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Toy Boy

Buying a new car in Thailand

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The below post was made many years ago by Tommy Dee, or Secrets Tom as he was back then, on the Secrets board. I thought it was useful as I was looking at buying a car, so I kept a copy. I thought it would be worthwhile reposting it here as it's mostly still valid, I think. I'm sure anything that no longer applies will quickly be pointed out. Anyway, here it is, credit to Tommy Dee.


This is gonna be a long one, so look away if you it is of no interest to you. I just bought a new truck here. I have been “in the trade” for 30 years and was amazed at the way it works, which I investigated. And I saved 80K off the sticker price .

New Car Buying System in Thailand Explained

Where ever your mother country is, the likelihood is that the car buying experience here will be significantly different than at home. Car Prices are higher and they actually retain their value. Wandering into some dealership with your latest rental on your arm, pointing at one and saying “same same” may work for you, but understanding their process here will save you a bunch of money.

In the States or the UK or where ever, you go to a main dealer and they will have from 100-500 vehicles in stock, new and used, for you to choose from, the dealer will usually have them on a “stocking plan” which means he pays the maker or a finance company to “rent” his stock until its sold. The result it that he will have plenty to choose from. Thailand is different ( no surprises there then).

Thai Dealers will have perhaps 10 new units on show, and not a single used one for sale. But they have a central manufacturer’s storage location in most areas that they draw stock from. So if you choose a white one with pink stripes, they can either “locate” the unit locally from Manufacturer’s stock, or order it from the factory to your specs ( as in the US.. factory Order).

In your mind you need to split the difference between Thai built and imported cars. The import tax on imports ( to protect Thai work forces) is very high which is why you can see a 20 year old shit box merc or Volvo that would make £200 in the UK.. for 150-200K bath.

Thai built cars are well constructed and in my opinion ( 30 years in the business) some of the best vehicle on the road. The only reason that a buyer will choose an import is to feel “special” or make a statement that “I have big money”, that’s really it. Now there is nothing wrong with that, its your baht, but “prestige” is the only motivation for such an excessive expense. And its worth remembering that 1st class (fully comp) insurance here only covers a new vehicle up to 80% of its replacement cost! Yes folks, that’s how it works, don’t believe me, call your agents J

Just as in your home country, the salesman will try and sell what he can deliver quickly, he wants his commission, and that works for me, but if you are selective, don’t be pushed, he can order to “your” requirements.

Just like at home he will quickly throw in some “gifts” as “special promotion” or what ever. You will ALWAYS get a years full insurance, free registration and first years tax, this is not special to you trust me, and the first 30K bath they give you off the window price… that’s given away faster than a hooker drops her pants. The deal has just started.. trust me!

There are two major parts to the deal, the new vehicle and the trade in. these are completely separate deals. You are doing TWO deals when you trade in.. lets look at negotiating the new price first.

Its in our nature to negotiate each option separately, trying to get the best price. Forget that! Choose your car and get them to write down the basic price, together with the discount ( which will be 30K BTW that’s their standard “walk thru the door” offer to all unless you look like real easy prey).

Then let them suggest the options. Don’t say a word, just smile and let them add them. Only when its finished and they total it up, mention that it’s a little too expensive.

This is the trick, they will discount for “you” FROM THE BASIC PRICE ( so if the basic car was a Mill, they discounted you 30K , now they will discount you another 10-20 off the BASE PRICE). Now you can delete options that were added at your discretion. The revised base price has now been written down! There that was easy wasn’t it!

Now, when you first went in, they looked, thru the window, at your trade in and promised you a high price didn’t theyhahaha... its of no consequence to them, they don’t buy used cars, and they wont be buying yours either. Once you come to “buying time” they will call a trader in who will crawl over your car and revalue it, at a much lower price, pointing out whats wrong with it.

The first price was a bait, to keep you on the hook. This is now reality, we are talking real money here, not pipe dreams. THE TRADER IS BUNGING THE DEALER A COMMISSION THAT YOU ARE PAYING. REMEMBER THIS.. YOU ARE PAYING THE DEALER A COMMISSION TO BUY A NEW CAR FROM HIM NOW!!!

f**k that! Cal your thai friends or PM me, I can give you the number of a few of these traders, they will do the deal direct and save you upwards of… that lovely 30K you were discounted on the new car.. for your trade in. BUT YOU STILL WILL GET THE DISCOUNT ON THE NEW CAR.

Since the trade in ( part exchange) and new car sales are NOT RELATED in any way, you can sit back as they write down their “appraised value” for your old car on the paperwork.

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THE FIGURES ARE.. at this stage, this is just their offer to sell, you are not commited. Sit back and look like a sap, an easy sale. The crunch is gonna come soon….

Now.. heres an example of a deal. IF THEY HAVENT WRITTEN IT DOWN YET IS BECAUSE THEY WANT YOU TO BE CONFUSED .. ask for a sheet of paper and write your own deal down with them ( seriously)

NEW CAR…1,000,000
Initial discount (30,000)
Extra special discount (25000)


INCLUDING ( “freebees”) 1 year 1st class insurance, tax, registration, floor mats, tinted glass, window spoilers, rear spoiler kit, furry dice)

LESS TRADE IN..300,000 baht

PLUS..( which you may or may not buy.. up to you)

Chrome door handles..5k
Power bed lid 35K
Upgrade CD Player 35K
Etc etc.

Now tell them you don’t want the extras “just yet” as you are working on a budget but may buy later. YOU WILL STILL GET THE ADDED DISCOUNT.

NOW TELL THEM you may trade your old car in or you may give it to your son/daughter/wife/gerbil. but you will let them know while they get the new car ready over the next few days ( so if you get offered less for it which is unliely.. you have their offer on the table still)

SO YOU WRITE DOWN the bottom line prices with and without the trade in and without all the extras

They will agree, but that will take up to an hour. Who cares, you just saved a bunch of money.

Next call the trader, or me for their number. Your 300k offer will suddenly become 330-350, ( trust me)

You JUST SAVED an extra 80K bath over and above the 30K they will always give you, and got a bunch of free items that are worth a lot.

I don’t know if this makes sense, I have written it in a hurry, but I just wiped about 80K off the window price of my new truck and got a bunch of freebees. Yes I had to work, it took 5 hours with the dealer and a few visits from the traders, but that’s a good deal of money to me.

Remember, just cos they smile and she has nice tits, she is a salesperson. They see you as an easy target. Do you think the intelligent Thais pay sticker prices???

REMEMBER: if the dealership wont play ball.. go to another dealer. I covered 5 before I got the deal I was happy with!

Edited by Toy Boy
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