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2022 Tucson PHEV SEL Silver/Black
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I just had a very successful shopping experience looking for 2022 Tucson PHEV's and/or Hybrids here in the USA northeast. I have learned a lot from this forum, so thought that I would "pay it forward"!...

I ended up with 3 firm price quotes for 3 different colors, all for "real" PHEV SEL's w/VIN #'s, all coming in during the next couple of months, all are located in MA, all priced at at flat MSRP and total dealer fees of $600-$700. I also found a few dealers in upstate NY that were also asking MSRP w/lower dealer fees ($200ish), but they didn't happen to have any "real" cars w/VIN #'s available to reserve. I live in NH and my state is the only state in the northeast that can't get PHEV's! I also got MSRP quotes on Hybrids w/similar dealer fees from several local NH dealers.

Be forewarned - THIS PROCESS TAKES A FEW DAYS. But all from the comfort of your own home. And virtually no stress, at all!

Important Takeaway Tips:
1) Keep all communications via email - I never spoke to a dealer over the phone, texted or visited in person (except for a couple test drives a couple months ago, but not part of this buying process). This is very important to avoid the cheesy sales pitches and psych games. It also helps to have the "data trail" of who said what/when, all in writing!
2) NEVER EVER give out your personal email or phone number (for obvious reasons if you have ever been through this process). Except, of course, to your "winning" dealer. More on that below. But of course, you CAN do that, YMMV. Just my advice.
3) Visible Hyundai web site "Inventory" is only about 1/2 what is actually available!! I found that there are MANY cars "allocated" to dealers that ONLY THEY CAN SEE, until a point when Hyundai releases them to be visible on the web site - Maybe after the accessory options are assigned to a VIN #?...The ONLY way to find out about these "hidden" cars, is to email a dealer and ask. They are also typically arriving an additional month out.
4) This is probably the MOST important tip - You need to connect with the "Internet" salesperson to have the best chance of MSRP pricing. These are like the "Fleet" salespeople of old. I believe that they must work on salary, not commission. They are low key and can take a little time to get back to you, so stay patient, but persistent.
5) Remember - You are buying a commodity. The thing that matters the most with buying a commodity is the PRICE. But of course, you can always pay more with a dealer that you "like" better, but that's your prerogative! And if you do this right, you will have several options to choose from and can simply pick the dealer that works best for you. I did actually pay a bit more in dealer fees because I had a "warmer fuzzy" from a particular dealer!...

