A car is one of the most expensive products you will ever buy. Fortunately, many manufacturers and their dealers are occasionally kind enough to lower their prices. While rebates and incentives are the most common consumer discounts in the industry, there is also something called the “employee pricing deal.”

These offers are definitely rare, but if you come across one, take advantage of it. We explain how employee pricing deals work right here:

As the name suggests, an employee pricing deal is a discount that reduces the listed price of a vehicle to the amount a dealer would pay for it – or what is commonly referred to as the “invoice price.”

The reason why certain car manufacturers make offers like this is to build trust with their consumer base. Since many consumers tend to (unjustly) perceive car manufacturers and dealers as both scheming and greedy, this gesture allows them to “come clean” so to speak, because they essentially reveal how much their vehicles really cost.

While an employee pricing deal looks like a regular incentive when seen from the consumer’s perspective, it’s really not an incentive in the traditional sense. The major difference is that these discounts allow you to buy a car at the actual dealer cost. As such, you are guaranteed the same price for your chosen vehicle across all dealerships. Unfortunately, this also means that it’s a rock-bottom price. There’s no haggling here, so don’t ask the dealer to lower it some more, because that’s not likely to happen.

By contrast, normal incentives tend to be more profitable for dealers because they don’t offer rock-bottom prices. No matter how big the incentive is, there is always room to negotiate a lower price.

In a way, an employee pricing deal is one of the most “honest” price reductions you can get at a dealership – which is exactly what every consumer wants.

So far, the only manufacturers to offer employee pricing deals are Ford and General Motors. In the case of General Motors, this reduction covers brands like Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC. Ford meanwhile covers almost every single vehicle under its own brand name, but not any of the Lincolns.

Hyundai also offers a similar discount in the form of invoice pricing deals. These offers operate more like stackable cash incentives. This means that they are almost always negotiable – though no dealer in their right mind would tell you that.

In some cases, you can even combine (or “stack”) Hyundai’s invoice pricing deals with other incentives, such as zero-per-cent financing. However, that may not always be possible due to factors such as your vehicle choice, payment method, dealership location and so on.

The best time to get an employee pricing deal is usually around summer. So, if you are planning to buy your car during any other season, then it would make more sense to look for a different discount. However, if you don’t mind waiting, then, by all means, do so.

After all, a car is only one of the biggest purchases we make!

The most obvious place to find out if your chosen manufacturer is offering an employee pricing deal is by heading over to their website. Ford and GM usually advertise them very openly, so you should be able to see all the offers right then and there. The less obvious but more taxing way would be to call a nearby dealer and ask them yourself.

You can also check out car pricings site like Unhaggle.com, where you can learn whether an employee pricing deal is in effect or not.

When it comes to any special deal, research is the most effective way to make sure you get the best price. If you just walk into a dealership without knowing what you are looking for, then you are very likely to buy something you’ll regret later on or pay more than you needed too.

So, be smart and stay vigilant!