How to Buy a New Car From a Fleet Salesperson

If you’re in the market to buy a brand new vehicle, you'll need to strike a deal with a sales staff member at a car dealership. Regardless of the brand you are intent on purchasing, all dealerships employ salespeople to conduct sales transactions.

Fleet sales personnel are trained to deal directly with businesses that typically purchase multiple vehicles per year or even several vehicles at a time. They typically spend less time working hard to close one deal at a higher price and spend their time more fervently building relationships with companies where several vehicles can be sold at a wholesale price.

Fleet salespeople often are paid on a different commission structure than salespeople who sell to the general public. In most cases they are paid based on the total volume of vehicles sold at a lower percentage than the normal commission. They sell a much higher number of vehicles than an average car salesperson, so this structure rewards them well.

It’s possible to purchase a private vehicle through fleet sales in some dealerships. There are benefits to purchasing through the fleet department including:

  • Less time to complete the sales process
  • Lower pressure sales techniques
  • Wholesale pricing

Part 1 of 4: Perform vehicle and dealership research

features checklist

Step 1: Narrow down your vehicle selection. To purchase a vehicle through fleet sales at a car dealership, you need to first be fully sure of which vehicle you would like to buy. While you are dealing with the fleet salesperson is not the time to be deciding which vehicle you would like to buy.

Once you’ve concluded on exactly which model you would like to buy, decide which options you must have and which ones you’d like but can live without.

Step 2: Arrange personal financing. Fleet sales are frequently cash sales, meaning the fleet making the purchase doesn’t utilize the dealership manufacturer’s financing for the sale.

Attend your financial institution or bank to be pre-approved to finance your new car purchase.

It doesn’t mean you will definitely use this finance option but in the event it is beneficial to do so, it is available for you.

Step 3: Research fleet sales. Call each dealership in your surrounding area that sells the car you want.

Ask for the name of the fleet manager at each dealership you call. You may be asked your reason for calling, but be insistent that you need to get the name of the fleet manager.

Once you have the name of the fleet manager, ask to speak with him or her.

Request their contact information including direct phone number, fax number, and email address.

Explain that you will be purchasing a fleet vehicle and would like to give them an opportunity to bid on your sale.

  • Note: Some fleet departments will not be interested in selling a vehicle to a member of the general public. If you are asked which organization or company you work for, feel free to use your employer’s name. Don’t lie about your intentions, though leaving company information vague is often enough for the fleet salesperson to be willing to proceed.

  • Tip: If a fleet department is not interested in placing a bid, don’t push the issue with them. Their bid will likely not be competitive if they end up placing one and you will have wasted your time with them.

Step 4: Compile a list. Compile a list or spreadsheet of each fleet department you contact. Organize their contact name and contact information, and leave a column for their bid.

Part 2 of 4: Request bids

Step 1: Call the salesperson. Call each fleet salesperson you’ve made contact with and inform them that you will be sending them information on a vehicle you would like them to bid on. Be prepared to accept a bid.

  • Tip: Call during regular daytime operating hours as that is when most companies operate, thus those are the hours that fleet salespeople keep.

Step 2: Send your vehicle information. Send your particular vehicle information to each person on your list that you are requesting a bid from. Don’t leave out any pertinent details, including the primary color you want and any secondary colors you would consider, the option must-haves and preferences, engine size, and so on. Email is definitely a popular choice for communication, though many businesses still use fax for regular contact.

Step 3: Set a purchase time frame.

Indicate your intended purchase timeline. Don’t extend the timeline beyond two weeks; three to seven days is best.

Give 72 hours for fleet departments to respond. Thank each salesperson for their bid. If you haven’t received a bid after 72 hours, make a final offer to each unresponsive salesperson to submit a bid within 24 hours.

car bid spreadsheet

Step 4: Compile your bids into your spreadsheet or list. Once your bid window has closed, assess your new car bids. Determine which bids are for the exact vehicle you want or if any necessary options are omitted or included that weren’t specified.

Contact each bidding salesperson to clarify any vague details of the bid.

Check if the vehicle they are proposing for you is in stock, is in transit to the dealership, or would need to be custom ordered from the manufacturer.

Ask each fleet salesperson if their bid is their lowest price. Let them each know the lowest bid you have received and from which dealership. This gives your bid authority. Allow them the opportunity to revise their pricing more aggressively.

Part 3 of 4: Select your seller

Step 1: Consider all the bids you have received. Narrow down your two best bids and focus on them.

Step 2: Contact the second lowest bid. Contact the fleet salesperson for the second lowest bid that came in. Use email or phone for your contact so it will be recognized quickly.