Here's the process that worked for me:
1) Sign up for a Google Voice account and Gmail address. The email can be anything, but make sure it looks "legit", with something close to your name, so the salesperson can associate it with you easily. You will use this email address and phone number for ALL your communications. You will NEVER answer this phone # (unless you really want to) and just get emailed all VOX mail messages and texts that are sent to it. You need to have a real mobile # to sign up with Google Voice, but you don't need to forward calls to it. This means that if you want to stay "hidden" behind this phone number and speak to someone in person, you would need to use your computer mic & speakers. So I never did. (But maybe you can with a Google Voice phone app? I didn't bother with this.) Set this all up and test it out - Send/receive test emails and voice calls. Get this working well before you do anything else. You can thank me later.
2) Determine EXACTLY what model/trim/colors/option packages you will want. Keep it as simple/limited as possible. DON'T settle for anything less. The cars are out there. It may just take a bit more work to find them. But you can't be wishy-washy with this process. These Internet salespeople will not appreciate it. They are order-takers. Not "friends" that want to gab all day about your wishes and desires...(like the "regular" salespeople)!
3) Create a list of target dealers. This sounds simple, but was probably the biggest pain in the butt in all of this process. I started by using the Hyundai inventory tool to gather a list of dealers that actually have/are getting PHEV's and Hybrids. But this is a very short list at this point (and remember, half of the inventory is "hidden")...But its a start. I created a big/wide spreadsheet with locations/web addresses/phone numbers/contact names/email addresses and estimates of dealer sizes/volumes (can use the "New Cars" link on their web sites to get total # of cars on their lots - High/Mid/Low) and columns like, "Has PHEVs", etc. I even went to www.dealerrater.com and plugged in a column of their ratings. Next, I used the inventory tool to search for more popular/generic Hyundai's like gas Tucsons and Elantras. This will provide LOTS more dealers. My suggestion is to just avoid any dealers near big cities - Boston, New York City, New Jersey, etc. They were almost all asking big markups. Look for dealers in fringe areas or near smaller cities.
4) IMPORTANT: FIRST CONTACT NEEDS TO BE VIA WEB SITE CONTACT FORM! This is how you most-likely will reach the "Internet" order-takers and NOT the "regular" salespeople! Sort the list however which way works best for you, start at the "top", open each dealer web site, look for the "Contact" form link (usually can be found at the bottom of the Home Page or on the "About Us" page), and fill it out with your shiny new Gmail address (DON'T even give them the voice number if you don't have to!) Bang out those contact forms at each dealer one after another. Keep the comment field simple and cryptic. I used, "Looking to reserve a Tucson PHEV SEL for my daughter graduating college for delivery by May. Will be registered in home state of NH. Please email for more specifics. Thanks!". That way, it self-weeded out dealers not wanting to deal with a NH customer (only 1 out of 50ish).
5) Reply to the emails that come in as soon as you can. Have a reply "script" ready to go (copy paste) that specifies exactly the model/colors that you are looking for and any particulars about timing, etc. Be sure and ask for "price relative to MSRP" (they are not going to have an exact price on a car if its one of those "hidden" ones), total dealer fees and deposit required to "reserve an allocation" - Those are important words. You don't want them thinking you are looking to create a "Priority Order" in Hyundai-speak. Unless, of course, you have the time to wait, and wait, and wait. Those can take 6+ months!...
6) Plug in all the contact info you receive in your spreadsheet and start sorting by best offers. You will get MANY offers that sound great, BUT don't have any specific car details. These are usually from dealers that simply don't have an "allocation" (yet). They usually also ask for minimal ($100-500) deposits. Just record them in your spreadsheet, but don't spend too much time on them or send them any money. The "valid" ones will tell you a specific color, at least. AND they will ask for a $1,000 NONREFUNDABLE deposit. BINGO! You just found a car! When you send in this deposit, you have essentially bought the car. That's a good thing. But take a bit of time and work through most of your spreadsheet. Especially contact all the dealers that are closer to you and/or you would prefer to buy from. This is why using email really helps this process. You can take your time and organize your thoughts. I can't imagine trying to do all this via phone calls. Ugh! I spent all of one morning working on dealers in MA and another afternoon on dealers in NY. I found that I got quicker/better results working on this in the morning, when they must have more down time. Mid-week probably works better, too. I was motivated to get this done before the Presidents Day weekend ramped up!
7) Weed out the weak offers. I simply emailed the ones asking multiple THOUSANDS of $'s over MSRP that I had competing offers AT MSRP (which you WILL by now - just might not have an allocated car to reserve yet). A few played ball, but most dropped out. Their loss! IF you don't end up with a MSRP deal yet, with an allocated car ($1,000 deposit), have patience. They seem to get new allocations every couple of weeks. May have to check in with them from time to time. But it gets a lot easier after the initial email flurry. Have patience. In the meantime, add more dealers that are further away to your list.
8) When you are good and ready, or simply tired of emailing, pick your "best fit" deal and CALL them to make a deposit! DON'T RELY ON EMAIL AT THIS POINT! The "regular" sales person in the cubicle on the other side of the wall at that same dealer may just be checking those same allocations and could take the car at any time. Don't hesitate. Just do it. You've done your homework. And chances are you scored your exact fit car at a "reasonable" price (I used to think this was a deal "under invoice" - Ha! Good luck with that!)

I would be glad to recommend the dealer that I ended up with. Just email me at: sweavercars @ gmail.com

I will not recommend any other dealers that I received similar deals from, simply because I didn't end up working with them and therefore, couldn't vouch for them completely.

Again YMMV, and best of luck to you all in these trying car-buying times!
 

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^This all sounds like good strategy, but I have yet to actually see or drive one of these. I'm in Boston and the lease on my old vehicle is up in July so I need to go take a look at a hybrid soon and get the process started. Would you suggest that I drop into a dealer, test drive, then drive away without talking to them and engage Hyundai as described above? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would suggest just calling your closest dealers and asking if they have one to test drive. But there just aren’t many of these actually on lots that aren’t spoken for/allocated, and dealers may not want to let you drive the “sold” ones…The Hyundai inventory database probably would work fine for this. IF you can find one nearby. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
And yes, I found one to test drive a while back, got quoted a $5K markup to buy and then banged out this email shopping process when I was ready to buy. It you don’t want it until July, then maybe you target a June closing date and start this process sometime in April?
 

