to have it shipped to SLO at a ~$1000 shipping cost. Luckily Rancho Grande had a white Forester Premium in stock with the all weather package and other features I wanted. They met the Hueberger + shipping price. In the end I bought my Forester from Rancho Grande in SLO. The Forester I bought included the first two years of service (oil changes) that would not be included if the Forester had been purchased in Colorado.

I suggest you check prices and inventory with out of area volume dealers as well as local dealers. Email them for their best internet prices. There may be a volume dealer near your destination that you can shop with, and possibly buy from, if their prices and inventory meet your wants and needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you both:

Going via the local San Luis Obispo, CA, dealership (Rancho Grando) seems to make little sense then to me, because it is a smaller one and on the other side of the country of where I am going to live.

So I better check out the available cars directly with dealerships in Buffalo, and maybe check a volume dealership (I read about Chicago) to get a comparison.

Does that sound right?

As long as I know that the Subaru Forester is for me based on internet research and test driving the car, then buying a new one in a different location should not pose any problems, right? Given it's a new car, they all drive pretty much the same?
 

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It may be worthwhile to go to Rancho Grande Subaru to look at the Foresters and do a test drive to see how well you like it and to better choose the trim level and available features you like, want and can afford. They currently have 13 Foresters in stock. Hueberger in Colorado Springs, a high volume dealer, has 101 Foresters in stock. Don't know if you can buy a Forester thru Rancho Grande and pick it up in or near Buffalo NY. Nothing ventured nothing gained to ask? Do some internet price shopping too. I've read here that NY prices are somewhat firm and that NY buyers often get better deals by buying out of state.

There are different Subaru importers for large regions of the USA. Apparently each regional importer somewhat customizes the features and extra options that are regularly included. When I bought my Forester an included feature for my region was two years of "no extra cost" service (oil changes) worth hundreds of dollars. What I'm trying to say is that the features included in a seemingly identical Forester may actually be (somewhat?) different in different regions of the USA which may skew (accurate?) price comparisons. Be alert to what you'll actually get/buy/pay.
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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Colorado dealers have the most competitive prices in the country. Would it be possible for you to order your Forester via a Colorado dealership and pickup your car as you are in the process of moving to New York, driving it there yourself? Air fare from California to Colorado is a lot less than what you will save by shopping the Colorado dealers. And you may be able to avoid paying local sales tax when you register the new car in New York (state sales tax would still apply).

Heuberger advertises nationwide delivery but I'm sure it has a cost.
 

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San Luis Obispo's airport has direct flights to Denver Colorado. Hueberger Subaru, or other Colorado Subaru dealers, may even pick you up at the airport (for free?). It may be worth your while to buy a Forester in Colorado. Then drive it to NY. It'd be an adventure.

https://www.bestbuysubaru.com/ (Hueberger Subaru in Colorado Springs) Hueberger Motors is a supporting vendor of subaruforester.org. They (say they) offer members special discounts.
 

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Heuberger prices are easily beatable now. They are about $1k under invoice + $489 doc fee which pretty much negates any savings.
Also, Heuberger no longer offers forum prices/discounts.

Buy from Chicago and drive or ship the car.
 

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When I moved from my hometown of the SF Bay Area to New York I had a VW Golf TDI barely a year old. It had to pass New York's rather weak vehicle inspection system when it was time to do so. The thing they were most concerned about was that, emissions wise, if it was a California CARB Approved Car, which is required for all cars in New York State after a certain model year.

I bought a brand new 2018 VW Golf Alltrack from a VW Dealer in Maryland last November, because it was the color, trim, and manual transmission I wanted, which I could not find anywhere else in the Northeast, plus it had a deep price discount. Since it was a 50 State / CARB Compliant car, registering it in New York was automatically handled by the dealer.

Registering a car here in New York, in my experience buying both new and used, is not like California at all. It is handled all through the dealers from the temporary plates and registration to the New York Smog and Safety Inspections. They even issue the plates, which are sent to you once all the paper work is completed and sent back to the dealer, to then be sent by them to you. Financing adds even more complexity.

Also, if getting a New York Driver's License for the first time, make sure you have an original Social Security Card in your name. New York would not issue me a New York Driver's License with just a valid California Driver's License and a valid US Passport as proof of citizenship and place of birth. I had a clerk at the NYSDMV tell me that New York State had no idea how the Federal Government confirmed my place of birth and citizenship to issue me my Passport. I needed a Social Security Card from the Federal Government before I could get a driver's license from New York - period. A valid California Driver's License and Valid Federal Passport were not enough without an original SS Card according to the NYSDMV.

As I had not used my SS Card since I was a teen for anything, I had managed to misplaced it by the time of my move to New York. I had to go to the local SS Office to get a new card. They used my Passport alone to issue me a new SS card by mail in about ten minutes after waiting inline. With my new SS card AND my Passport AND my valid California Driver License, only then did the local NYSDMV, that issues driver licenses, issued me a NYS Driver's License.
 

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I think a lot of people do their tire kicking locally but I would suggest buying from the dealer you will be taking delivery from. The dealer has to put a lot of effort into prepping the car for delivery. They take it from the transit status - shipping preps are removed/replaced, some of the options are installed, material and fluid conditions are supposed to be checked, Subaru expects a certain level of delivery services as in driving demonstrations, demonstration of operating features, controls, setting up the car for driving, delivery of the manuals, keys, etc., etc. The dealer delivering would expect to get their payment for that process. They'll do that, they'll get paid for it. I doubt that dealers without established connections are going to find that easy to work out.

