How Much Should I Pay?

First and Most Important…What can I afford? Since a car is usually the second largest people make in their lives (after a home) it’s important not to let your emotions lead the way. Do your research ahead of time and know, before taking a test drive, how much you can afford for your particular situation. Pushy salesmen out for a big commission will gladly help you fall in love with something too expensive because it’s good for them. Make sure you know that you don’t work for the salesman; THEY WORK FOR YOU! When your gut tells you something is wrong you’re right. And usually it’s only going to cost you money. Again, don’t take our word for it. Talk show host and financial guru Dave Ramsey makes a lot of good suggestions on cars and a whole lot more at

What is the wholesale cost of the car you plan to buy? A great estimate of the price a dealer paid for a used car can be found by looking at the “trade value” at If you want even better info call us at 612-217-2277 and we’ll get you information no dealer tells their customers. Why would we do this? Because we know our prices are great and we have nothing to lose. We just can’t stand it when we hear the stories about people paying five thousand dollars over wholesale for a car. We don’t believe its right to take advantage of people that way (or any way).

Now that I know the approximate dealer cost of the car, how can I figure out a fair price? According to the largest retailer of cars in the US their first quarter of 2007 average gross profit (price of car minus cost of car) was $1934. According to Capegemini, the National Automobile Dealers Association found that “larger dealer groups have succeeded in achieving higher profits than traditional one-off dealers (2.5% of revenue, pre-tax, vs. 1.6% for all dealers…)” The average gross profit industry wide is about $1600 and knowing how many other costs like advertising, interest, taxes, insurance, salaries, rent, etc. need to be paid we believe this is a fair number. If you are paying less than $1600 over cost consider it a good deal. Less than $1000 consider it an outstanding deal that you shouldn’t pass up, assuming you are getting what it looks like you’re getting. (see below for approximate values of various features etc. that can affect the actual price of the car)

Approximate value increase/decrease for various car features: These are numbers that are only general approximations and that even vary from dealer to dealer. These numbers apply mainly to low mileage, late model vehicles (approx. 45k and under).

  • Sunroof add $300-500
  • Alloy Wheels add $300-500
  • 10,000 miles add/subtract $750-1000
  • Black, Dark Blue or Gray/Pewter add $300-500 (Depends on the vehicle. The sportier the higer the premium)

Buy Used and Save Big

The single most expensive part of owning a car is its loss in value over time (depreciation). According to USA Today® and Kelley Blue Book® new cars can lose as much as 73% in just three years. At best a three year old vehicle may retain just over 60% of it’s value. This is another way that a used car from Alliance Car Sales can save you so much money.Financial expert and radio talk show host Dave Ramsey says the only people who can afford to buy brand new are people with a net worth of over one million dollars.

Although we consider these valuations to be a useful tool they cannot account for all variations in vehicle conditions, features, etc. and should therefore be used only as a guide. Alliance Car Sales cannot guarantee the accuracy of these estimates.

Don’t Believe a Used Car Salesman (or his website):

Compare Our Prices on

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Copyright 2007-2011 Alliance Car Rental Inc. All Rights Reserved- locations Edina, Burnsville and Little Canada Minnesota
Serving the Twin Cities Metro area and beyond including: First-tier suburbs of Minneapolis / St. Paul (clockwise order): Robbinsdale, Brooklyn Center, Fridley, Columbia Heights, St. Anthony, Roseville, Falcon Heights, Maplewood, Newport, South St. Paul, West St. Paul, Mendota / Mendota Heights, Richfield, Edina, St. Louis Park, Golden Valley

Second-tier suburbs of Minneapolis / St. Paul (clockwise order): Plymouth, New Hope, Crystal, Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, Blaine, Spring Lake Park, Moundsview, Arden Hills, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake, Mahtomedi, North St. Paul, Oakdale, Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Inver Grove Heights, Eagan, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minnetonka,

Third-tier: Maple Grove, Champlin, Anoka, Andover, Ham Lake, Lino Lakes, North Oaks, Grant, Mahtomedi, Lake Elmo, Afton, Rosemount, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Savage, Shakopee, Chanhassen, Shorewood / Greenwood / Tonka Bay, Wayzata, Orono, Medina

Fourth-tier: Corcoran, Dayton, Ramsey, Oak Grove, East Bethel, Hugo, Lakeland Shores, Lake St. Croix, Stillwater, Hastings, Prescott, Farmington, Lakeville, Prior Lake, Chaska, Victoria, Minnetrista, Mound, Independence

Fifth-tier / exurban frontier: Greenfield, Hanover, Rogers, Otsego, Elk River, St. Francis, Bethel, Forest Lake, Marine on St. Croix, Hudson (WI), River Falls (WI), Vermillion, Elko, New Market, Hampton, New Trier, Carver, Jordan, Waconia, Watertown, Delano, Rockford

Even Beyond: Buffalo, Monticello, Big Lake, Zimmerman, Princeton, Cambridge, Isanti, North Branch, Stacy, Chisago City, Lindstrom, Center City, Schafer, Taylor Falls, Osceola (WI), St. Croix Falls (WI), Somerset (WI), River Falls (WI), Elko, New Prague, Lonsdale, Belle Plaine, Cologne, Norwood Young America, Glencoe, Hutchison, Winsted, Cokato, Howard Lake, Winsted, Waverly, Montrose