Step 3: Negotiate. Offer the second-lowest bidder a price marginally lower than the lowest bid you received. If your lowest bid was $25,000, offer a price $200 below that. Be kind and respectful as aggressive negotiations can shut down the process completely.

Step 4: Conclude the sale. If the salesperson accepts, immediately contact them back to make arrangements to conclude the terms of the sale.

Step 5: Contact your lowest bid. If the salesperson rejects the offer, contact the salesperson associated with your lowest bid and make the arrangements to purchase their vehicle. Do not haggle or negotiate as you have the lowest price in the market already.

Part 4 of 4: Conclude the sale

At this point, you’ve achieved the lowest price based on all the bids in the area surrounding you. When you go into the dealership to complete your purchase, there should be no need to negotiate any further except if the price isn’t what you’ve agreed upon or the vehicle isn’t as you discussed.

Step 1: Arrange a time for paperwork. Call your fleet salesperson and arrange a mutually acceptable time to go in and complete the necessary paperwork.

Step 2: Speak with salesperson. When you arrive at the dealership, speak directly with your salesperson. Again, all your research and negotiation are complete so this should be a quick process.

Step 3: Discuss your financing options. Decide whether the manufacturer’s financing options are beneficial for you circumstances or if you’d prefer to go through your own bank.

Because you are dealing with a fleet salesperson, you will not be bounced around from salesperson to closer to finance manager. The fleet salesperson can do it all for you.


Next Step

Schedule Oil Change

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Change. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Oil Change reviews

Excellent Rating

(21,699)

Rating Summary
20,382
845
179
87
206
20,382
845
179
87
206

Matthew

33 years of experience
991 reviews
Matthew
33 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
Matt always does a great job. Very professional. I look forward to my next appointment.... A++++++
Ford Expedition - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
I am so please to have Matt work on my vehicle, he is very friendly and personable, and always does a great job.

Greg

22 years of experience
37 reviews
Greg
22 years of experience
Audi A3 - Oil Change - Queen Creek, Arizona
Job well done! Greg was on time and professional. He treated my vehicle with care. He completed the job smoothly and so far so good. First time using Your mechanic and it was a pleasant experience. I will be looking into them again. Thanks Greg!
Ford Explorer - Oil Change - Scottsdale, Arizona
Greg was very friendly and professional. Communication was great, he let me know what he was doing. He went above and beyond to make sure everything was running smoothly. I would 100% recommend Greg!

LAVELL

27 years of experience
93 reviews
LAVELL
27 years of experience
Buick Encore - Oil Change - Oakland, California
Another home run! Really appreciate the flexibility regarding my service appointment. Due to my work schedule I desperately needed a late appointment. So grateful my car is receiving top shelf professional service. Replaced a oil pan drain plug that was seriously damaged and stripped by a competitor that will NEVER get my business again! All services were quickly completed. Thank you so much for another great experience with my.... Your Mechanic Lavell 5 ⭐️ Service consistently.

Brian

23 years of experience
483 reviews
Brian
23 years of experience
Porsche 911 - Oil Change - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Brian is extremely knowledgeable and very personable and has taken very good care on my 911. I would recommend Brian to any one who has mechanical car challenges. I would recommend Brian to all My friends and family

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Determine the Down Payment on a Car
When When you purchase a new or used car, you are often required to provide a portion of the price of the vehicle up front if you’re financing it. Whether you choose in-house financing at the dealership or find a...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're a Personal Trainer
As As a personal trainer, you either operate out of a gym, or you go to your clients. Either way, you probably don’t have to haul any more gear than what fits into your gym bag, so your main focus...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Nothing Nothing says true sport luxury like a Mercedes hardtop convertible, and the SL more than delivers on the name’s promises. While both the SL and its sibling, the SLK, offer superior luxury, handling, and comfort, the SL boasts the...

Related questions

How much will body damage repairs cost to a 2013 Mazda 3 - right front door, right fender

For assessment and estimates on repairing bodywork, this task is best handled by a collision repair estimator at a reputable paint and body shop. They are trained to evaluate visible and not-so-visible damage, and the costs to repair. Contact a...

Advice on buying a reliable car

10,000 euros is around 12,000 US dollars. I would say get yourself a good used Toyota. Those things can run forever and they are really made well. I know they make a lot of Toyotas in Europe, too. Japanese cars...

Car won't start sometimes

The vehicle and engine would decide on the actual cost to repair the problems. The no start may be more than a battery or starter. I recommend having a pre-purchase inspection done on the car to ensure that the correct...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com