Notwithstanding the tire-kicking, a lot of "sales" are done at a distance these days, internet sales, phone, etc. All of the negotiations (well, almost all...) is done, then you show up, papers get signed, the "delivery" process is completed and you drive away. I don't think there are many, if any, specific state requirements when it comes to the vehicle equipment these days but there are tax and registration issues peculiar to the different states that local sale/delivery might make easier?
 

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I think a lot of people do their tire kicking locally but I would suggest buying from the dealer you will be taking delivery from. The dealer has to put a lot of effort into prepping the car for delivery. They take it from the transit status - shipping preps are removed/replaced, some of the options are installed, material and fluid conditions are supposed to be checked, Subaru expects a certain level of delivery services as in driving demonstrations, demonstration of operating features, controls, setting up the car for driving, delivery of the manuals, keys, etc., etc. The dealer delivering would expect to get their payment for that process. They'll do that, they'll get paid for it. I doubt that dealers without established connections are going to find that easy to work out.

Notwithstanding the tire-kicking, a lot of "sales" are done at a distance these days, internet sales, phone, etc. All of the negotiations (well, almost all...) is done, then you show up, papers get signed, the "delivery" process is completed and you drive away. I don't think there are many, if any, specific state requirements when it comes to the vehicle equipment these days but there are tax and registration issues peculiar to the different states that local sale/delivery might make easier?

I agree, but with the following observation.

In my native Bay Area, as with the area of New York I now live, Dealerships tend to define what is available from the manufactures and, in my experience, they pretty much all have the same trim levels, colors, and optional equipment on their lots. So the range of what you find available in the Sales brochures will most likely be limited by the dealers in your region. If exterior colors like non metallic red or green with a god forbid manual transmission are highlighted by the manufacture with a chocolate brown interior expect to find only black , silver, and dark blues with the occasional white car on the lot, all with automatics and in the highest trim levels and many with options you don't want or could do without. The options that are practical, such as cold weather packages, or cars with just standard equipment in their respective trim levels, will be limited or not available except by special order. The interiors will all be black and if you are lucky a lighter color will be in a handful of cars. This a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.

I have a great Dealer that I use, which like all dealers they are an independent business. But like the Dealer I used in the Bay Area, they are not close to my home. As with the Bay Area dealer I used, they do not mind that I bought my car somewhere else, though I am sure they wanted the sale. I would learn later that the VW Dealer closest to my home, which I had tried to get to find me the Alltrack version I wanted, without success, tried to buy the Alltrack that I bought from the Maryland Dealer, but I beat them to it, thanks to VW's website and the internet in general.

I have for decades now only had my cars serviced at the Dealership I prefer, for reason I'll save for another time. In all that time, I only bought one car from my preferred dealer, simply because they did not have, nor could get, the other cars I wanted at the time when I wanted them, be they new or CPO.

If one intends to have their car, new, CPO, or used, serviced by a dealership of their choice, I think it most important to develop a cordial profession relationship with a Service Advisor and the Service Department as a whole at that Dealership, regardless of where you purchased the car of your choice.
 

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@metanoiac -
Why order a car, pay for shipping and then have to drive it 3000 miles just to get the car to where you want it?
You would have to get some incredible smoking deal savings (and I doubt you could) to make up for the additional costs and inconvenience.

Have you considered looking at something like Truecar or CarsDirect?

You can see what other people actually pay by area.
 

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@metanoiac -

Why order a car, pay for shipping and then have to drive it 3000 miles just to get the car to where you want it?

You would have to get some incredible smoking deal savings (and I doubt you could) to make up for the additional costs and inconvenience.



Have you considered looking at something like Truecar or CarsDirect?



You can see what other people actually pay by area.


I agree with this. At most there will probably be a difference of a few hundred dollars either way. IMO, it’s much less of a headache to look and test drive in CA and purchase in NY.

Van Bortel Subaru near Rochester is probably right behind the CO dealers for highest volume. Even then, there’s probably little difference in selling price between Rochester and Buffalo.
 

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At most there will probably be a difference of a few hundred dollars either way
I've been shopping Crosstreks recently and some Arizona dealers want as much as $400 over invoice while a Colorado dealer quoted me $1500 under invoice for virtually the same car. That's a $1900 difference! When I bought my 2010 and 2018 Foresters the spread between AZ and CO dealers was in the $1500-2000 range as well. Another way of looking at it is that I can buy a Limited in CO (which I did twice) for what I would pay for a Premium in AZ. And I saved another $800 in sales tax because when I registered the car in AZ my DMV charged just the state sales tax of 5.6% and not the local sales tax which would have been another 3.1%.
 

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I'm getting ready to move in early July from California to Western New York State. I don't have a car now (not needed) but will need one pretty soon after my arrival in Buffalo.
If you order the car from a CA dealer "A", Subaru will not deliver the car you purchased to dealer "B" in CA or anywhere for that matter. You would have too pay well over $1000 to have it shipped third-party or drive it across country yourself. I would just wait until you move to NY and buy it there.
 

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FYI... there are two Subaru dealers in the Buffalo area: Northtown (east of the city) and West Herr (south of the city). My son bought two Legacys from West Herr and I've bought two Foresters from Northtown and we have had good experience from both.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I like the enthusiasm for long road trips you guys have. I don't think I will be able to do a long drive from Colorado this time round. Chicaco is within reach, so I will check them out. Many thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I agree with this. At most there will probably be a difference of a few hundred dollars either way. IMO, it’s much less of a headache to look and test drive in CA and purchase in NY.

Van Bortel Subaru near Rochester is probably right behind the CO dealers for highest volume. Even then, there’s probably little difference in selling price between Rochester and Buffalo.
I agree, this is where I am with my thinking as well. Bouncing ideas like this is helpful!

Thanks for pointing out the dealership near Rochester. That's close! Will check it out.
 
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