Corvette Buyers Guide

Buying a regular car is enough trouble. Buying a C5 Corvette is an exercise in control and patience. I and many others have gone through a great deal of research and trouble in buying our cars. With all the information I've written about maintaining and upgrading your Corvette, I felt it would be a great idea to help you through the process of getting one in the first place.

The first step is to decide that you really want and can afford a Corvette. No matter where you end up buying your car, first find a local dealer with cars in stock and take a test drive. The Corvette is not the ideal choice for everyone and it's a very good idea to find out if you're comfortable in the car before you sign an order. Once you know you want a Corvette, the next step is setting up the financing. If you happen to have the cash on hand then feel free to skip the rest of this paragraph. For everyone else, there are four basic ways to finance a Corvette (or any car). Dealer financing, outside car financing, a home equity loan, or leasing. The dealer usually offers okay rates for a wide variety of credit histories. If your credit is less than perfect, the dealer will probably be able to make some kind of plan that will work. If you have good or excellent credit, your bank or a credit union can usually provide a better interest rate. If you own a home, consider a home equity loan. With this type of financing, you end up with a checkbook with which you can borrow money for any purpose you choose. The interest rates are usually two to three points over prime (which may not be as good as a credit union auto loan). The best part of the home equity loan is that the interest is tax deductible. This can have a dramatic effect on the net interest rate. The final option is leasing. From what I've seen, most Corvette leases are terrible deals. If you're thinking of leasing, take a good long look at your total outlay over the life of the lease. If you're plans are you buy the car at the end of the lease, compare the total projected outlay to your payments if you finance the car. You may be surprised at how much more the lease will cost.

The next step is locating the car and price you want. Most dealers will not have any Corvettes in stock. The ones that do will probably be charging a premium for the honor of purchasing one from dealer stock. If you can find the car you want in stock at a dealer you've only won half the battle. Corvette prices range wildly but one thing is almost certain; your local dealer will probably charge MSRP to $4000 over MSRP for a Corvette. Forget dealer invoice. This standard benchmark is meaningless for the Corvette. $2000 to $3000 under MSRP is considered an excellent deal. If you find the car you want at the price you want, congratulations!

A more likely situation is that no one in town has any Corvettes that you want. Corvette buyers tend to have a very good idea of the options they want and most aren't willing to give up much. This leaves you with one option, a factory order. The factory order lets you get exactly the car you want. The downside is the wait. Most factory orders can take six months or more from beginning to end. Beware of your local dealer who is willing to order a car for you. Many dealers receive a relatively small allocation of Corvettes. If they've used them up, it won't matter if they take your order because the factory won't take theirs!

Several dealers in the country have a large allocation of Corvettes. Two of these are Maxi Price Chevrolet in Georgia and Ross Downing Chevrolet in Louisiana. Great you say, what good does that do me here in California. The answer is to have the car drop shipped to your local dealer. The out of state dealer places the order and specifies delivery to your dealer of choice. It's all gain and very little pain. Last time I checked, Maxi Price and Ross Downing were offering Corvettes at $2000 to $3000 below MSRP. Your local dealer may charge a small prep fee but that's the only extra. It's the way I purchased my car and it worked out perfectly. The total time for this type of factory order is the same as if your local dealer placed an order. I can't say enough good things about drop shipping your Corvette and laughing at the dealer down the street who wants $3000 over MSRP.

If you take the time to plan your purchase, it should come off like clockwork with little pain or hassle. Besides waiting for the car to arrive that is!

Maxi Price Chevrolet
Contact: Monica Dean
770-207-7000

Ross Downing Chevrolet
Contact: Tim Glover
504-345-1285


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