Skip to content

Best Places to Buy Cars: Where to Start Your Car Search

How about starting that car and motorcycle search in Tampa, Fla., Atlanta or Washington, D.C.? Definitely, shop at dealerships straddling the outer perimeters of large cities. These places are the best markets in the country to start your search.

Certain factors figure into particular metropolitan areas boasting the greatest discounts off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of a vehicle, according to data analyzed from the AOL Autos Best Deals Program.

The Best Markets to Shop for That Wondrous Whip: The site claims rather convincingly that it can save car consumers an average of almost $4,500 on their auto purchases. That’s enough to get anyone’s complete attention. The site goes on to state that the Tampa-Orlando, Fla., area is home to the largest discount market in the nation, averaging 10 percent below the MSRP.

Just a fraction of a percentage point behind and posted up strong in second position is the Baltimore-Washington region, boasting a 9.9 percent discount on the MSRP, with the ATL rounding out the top three with a 9.4 percent discount.

The Best States to Shop: On a more macro level, Maryland is the best state in which to shop for a brand new whip at 8.1 percent discount, with Virginia and Florida not too far behind at 7.6 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively.

Why would you want to know these figures, especially if you don’t live in these markets or states? Glad you asked.

If you believe you will save almost $4,500 on that specially designed road racer or luxury vehicle, wouldn’t it be advantageous to spend perhaps a couple hundred dollars on food and gas to traverse a state or two to get these discounts?

“These are areas where dealerships are really competing for business and customers are winning,” advises Karim O’Driscoll, Zag’s director of pricing strategy.

The Best Parts of Town to Buy Cars: In some instances, the best deals on cars will be located just outside the metro areas. Studies conclude that many dealerships must lower their prices when they compete with urban stores that are not that far away. Also, suburban dealerships are set up to be more flexible with prices because their cost structures are leaner.

Conversely, based on this formula, it’s easy to deduce that rural areas have higher priced cars because there is a void of competitors, says O’Driscoll. “There may not be many BMW dealers out in the most picturesque parts of a state.”

terry shropshire


1 Comment

  1. Kreesha Stewart on August 5, 2011 at 1:58 am

    I know some good companies that serves their customers fast and reliable especially when I used to buy or sell a car.

    buy cars