Main / Glossary / True Car Invoice Price

True Car Invoice Price

The true car invoice price, also known as the dealer invoice price, refers to the actual cost at which a car dealership purchases a vehicle from the manufacturer. It is an essential term in the realm of automotive finance and provides valuable insights for both buyers and sellers in the car industry. This price is different from the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) and is often regarded as the baseline for negotiations between car dealers and customers.


The true car invoice price is the result of a transaction between an automobile manufacturer and a car dealership. When a dealership orders a vehicle from a manufacturer, they negotiate the terms of purchase, including the price. This negotiated price, usually referred to as the dealer invoice price, is what the dealer ultimately pays for the vehicle. It reflects the net cost to the dealership and is exclusive of any incentives, promotions, or additional fees that might be involved.

The true car invoice price serves as a starting point for price negotiations between dealerships and customers. While the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price indicates the price recommended by the manufacturer, it is the true car invoice price that provides an accurate representation of the actual cost. This information provides buyers with a more realistic understanding of the profit margin available to dealerships and can serve as a valuable tool in the negotiation process.

Moreover, understanding the true car invoice price can be beneficial for consumers who wish to evaluate the transparency and fairness of the car pricing offered by a dealership. By comparing the invoice price with the price quoted by the dealership, buyers can identify any markups or possible negotiations. This knowledge empowers individuals to make informed decisions and negotiate the purchase of a vehicle based on its true value rather than relying solely on the dealer’s price.

In addition to being useful for customers, the true car invoice price plays a crucial role in the way car dealerships operate. Although dealerships also consider factors such as demand, market conditions, and inventory management, the invoice price sets a foundation for determining the gross profit on a vehicle sale. By knowing the actual cost of a vehicle, dealerships can strategize their pricing models and aim for an appropriate profit margin.

It is important to note that the true car invoice price is not readily available to the public. Manufacturers and dealerships typically consider this information proprietary and do not disclose it openly. However, through various research tools and online resources, consumers can access invoice price estimates and gain a reasonable approximation of the true cost.

In conclusion, the true car invoice price represents the actual cost at which car dealerships purchase vehicles from manufacturers. By understanding this price, consumers can negotiate effectively and make informed decisions based on the vehicle’s true value. While it may not be readily available to the public, invoice price estimates can be obtained through various sources and provide valuable insights for both buyers and sellers in the automotive industry.