How to Calculate New Car Prices

by Keith Perry

Purchasing a new car is one of the largest expenditures that you will make. A knowledgeable buyer who has done research before negotiating on a new car is more likely to purchase the car at the best possible price. Pricing for new cars has become more uniform between dealers as true dealer pricing has been disseminated via books and the Internet. Obtaining the most accurate pricing requires you to have the exact model and options of the car you wish to price. Differences such as the color and features will alter the amount of money the dealer paid for the car.


Open a web browser and navigate to


Click on the link labeled "New Cars." Select the make of the car and then model of the car to price.


Click on the link labeled with the body style and engine combination.


Click on the button labeled "Price with Options" and then check each feature or package included with this car. Select the color of the vehicle from the drop down list labeled "Select Color." Input your zip code in the box labeled "Enter your zip code" and then click on the button "TMV Pricing Report."


Three columns will be included in the pricing report "MSRP," "Invoice" and "What Others Are Paying." Use the invoice price as the base price of the vehicle.


Add an additional $250 to $500 for dealer fees to the base price. Dealer fees are mostly additional profit and are often negotiable.


Add one percent of the base price as a general guideline to the cost of the vehicle to cover tag fees. Tag fees vary between states and dealers are required to pay these fees directly to the state government.


Add state and local taxes to the final cost of the vehicle. Taxes vary based on the state and county.


  • check Dealers may include additional fees in their purchase price not included in this article.
  • check Purchasing a car below invoice price is possible if the dealer has incentives from the manufacturer to sell this model of the vehicle.

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About the Author

Keith Perry has been an employee and contractor for several large companies in various information-technology jobs. He holds an executive Master of Business Administration from Jacksonville University with an undergraduate degree in computer science from University of North Florida. He began writing for Lotus Notes Advisor and Mobile Advisor publications in 1998.

Photo Credits

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