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^This all sounds like good strategy, but I have yet to actually see or drive one of these. I'm in Boston and the lease on my old vehicle is up in July so I need to go take a look at a hybrid soon and get the process started. Would you suggest that I drop into a dealer, test drive, then drive away without talking to them and engage Hyundai as described above? Thanks!
I would suggest just calling your closest dealers and asking if they have one to test drive. But there just aren’t many of these actually on lots that aren’t spoken for/allocated, and dealers may not want to let you drive the “sold” ones…The Hyundai inventory database probably would work fine for this. IF you can find one nearby. Good luck!
That is what we did last October here in CT. Then we started looking. We were very lucky to get just what we wanted at MSRP + $275 doc fee from a NY dealer. It was their first plug in and they subsequently started adding market adjustments. PS-We love the car!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sweaver, thank you for taking the time to post your experiences and share your car buying wisdom. What you wrote answered a lot of questions I had had and even some I hadn’t thought to ask.
You're most welcome, Lynn. Let me know how it turns out. Will be glad to hear I was able to help others successfully!
 

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exactly my thoughts. Just got our SEL trim last saturday here in Dallas. Contacted 7-8 nearby dealerships and all over the email, not a single over phone call. This helped me sort out which dealership is offering what price and keep notes..
Ieventually, n this way I got competitive price quotes from 3 dealers.
At the end got one at MSRP (plus title ,tax, registration) after price-matching.
 

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I called at least 3 dozen dealers with in stock hybrids and PHEVs in the northeast all of them were adding 2-8k in markup from MSRP. I finally found one in upstate NY selling for MSRP and only $300 in registration and dealer fees. I think your best bet is just to find a dealer that has a track record of not being scummy and be willing to drive. I will post the dealer I bought from as soon as I pick the car up in 2 weeks.
 

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I called at least 3 dozen dealers with in stock hybrids and PHEVs in the northeast all of them were adding 2-8k in markup from MSRP. I finally found one in upstate NY selling for MSRP and only $300 in registration and dealer fees. I think your best bet is just to find a dealer that has a track record of not being scummy and be willing to drive. I will post the dealer I bought from as soon as I pick the car up in 2 weeks.
Good luck...and worth the effort. I also wound up with a NY dealer (much lower doc fees) and a MSRP price on a PHEV Limited in my first choice silver/gray. Have grandbabies living about 100 miles away so we have put on almost 4k miles since mid Nov. Absolutely love the car. My favorite ever, and that is after over 50 years of car ownership.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just used this exact same "Internet car shopping process" to help find a 22 VW GTI S DSG for my son. Arguably, just as rare a beast as a Tucson PHEV. Pinged literally every VW dealer in New England via their "Contact" web site page. Ended up with 3 to choose from on lots and 3+ more allocations arriving in the next month, or two. All at MSRP! He got the exact color and model he was looking for. The "winning" dealer didn't have a GTI that fit the specs on his lot, so he "traded" for one that did, all in the space of 1/2 hour of emailing back and forth. The kicker is that once he gave me the VIN #, I knew exactly where he got the car from (as I had recorded every GTI that met my son's specs from every dealer web site) - and it was a dealer asking a $2K markup!...

The other trend that became apparent, is that if the dealer wasn't large enough to have an "Internet Specialist" on staff, I was typically in email communication directly with the Sales Manager. Seemed to make the negotiation part go much faster that way.

Definitely worth the time investment to again, from the comfort of my own home, get exactly what we were looking for, and for a much more reasonable price (although I still fondly remember buying all my previous cars for "under invoice".)
 

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Nice work! I’ve been buying cars via fax, phone & internet for over 40 years. I’ve consistently found that dealers who would commit to an “out the door” price other than in person were the most satisfactory to deal with. In olden times I would shop around and give the local dealer a chance to meet or better the price. The local Hyundai dealer was often the best price but in these unusual times they could not get the vehicle I wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In these unusual times, its more about finding a darn car! Once upon a time, I used to be able to find a few cars that fit what I was looking for, all on relatively local dealer's lots and then could run through a few negotiating rounds with those dealers to end up with "the best price". These past couple of times, I combed through 30+ dealers spread over a 200 mi radius, just to find a few possibles. And I checked the other potential GTI's after closing on ours, and they were gone - in just 2 days. So if you take the time to go through this process, be ready to jump on it and buy, or you are wasting your time...
 

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I called at least 3 dozen dealers with in stock hybrids and PHEVs in the northeast all of them were adding 2-8k in markup from MSRP. I finally found one in upstate NY selling for MSRP and only $300 in registration and dealer fees. I think your best bet is just to find a dealer that has a track record of not being scummy and be willing to drive. I will post the dealer I bought from as soon as I pick the car up in 2 weeks.
Update to this post. I just picked up the car and I love it. Lia Hyundai in Albany NY sold it to me for MSRP. They didn't try to pressure me with extended warranties or service plans. They gave me a very fair price for my trade. Super smooth buying experience. Ask for Karen, she was great.
 
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